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Your so-called economic expert Dr. Purcell is either ignorant, a shill for Big Business beef interests, or a typical modern day economic alchemist who is real smart about a "science" that has no fundamental foundation.
Letter to Drovers

The following is a short "Letter to the Editor" that I sent to Drovers Magazine on July 22, 2005.  The letter was titled "Economic Alchemy."  The chart below, which the editor did not reproduce, was sent with the letter and the chart tells it all.


Dear Greg Henderson:
       Your article, that you made your dog sign off on, once again brought noise to the Check Off question rather than truth.  Your so-called economic expert Dr. Purcell is either ignorant, a shill for Big Business beef interests, or a typical modern day economic alchemist who is real smart about a "science" that has no fundamental foundation.
       The issues of "beef demand" encompasses more variables than either one of you brought to the table.  Consequently the analysis was flawed from the get go.  And to use 1998 as a base for judging the "effectiveness" of the Check Off is deception beyond belief and only ignorant or crooked people would do that.
       For an analysis to be worth a hoot, one must take into account such variables as:

       1)  The purchasing power of the monetary unit used in measuring value.
       2)  The long-term value relationships between various types of food products such as beef, pork, lamb, goat, various poultry, deer, elk, etc., etc.
             a)  How do producers respond to the relative values of various livestock species?
             b)  How do consumers respond to the relative values of meat products from different species of animals?
       3)  The long-term commodity cycle that influences the values relative to finished goods of all commodities at the same time.
       4)  The dawning realization that grain, grain-based foods, and grain-fed meats are the fundamental cause for nearly all (if not all) chronic diseases in America.
       5)  And the whole analysis must be framed in a long-term context rather than a short-term context.

       Of course beef produced divided by the population doesn't seem to be a bad measure for determining market penetration.  That's just plain common sense.  Using price as part of the beef demand equation has nothing to do with measuring demand except in the minds of economic alchemists.  (See the chart below that is a few months old.  Consequently current prices are lower than depicted!)  And if anyone were to do a real analysis based on fundamental principals that have stood the test of time instead of economic alchemy, then they'd conclude that the Beef Checkoff is robbing the producers for the benefit of processors, retailers, and fabricators.
       Please, let's stop with the noise that keeps the masses (and you and your dog) completely confused.

Ted Slanker

       P.S.  By the way, tell Hank we feed our dogs raw grass-fed beef everyday and nothing else in order to keep them healthy.  We wouldn't for a minute think about feeding them corn.
       P.P.S.  What drove beef consumption between 1940 and 1975?  It wasn't the Check Off.  It wasn't fancy fabricated products that taste like cardboard.  Do you know?
       P.P.P.S.  The data for this chart came from official government and industry sources.  I did not generate any of the data.