Sunday, April 13, 2008
While American media is obsessed with whatever the latest Democratic political gaffe is, the world is going to hell in a hand basket. There is a Big Problem.
Not even the disastrous Bush Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can compete with the global food crisis that is rolling like a thunderstorm across the Developing World.
So far, almost no notice of it has been taken in the American Mass Media. But the blinders can't be kept on forever.
Staple food prices have doubled, tripled, quadrupled in many areas where people have little to get by on at all, and no margin for higher food prices. Asian countries are girding for the worst.
We Americans fret about the cost of filling our gas tanks, and it is a reasonable fret to be sure, but it is, for most Americans at present, a marginal fret. I filled up the other day, for example, as local gas prices are edging closer and closer to $4.00 a gallon, and a full tank cost me $6.00 more than last month, $11.00 more than last year, $26.00 more than when the Busheviks seized the presidency. Well. Annoying increases to be sure, but still marginal.
Yet last year, I noticed food prices at my local market were going up, and around February, the management at the store warned customers to brace for more. By March, pretty much everything cost around 20% more than last year, and some things were 40% or 50% higher. I wasn't so worried about gas prices, but food prices? You bet.
An overall 20% increase in food costs is significant, but we hear little about it. The few press reports that discuss the situation elsewhere refer to a "food shortage," but that's hardly what it is. As has so often been the case in the past, there is plenty of food. The problem is the price, and the price is being driven higher and higher by commodity speculators who see huge profits on the horizon from the rising standards of living in China and India and elsewhere.
Much like the fuel cost increases: there is no real shortage, but there is rampant speculation, and rampant greed.
It is more of the Class War we have been subject to for more than a generation. And as the global situation deteriorates, our petty obsessions will become more and more irrelevant.
If we don't take care of the situation ourselves, someone is gonna do it for us.