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May 27, 2008

The Price Of Rice

Alix's Restaurant

Alix Toyo lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He'd worked as a fixer for journalists, but when things got so bad that even journalists stopped coming, he had to do something different. So he opened up a restaurant a year and a half ago, and thought he'd finally get to be independent.

But recent unrest and spiking food prices have dampened his dream. Business in the restaurant has plummeted, and Alix can't afford the tuition for his two sons in school. He tells Dick Gordon what it's like to live with such uncertainty.

 

The Price Of Rice

John Casey decided to start trading solely in rice in 1987. During his first day on the floor, there was a spectacular market crash. Now the price of rice is going up and up and John has been along for the ride. To his surprise, his profession has suddenly become hip -- even an old girlfriend called him up and asked him how she could profit from the boom. John has since unloaded all of his rice holdings.

 

Voting On Her Birthday

Phyllis Barnwell heard our request for personal political stories, and wrote in with her story.

Phyllis campaigned for her dad, who became the first African American sheriff in Norwalk, Conn. in the 1940s. She went on to push for her own voting rights when she turned 21. It turns out that the election was on her birthday, but she needed special dispensation to register early. Her political life culminated with a memorable chat with pioneering Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.

Music heard in this story: But On The Other Hand Baby performed by Etta Baker for the album Etta Baker One Dime Blues

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