Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sweet, Free Food!

Well, not quite free, but Big Red announced today it will be subsidizing my lunches to the tune of US$25.6 million to help college students and faculty ease the burden of food price inflation--caused first by a pig disease epidemic, and then by freak snow storms.

I had noticed that my usual bowl of Yangzhou fried rice (扬州炒饭) had gone up in price since last semester: from CNY4 to CNY5. Or about US$.56 to US$.70 at today's exchange rate. I'm not one to complain, but that is a 25 percent increase in a very short time.

Of course, college students and faculty are already society's winners, so why do they need (even more) food subsidies? But why not spread the wealth? Better in our bellies than in some offshore foreign exchange reserve accounts.

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