Unintended consequences stemming from the federal government's love of ethanol continue to pop up in all corners of the economy. As we've seen, subsidies for corn are contributing to widespread "agflation"
, leaving businesses to deal with the challenges of higher commodity costs. As The Wall Street Journal notes, soap makers are getting hit particularly hard
, as prices are up for beef tallow, a kind of fat that is an important ingredient in soap. Also, there's a new subsidy for companies turning animal fat directly into fuel, which will further shorten supplies of this ingredient. The plight of the soap makers isn't unique, and in fact it would be impossible to adequately anticipate all of the myriad effects of our ethanol policy. But it's clear that simply throwing money at any energy source deemed to be "alternative" is not particularly smart from the standpoint of the economy.