By Jackie Crowley

Is the term “parity” such an outdated and misunderstood word that we as a nation should just throw it out of our vocabulary? Should the press quit printing the word parity? Does the Merriam Webster dictionary company need to quit putting it in the updated versions? I think not. To take a closer look at the term, listed below are its accepted definitions (Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary):

Parity has been used in our vocabulary for centuries and continues to be of use in the 21st Century. The Wall Street Journal prints the word in articles they print every day. For example in the “Currency Trading” section, on Monday, July 1, 2002, an article had the heading of Little Relief Expected for Dollar as Euro Nears Parity. The equality of the euro and dollar are discussed in this article. Sports editors constantly use the term parity as well. In the Hutchinson News, on Monday, October 7, 2002, in the “College Football” section the caption Parity Arrives In College Football as Ranked Teams Escape. This article talks about how some of the top college teams struggled to win games that week and are becoming equivalent in rankings to the before lower ranked teams. The articles addressed above are only two of the hundreds of the pieces of writings produced everyday in newspapers and magazines that use the word parity. If “parity” can be published in everyday newspapers and magazines, is it not assumed that the word is understood and relevant to our everyday lives?

Parity is important in economics, especially in the agriculture sector. Laws were passed in 1933 that required all agriculture production to be paid parity pricing based on the period of 1910-1914. A period of time when agriculture commodities were in balance or equal to industrial production and other services in purchasing power. There are two other times in history when agriculture commodities and industry were in economic balance. They are 1949 and 1967.

In the case of SCHRODER V. CLINTON, NO. 00-1357, 10TH CIR. 2000, the summary states “The four farmers seek a moratorium on farm foreclosures and an order requiring the President, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Agriculture, and their agents to control U.S. currency exchange rates and to maintain market conditions so as to avoid exchange-rate-driven discrimination in both foreign and domestic commodity markets against American farmers (i.e., to maintain agriculture parity pricing). Parity pricing was expressly contemplated and authorized by the laws governing U.S. agriculture, most of which were enacted during the New Deal in the 1930s. Those laws, which still are in effect in important ways relevant to this action, declared farmers a protected class of the citizenry and impressed agriculture with the national interest.”

Is it reasonable for the agriculture sector of the economy to fail because of the big multi-national companies that give huge grants to universities to insure that the word “parity” disappear? Should the politicians and other rule makers rely on what these universities being paid by the multi-nationals for what words or terminology that should and should not be used in this country? We think not!

Greedy multi-national corporations, the university lackeys and political rule makers are enabling the word parity to fully disappear from the economic price discovery process. Farmers’ property rights, and the rights of others similarly situated, are being taken for public use without compensation, to their harm because of the acquisitive companies. As shown above, parity is a viable word and should be used to keep agriculture fully productive and fully paid 100% parity for domestic production in the United States.