I support The Gazette’s “free press” right to bash farmers, but I’m also thankful that, unlike television, they have letters to the editor, for me to give another view.
Objectively, the price of a weekly Gazette has skyrocketed to 750 percent of the price from the 1950s, ’60s, and even into the ’70s. Those are the plain facts, unless you want to do some economic mumbo jumbo like adjusting for inflation. Objectively, that’s not how you do it, as seen in the Feb. 24 front page story “Bumper Crop.”
Yes, using The Gazette’s methods, corn has hit record highs. While The Gazette’s record price for vital news is 750 percent of 1964, however, 2007-10 corn is only 333 percent of The Gazette’s ’50s and ’60s corn averages. The period of “record” prices for corn, therefore, is less than half of the ongoing record price for The Gazette. Write that headline!
OK, applying a GDP deflator, The Gazette cost 68 cents in 1954 and 56 cents in 1964 (in 2010 dollars). It’s only gone up a third since ’64. Corn, in contrast, has gone down from $8.80 (1950s average) and $5.82 (1960s) to $4 (2007-10) in todays “record” era. I’ve heard that in 1947, corn hit $2.80, which is $22.51 in 2010 dollars, more than three times the “record” 2008 corn price of $7.14 ($7.03) at Linn Co-op after the flood. In 1947, corn averaged $17.37 (2010 dollars).