Bit late to the party, TIME magazine.
I wonder when, and if, the TV "news" here in America will report on this story.
Source: TIME magazine article
The headlines of the past month suggest that skyrocketing food prices are threatening the stability of a growing number of governments around the world. Ironically, it may be the very success of capitalism in transforming regions previously restrained by various forms of socialism that has helped create the new crisis.
No shit - all that free market crap is not so good in real life, eh, neocons?
World Bank president Robert Zoellick noted last week that world food prices had risen 80% over the past three years, and warned that at least 33 countries face social unrest as a result.
Where have we seen tha quote before?
Oh yeah - on this very blog.
The sociology of the food riot is pretty straightforward: The usually impoverished majority of citizens may acquiesce to the rule of detested corrupt and repressive regimes when they are preoccupied with the daily struggle to feed their children and themselves, but when circumstances render it impossible to feed their hungry children, normally passive citizens can very quickly become militants with nothing to lose. That's especially true when the source of their hunger is not the absence of food supplies but their inability to afford to buy the available food supplies.
No shit - people live in totalitarian dictatorships (that usually are propped up and supported by the USA, like Egypt, Haiti (calling Haiti a democracy at this point is an insult to the very idea of democracy), and many, many African nations. They get by, focusing on the daily struggle to survive.
Now, when even the very ability to survive is taken away from them, what will those desperate people do?
When all that stands between hungry people and a warehouse full of rice and beans is a couple of padlocks and a riot policeman (who may be the neighbor of those who're trying to get past him, and whose own family may be hungry too), the invisible barricade of private-property laws can be easily ignored.
Ahh that free market that solves all the world's problems, right, neocons?
The rapid industrialization of China and India over the past two decades — and the resultant growth of a new middle class fast approaching the size of America's — has driven demand for oil toward the limits of global supply capacity. That has pushed oil prices to levels five times what they were in the mid 1990s, which has also raised pressure on food prices by driving up agricultural costs and by prompting the substitution of biofuel crops for edible ones on scarce farmland. Moreover, those new middle class people are eating a lot better than their parents did — particularly more meat. Producing a single calorie of beef can, by some estimates, require eight or more calories of grain feed, and expanded meat consumption therefore has a multiplier effect on demand for grains. Throw in climate disasters such as the Australian drought and recent rice crop failures,
Again, who FIRST made these points:
"Substitution of biofuel crops for edible ones on scarce farmland",
"Producing a single calorie of beef can, by some estimates, require eight or more calories of grain feed, and expanded meat consumption therefore has a multiplier effect on demand for grains.",
"Throw in climate disasters such as the Australian drought and recent rice crop failures"
Oh yeah - perhaps this obscure blog did?