Friday, April 4, 2008

Iowa Bucks National Trend

As a scientist I like having direct evidence and controlling all variables in such a way that a direct cause and effect relationship can be established. And so I think everyone should take today's post with a grain of salt but understand that the indicators have shown a consistent connection between what I am about to tell you.

Today the Revenue Estimating Conference for the State of Iowa increased the state revenue projections for this year by $127 million. This accounts for nearly 2% of the $6.4 billion budget for the state of Iowa, representing a significant increase during struggling economic times. Although strong agriculture revenues are being celebrated as a whole for increasing revenue flowing into the state, the real catalyst for this improvement is most probably ethanol. Like it or not, ethanol has reversed the flow of our dollars to overseas markets and has made the demand for goods made predominantly in our state that much more valuable. While many people understand that higher food prices are mainly due to factors such as high oil prices and a weak dollar, some people still accuse ethanol of having a large impact on those prices. Even so, with these numbers, I don't mind paying extra for milk and cheese because the tax revenue flowing back into the state house is allowing the State of Iowa to continue to fund improving education programs as well as the Iowa Power Fund -- $100 million going towards research into advanced biofuels so that the next step in ethanol production can be realized.

The point is that with increased state revenue coming in and only 3.5% unemployment in the state, I'd say Iowa is doing alright at the moment and a big thank you is deserved for the people who pioneered the establishment of ethanol production in our state.

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