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The G Effect: Rising Food Prices & Riots

April 10, 2008

Bands of young men carry stick and rocks. The rebels set up burning tires for roadblocks. Mobs loot warehouses, stores and government offices. Gunfire rings out through upscale neighborhoods and slums alike. Helicopters circle in the air as black smoke fills the city from burning tires.

Welcome to a new effect of globalization and panic policy, the food war.

Global food prices are up 40% on average for the last nine months and people aren’t happy. Nationals of Haiti are unhappy about food prices because they earn less than $2 a day. Similar problems with pricing exist worldwide.

U.N peacekeepers are on the scene in Haiti. President Preval has told Haiti citizens to go home. “The solution is not to go around destroying stores. I’m giving you orders to stop.”

Haiti’s U.S.-backed president, Rene Preval, urged the U.S. Congress to cut food taxes in his first public address about high food prices.

High prices are stirring unrest from Vietnam to Egypt. In Ivory Coast last week, women rioted with one person dead. Farmers have been arrested for hoarding surpluses. The UN International Fund for Agriculture predicts food riots will become common on the world scene. Rising food prices are acute in Asia and Africa, where the cost of food takes a chunk out of family income. The problem is more acute because more people live in cities than ever before.

The UN World Food Program feeds nearly 89 million destitute people. As usual, money is in short supply and will run out by May 1.

In Haiti, imports have decimated local production of rice which has compounded the food crisis. The same policies have damaged agricultural production in other countries. Farm subsidies in many nations have destroyed production values.

In the U.S. and Europe, a rush created by governments to devote more farmland to growing bio-fuels has simply fueled higher prices with little benefit otherwise. In the U.S. alone, 18% of grain production is being used to make ethanol, enough food to feed 250 million people. Meanwhile, less money has been invested in agricultural productivity.

The panic over global climate change has created additional pressure on the United Nations. The U.N. Secretary General is suggesting a review of climate policies to quell international anxiety. Freak weather has played into the crisis. The U.N. blames industrialization and urbanizing of nations as well as the need to create better irrigation and better grain seed. Through panic measures designed empower and create change, the U.N. is creating its own kind of “Soylent Green”.

Dramatic changes in the global economy, i.e., globalization include higher oil prices and lower food reserves topped by growing demand in China and India.

A revolution of the hungry is in place with no solution in sight. This is worse than poverty.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2008 10:31 pm

    In the US what is causing this is sitting in the oval office. It is a moron. He keeps sending money we don’t have to a war we should not still be waging. While Iraq grows richer from the oil sales, we lose ground on our dollar. In order to fund the war Bush has borrowed us neck deep in debt with China. A country that is spying on us, stealing technology, and posioning our children with lead, and GHB. We can’t halt trade with them because of the money bomb they have to hold over our heads. We have to stop sending business overseas, and keep it here. We have to get the factories re-opened, and put people back to work. Instead of spending 147 billion dollars in Iraq, why not grant that money to businesses who want to re-open here in this country. We really have to stop worrying about everyone else’s country, and start looking after our own.

    Then there won’t be a shortage of food anywhere in this country. Let the other countries worry about feeding themselves or make them pay the farmers for it here. We send billions of dollars worth of food for free to 3rd world countries every year, while people starve in this one. Cowboy Bush is really killing the nation, and some people like Jeff up there wants to put Bush Lite (McCain) in office.

  2. April 18, 2008 10:03 pm

    Bankers are the ones who are causing this….Even in the USA, people are hurting because of the moneychangers. The rich are still getting richer, and the poor and middle class are still getting poorer, and prices, and taxes never cease to keep rising. The US dollar has depreciated about 50% in only the last ten years or so.

    Jeff, I do believe global warming is happening, but you hit the nail on the head….Global financial meltdown is a complete possibility. The US depression in 1929 was 100% engineered by the wealthy. All of them exited the market long before it crashed. then they called in market loans, and bank loans, and the rest is history. After the market crashed, they bought it back at pennies on the dollar.

  3. April 18, 2008 9:54 pm

    Wow….Maybe the global warming scare wasn’t such a good idea….
    Jeff H.

  4. April 18, 2008 9:52 pm

    figure- we have been feeding millions of starving for years..instead of spending 1 million on a water treatment program that allows salt water to be safe to drink and use for agriculture..teach them farming..and allow them to grow their own wheat and crops..instead they have chosen to feed entire populations..not allowing any room for indepenence…we have created this..and made a pretty penny whilst doing it…many large agro corporations have made lots of money from “relief organizations” loop holes..its a racket- if they really wanted to help others- this problem would have been solved years ago..

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