Monday, April 04, 2011

This is "leading the way"?...

Much has been made about our booming (relatively speaking) ag exports. So much so that surprisingly knowledgeable observers are touting ag as the engine of our recovery.

One small problem: ag exports are not a big part of our total export picture. Try this test.

Estimate our ag exports in $.  If you guessed a number around $100-130B, congratulations!

But now for extra credit tell me what total US exports are?*  Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

I've never met a farmer who could put our share of any economic number in perspective to the whole picture, and hence I think we fall prey to flattery that essentially whispers "It's all about you" in our ears.

Anyhoo, here is where the "boom" fits in with the whole export picture for the US.  This is the growth in exports since 2009.


(We're the 'Food" sliver at the bottom, BTW)

Lookit, we're an important part of a huge economy. That's a reality we should be able to live with without making all about us.

*About $1.3T.


Derek said...

How does one export services? Is this the opposite of outsourcing jobs?

John Phipps said...


Banking, consulting, finance, insurance, professional architects, engineers, accountants, etc.

We have global service firms and some of them actually bring their profits home and pay taxes on them.