05 November 2007

Domino deals deftly delivered ding.

On Saturday Domino Sugar slapped me in the face. You heard me right. It happened while I was sitting in the Jiffy Lube lounge waiting to get my oil changed. I was just sitting, minding my own business, when I glanced over at the stale coffee sitting under the TV. Right beside the little Styrofoam cups was a container of Domino Sugar.

The slogan on the container read: "We'll always be your sugar."

EXCUSE ME!!! The audacity of the claim shocked and appalled me. To help you understand why, perhaps I should spell out the events that led up to this simple carbo-bitchslap:

1. I happily purchase my refined sugar at the global (and efficient) price of 13 cents/pound. A Brazilian sugar farmer and a Brazilian refiner got some portion of that 13 cents/pound, and I got some delicious sugar. Note that this sugar includes the sugar in my soft drinks, the packet I put in my coffee, candy, as well as, ice cream, danishes and fudge. Yum!

2. The US sugar concern can't make sugar at 13 cents/pound, so they lobby Congress to subsidize their product and protect it with import quotas. Congress listens and all told I end up paying 52 cents/pound for refined sugar. Sure the American sugar farmer and refiner get a good wage. Heck, its only 52 cents/pound after all, its not like that's going to bankrupt me!

3. On second glance I realize the true injustice of the government support of Domino Sugar. (a) 52 cent/pound adds up to $1.9 billion/year in wealth transfer from me and you to relatively rich American Sugar farmers. (b) Since sugar is so expensive, high frutose corn syrup has replaced sugar in many sweets, especially soda. (c) Sugar is easier to grow in Brazil than in the U.S., which is why it costs less, but is also why it takes more pesticides and fertilizers to grow it here, at the expense of the environment --especially the Florida Everglades. (d) There are fewer opportunities in Brazil than in the U.S., yet our quotas keep them from selling me sugar and keeps U.S. worker who could be more productive at something else, being unproductive and making sugar at inflated prices.

So when Domino says, "We'll always be your sugar," forgive me if I say, "F@#$# off!" By which, of course, I mean "fudge" off, and that with a heaping cup of global sugar!

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