Commodities: Oil Versus Coffee

Oil is the number one commodity in terms of value. People make the argument that a war is being fought largely over the control of this indispensable stuff.

The number two commodity is coffee. Why aren’t wars fought over coffee? I guess it is because possession and control of the land that grows coffee does not provide wealth. In fact, coffee growing regions include some of the poorest places on the planet. In many cases, there may be a small battle of wills when the coffee is taken from the farmers by unscrupulous middlemen. The middlemen are armed with guns, and a little bit of money. The coffee farmer has some beans.

Maybe the economics and the politics of oil would be more like those of coffee if impoverished men, women and children could pick barrels of it out of the jungles and the mountains and carry it out on their backs.

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