THE MOST SEVERE FAMINE EVER?
F*ck American conservatives! Just f*ck the rotten murdering bastards.
My wife is Filipino. A main food staple for the Philippines is rice. What we pay to buy food for her family back home has tripled in the last six months.
People are now starving to death in the Philippines. Mainly homeless people now, but people nonetheless. Sure beggars are still allowed to beg, but doing it no longer keeps them alive. They used to look to those one or two notches above them on the economic scale for help, but that source is either going or gone because of the cost of food. The well to do? They won’t give the time of day. They live in walled compounds, travel in guarded comfort, and have their security provided by the government that they’ve bought and paid for. The middle class? What middle class?
Seen the stories the past month or so about worker riots in places like Egypt, Bangladesh, Haiti and other places I didn’t pay enough attention to because it was only the news I’ve heard in the past few days that got me to properly focus? Worker riots in poor countries are always another way of saying that people can’t feed their families, because billions of people do modern labor on this planet with no purpose other than just that. With a full stomach, people will put up with even grave injustices. Facing starvation, any minor event can be the spark that sets the planet on fire.
Food prices are spiraling upward here, and we grumble about it. In fact, it’s even to the point where an occasional economist will point out that one factor deepening the current recession is that the cost of food is draining off discretionary income. And me, I was shocked when I went into Costco yesterday and couldn’t buy our favorite rice brand because it is no longer even on the market.
On the way to Costco I had the radio on a random news report and heard a small piece about world rice prices. The world largely depends on India and Thailand for rice exports, and India just put a moratorium on selling rice outside the country, to make sure that it can feed its own people. This move caused rice traders in Thailand to push the market price up by 40% in one week.
Oil prices skyrocket on us, and what do we do? Park the car, take the bus (for less money, I might add), and watch our economy slowly sink. Not pretty, but not something that pushes us into the streets.
Rice becomes unaffordable in the third World, and what happens? In Haiti, people eat mud pies to kill the hunger, and the starvation still takes them. In the Philippines the homeless eat nothing and die, while others avert their eyes and say a prayer of blessing that that isn’t their family today. In other countries people protest more vigorously, or less vigorously, but ultimately are still left with prayer as their last resort.
One planet, pushing seven billion people, and do you know the regulatory structure we have for dealing with world food supply problems? Other than that blood sucking scum of a doctrine called “supply and demand” we have a U.N. agency that gathers food donations where available, and takes them for distribution to where they might be needed. And now we face a situation where almost no one has food to spare, and almost everyone desperately needs more, and all we can do is acknowledge how pitifully prepared we are to deal with any true world crisis.
As for supply and demand? If we are dumb enough to put that conservative a*shole McCain in office, he will point out that the free market ended up working just fine. That is, “The demand for food exceeded the supply until enough poor people died that balance was reached again. Now let’s get down to truly serious issues, and figure out who we need to attack next to make sure that we get the respect from the rest of the planet that we, as Americans, are entitled to.”
American conservatives have battled human progress for at least my whole life. They have bitched and moaned about us being able to create a system to care for even our own. With them, it has always been survival of the fittest, with the fittest being those who survived, and f*ck everyone else.
And now the entire planet faces a potential crisis that we have nothing better than decent odds of stumbling through. A crisis that need not even have been. Planning sets priorities, but Democratic planning never sets as a priority the promotion of the welfare of the small minority who have far too much of every resource necessary for survival, while acting like most of us matter, really, not at all. Democratic planning, Democratic governance, knows, at a minimum, what constitutes the necessities of life, and assures both sufficient production, and adequate distribution of those necessities.
Our standard garden variety American conservatives, of course, damn all planning. They know allegiance only to the flawed god of supply and demand. They possess the damnable ability to sacrifice any consequence to this supremely flawed “principle”, and will bet every penny of their vast fortunes on its ultimate planetary dominance.
Goddamn those f*cking bastards!