Monday, April 4, 2011

Who's to Blame?

This morning's online news headline -- "Who's to Blame for the High Food Prices?" -- seemed a little late.

A friend, for a few weeks, every time he saw us, asked if we wanted to buy chick feed.  "It'll never be cheaper again," he says.  He was planning a trip to the co-op to buy a truckload of 100-pound bags.  "I'll be glad to pick up a few for you," he said.  "Livestock prices are headed out of sight."

Who's to blame?  Stepping into memory of a corporate past, a former employer had a policy,  "Don't focus on blame.  Fix the problem."  Good first thought, perhaps, but don't imagine for a nanosecond that the problem causer, if identified, got away with it.

"I am to blame.  I can control my habit of driving everywhere, of wanting a hot house in the winter and a cold house in the summer, of eating vegetables and fruits out-of-season, etc.  I am to blame because I have not controlled myself."  We are the ones who create demand.  Lessen the demand and maybe prices will fall.  We underestimate ourselves.

Others may share the blame.  We always look for them first and too often never get around to ourselves.  That hot coffee burned me because the merchant set its thermostat too high, not because I wasn't paying attention.  My kid is hyperactive because the manufacturer put all those pretty colored dyes in that cereal, not because I put the box in my grocery cart.

"Finally," says Virginia, "we age, some of us get arthritis and notice that when we point, we're pointing at ourselves."

Good point.

1 comment:

  1. Virginia made me laugh! It was a good point!