I hope you have plenty to be thankful this week. Maybe you and your family will make a list.
Do you know the traditional turkey dinner will cost the same as last year? The government estimates that a family of 10 can eat a hearty meal for $50.
How about other bargains in 2019? Two are milk and natural gas.
You may not make a connection between a Holstein cow and a gas well, but I’ll give you one. Thanks to genetics for milk cows and technology for gas production, we are saving a bundle. We get more milk from fewer cows at less cost. Unfortunately we have lost a lot of dairy farms that had 50 to 500 cows. Big farms are getting bigger. For those milk producers who had to sell their herds or went bankrupt, these last few years have been mighty rough.
For natural gas and oil production, technology has saved Americans over a Trillion dollars in ten years. Picture this example: on 5 acres of ground, 4 wells drilled about a mile deep, then turned horizontally to extend 3 or 4 miles (yes, miles) in multiple directions. Hydraulic fracturing, which has been around more than 60 years, releases more product from those horizontal wells. That’s why families are saving a few thousand dollars a year on heating, electricity, gasoline, and through lower prices for products we buy that are manufactured and transported. Like many small dairy farmers, some workers in gas, oil and coal production have lost jobs because of those lower prices.
Of course, you may live in a state that does not believe in drilling technology and pipelines so you can only dream of the savings across the state line. But that’s politics and I promised myself to avoid politics during this week of Thanksgiving.
Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“Thanksgiving Day. In the days of its founders they were willing to give thanks for mighty little, for mighty little was all they expected. But now neither government or nature can give enough but what we think it’s too little. Those old boys in the Fall of the year, if they could gather in a few pumpkins, potatoes and some corn for the winter, they was in a thanking mood. But if we can’t gather in a new Buick, a new radio, a tuxedo and some government relief, why we feel like the world is agin us.” DT #2594, Nov. 28, 1934