Friday, September 2, 2011

Trivia: Commodity Never Experienced Rapid Price Decline

            I have a large general knowledge base so often when someone asks me something I’ll know the answer. But the trivia question I’m the most proud to have answered correctly is illustrated below.
            A native Texan, I studied Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas. One class I took was called Geography of the Former Soviet Union and it was taught by a woman named Bella from Yakutia, Russia which is a state in Siberia that is 4 X the size of Texas. Bella is absolutely brilliant.
            One day Bella came into class and she said that she’d just read something interesting. She asked us if anyone knew the commodity that had never undergone a rapid decline in price. I thought about it, raised my hand, and answered, “sugar”. Bella smiled and asked me how in the world I knew that?
            This is what I said:
            “I didn’t know it for sure, but it makes sense to me for both supply and demand reasons. On the demand side, sugar is addictive in every form- raw, molasses, or rum. On the supply side, it only grows in certain climates, it is labor intensive, it requires heavy machinery, and it is hard on the land. It’s not practical to grow sugar in your back yard, one must import it from plantations. I’d learned in America History that sugar traders who operated in the West Indies during the early colonization of America were wealthier than any public figure we can imagine today.

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