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Food Chain – Signs of Deflation?

Touch the Soil News #813 (Feature photo – Michael Rivera – CC SA 4.0) As consumers, we often think that a primary measure of the success of capitalism is a low – and easily affordable price. But how low can prices go and still keep the family employed? Deflation is when the price of something keeps going down and down. In its chronic state, a collapse in prices is what brings on a great depression. It’s a spooky spiral in which wages go down and then prices go down to catch up with lower wages, which means wages and prices must go down again in an attempt to catch up.…

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Disposable Jobs & Unsafe Food?

Touch the Soil News #750 (feature photo – A Fast Food Employee – CC SA 3.0) As we’ve always said, the food chain is ripe with insights about ourselves and the economy. The restaurant business is considered part of the larger “hospitality” industry that includes lodging and resorts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that annual employee turnover rates in the restaurants and accommodations sector peaked in 2007 at a whopping 80.7 percent. It is hard to imagine the training and learning challenges of an industry in which almost 81 employees out of a 100 at the beginning of the year will leave for a number of reasons. The…

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Is Competition Really That Wasteful?

Touch the Soil News #525 In this era of less-than-abundant natural resources, it is not unusual to see vacant lots and perfectly good buildings sitting idle and just going to waste. Unfortunately with the emergence of idle facilities also comes the demise of jobs and companies that were occupying those facilities. As we have always said, the food chain is one of the more interesting places to gain economic insights about our lives and economics. Rather accidental, a handful of statistics about the restaurant sector has come into our hands that weigh in on the vacant buildings in cities. In recent months, 10 companies overseeing 17 restaurant chains have filed…

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