Dispatch from the Heartland

27 July 2011

Last night I watched as Kim had her butt X-rayed by Sanjay Gupta on CNN. Her wedding is less than 25 days away, and in the run-up we (her Followers) are being subjected to a hail storm of tweets, like grackles attacking a ripe corn crop. It reminded me of the time a Defenseman from Syosset High School swung for my knee with all his power during a lacrosse game and he growled at me: “You’re going to be out for quite a while, Number 3!” And I thought, ‘Wow, some people will do anything to win.’

It’s 103 degrees out here in Kansas City, one of their hottest summers on record. The wind hits you like a furnace blast when you step out from the air conditioning. The corn crop looks impressive, which is going to make the Chinese happy, since they are going to buy a lot of it. But if you are running a small flavor company, and 80% of your ingredients are corn starch, and the prices of some of the other commodities that go into your products have gone up by over 100% since the beginning of the year, you’re thinking hard about how much of that added cost you can recover through a price increase to your customers without driving them away.

I’m on the board of what we would call in Developing Countries an SME (Small-to-Medium Enterprise), and I’m reminded every quarter of just how incredibly challenging it can be to run a business in this increasingly globalized economy. Most of the other board members are moderate to highly conservative Republicans, and so I was surprised when they asked me: “Rupert, is there something in the water back there in Washington? What is the matter with this Congress?” More surprising, they agreed to a man that an increase in revenues would have to be part of the solution to reducing the deficit. So whom do Boehner and Cantor listen to? Cantor is apparently too busy fighting to preserve the Hedge Fund manager 15% tax rate to worry about us slobs who pay 40%. Boehner is clearly out of his depth and couldn’t sell paper clips to the different Republican factions.

And meanwhile, the Doomsday clock keeps ticking.

Rupert Scofield


Share this blog post:

Popular posts

3 March 2011

I have the solution, and I got the idea from the financial services industry. It’s…

28 February 2011

I saw “Black Swan” over the holidays and, for the record, this was the email…