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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

American Prosperity

Monday, November 26, 2012

Have you walked into a grocery store recently? Well I know I have, as you have probably gathered from my previous columns, I work in one.

But anyway, when you step inside of one, there are thousands of grocery (or even convenience) stores, you will be greeted by the same thing: lots and lots of food. It's unbelievable actually, almost to the point that you want to drool a little due to the mass of it all.

This example goes to show that America is one of the most prosperous nations in the world, it wasn't always that way. Back in the colonial era, Britain was a place to be envious of and so were her neighboring nations. Heck, after the Revolutionary War, Americans had a hard time getting food on the table because the nation was still in its infancy.

Things got better and after World War One, America emerged as a superpower. Things were going along great and then disaster struck in the form of the Great Depression. This of course, was America at its lowest as far as resources goes. My deceased Grandma on my Mom's side was born during this time and felt its repercussions and because of it, she never learned to like the taste of milk. Lines were stretched out for blocks just to get a bowl of soup, kids were abandoned by parents unable to care for them and garbage cans were emptied by those searching of anything to eat.

The Great Depression happened over eighty years ago and thankfully we haven't had anything quite like it since. For the reason that you can't always depend on the economy, canning and keeping food storage has always been a habit at our house. And as prices go up, I am thankful for my parent's foresight; but that's a column for another day.

As this is Thanksgiving week, it seems very appropriate to comment on (and maybe even commemorate) the wealth of this great nation. Ours is a land of promise and prosperity, of wealth and resource and if we use what we have frugally, we will be okay for a long, long time.

Because of the landscape of this nation, we are able to produce many goods at maximum efficiency. Some places produce the most potatoes or the most fruit but the Midwest is known as the Corn/Grain Belt, and rightfully named. Taking a moment to be conceited here, corn and soybeans make up the bulk of our nation's products, it's what feeds the animals, and lately, it's the stuff that gets put in our gas to make things a little more nature friendly. So if we didn't have the Midwest well, America wouldn't be the place it is now. Sorry Idaho...

Also taking the liberty of indoctrinating the thank-yous from my last column into this one, being able to have food on the table is high on the list. So today wherever you are and whatever you eat, whether it's turkey, ham, or fried chicken; it's a lot better than fried bologna, which has thankfully been something that I never needed to eat.

* Jacob Olson is an Iowa Central Community College student from Storm Lake. He shares a weekly opinion column.