I see Henry just linked to his bloggingheads exchange with Dan “the blogger” Drezner about the end of capitalism as we know it, and such minor political twiddles. I was just about to link to it for him (I thought maybe he was being modest.) Good stuff. I’m John Holbo and I endorse this podcast.
Feb 27, 2018 A Trillion Here, a Trillion There, and Pretty Soon You’re Talking Real Money by William J. Astore Posted on February 27, 2018 Though it’s unconfirmed that Congressman Everett M. Dirksen ever uttered perhaps the most famous words attributed to him: “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money,” the.
One quick note. Round about minute 21 Drezner remarks that “the $64,000 question is going to be: which bureaucracies are put in charge of these crises?” Funny choice of figurative figures. What is it really? The 640 billion dollar question? 6.4 trillion? (I’d link to that spot in the diavlog but, honestly, the site loads so damn slow for me. I recommend downloading the mp3 or getting it through iTunes or wherever.)
Last week USDA said it plans to invest $1 billion to support and build up the country’s food bank network, and this week it announced a $4 billion investment to strengthen the nation’s food system.
“A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money,” goes the famous quote attributed to Everett Dirksen, the long-serving Republican Senator in the 1950s and 1960s.
What You Talking About Man
Naturally, we want to know what’s in all those billion for the fresh produce industry.
United Fresh’s BB #:145458 senior vice president of policy Robert Guenther said June 8 that we’re not sure, but “I’m sure produce companies will be eligible.”
Some of the uncertainty may be cleared up at 3 p.m. Eastern June 9, when Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack holds a webinar on it.
USDA says, “The new efforts aim to strengthen the food system, create new market opportunities, tackle the climate crisis, create opportunity in underserved communities, and support good-paying jobs throughout the supply chain.
Now You're Talking Meaning
“The new investments will support food production, improved processing, investments in distribution and aggregation, and market opportunities. Through the Build Back Better initiative, USDA will help to ensure the food system of the future is fair, competitive, distributed, and resilient; supports health with access to healthy, affordable food; ensures growers and workers receive a greater share of the food dollar; and advances equity as well as climate resilience and mitigation.”
Guenther said USDA may have been prodded into action – or at least more talk – by a May 26 letter from Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, and chairwoman of the Senate agriculture committee, which pressured USDA to “quickly implement provisions passed as part of the American Rescue Plan to protect food and farm workers and build resilience into the nation’s agricultural supply chain.”
“This is also an opportunity to better prepare the food supply chain in the event of a future disruptive event, and I urge USDA to assess how the weak points in the supply chain can be addressed,” Stabenow wrote in the letter.
Pretty Soon You're Talking About Real Money
Guenther said these are brand new programs, and it’s not clear how fresh produce fits in yet, but they more closely resemble traditional hunger relief from government.
“They’re not being creative, and that doesn’t help fresh produce,” he said. “We would support programs that help fruits and vegetables directly.”
By comparison, the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program ran from May 15, 2020 to May 31, 2021, delivered more than 173 million boxes of fresh food, and reimbursed growers and distributors more than $6 billion.