Thursday, September 2, 2010

I told you to invest in canned goods

Brace yourself for the next big food shortage. Okay we in the US probably won't be starving but prepare to pay more, perhaps a lot more. Russia is still in the grips a major drought and has extended their ban on grain exports. Normally the fourth largest exporter of wheat in the world, not a kernel will be crossing the border for at least another year and they aren't promising anything after that.
A good deal of what the Russians export goes to countries where many people spend more than half their income for food. A thirty percent increase in the price of bread has already caused widespread rioting in Maputo and Mozambique leaving many dead and hundreds injured. Prices have surged 70% on European markets since January and have already exceeded the peak during the last food crisis that toppled governments in Haiti and Madagascar.

The truth is there is no shortage, not even close. Food will rot in the warehouses while people starve because Wall Street bankers and similar scum around the world want to suck piles of money out of hungry people and out of the rest of us too. Seeing starving people rioting will motivate the rest of us to not haggle over the price of canned goods and will increase the demand as those who can afford it will stock up. The last artificial shortage put a billion people into slow starvation and resulted in untold deaths.

The bankers don't even need to hoard the food themselves until it rots, they just need to control enough of the supply with contracts. This will panic various governments that can afford to buy food ahead of time to do the hoarding out of fear they won't be able to get food when they need it. If you want to stay in power you need to make sure the bread is on time and the circus is entertaining.

Wall Street bankers make out like bandits up and down the line. Not only will they reap huge rewards on commodity trading including derivatives that require nothing but pieces of paper to generate billions in profits, but they will make loans to governments and NGO's that are trying to deal with the "crisis" that Wall Street created. These loans are often backed by the taxpayer and the NGO's must waste money paying double or triple for grain and cut other worthwhile projects. Plus the more food they distribute the more this disrupts local markets and this cripples food production making a phony problem into a real problem.

In theory the world has twice as much food as it needs with obscene amounts wasted by gluttonous Westerners and from losses to rats and insects in the third world that eat or spoil half the food. But the greed of the "free" market is the biggest waste of food by creating uncertainty in the markets that constantly interferes in production. The same mega food corporations then uses the mess they've created to push out small producers in order to create efficiency in production further concentrating their control. There is far less objection to their Franken Foods if people are hungry or can be panicked into thinking they will be. The corporate model requires that a fairly high percentage of people are hungry all the time or they aren't maximizing profits. But the circuses are great aren't they?


BILL said...

Bruce: sure HAPPY I grow my own stuff,also keep honey bee's.My biggest problem is i love icecream daughter has chickens,get them wen i go over to IA,Egg prob solved!!I get raw milk local so waiting for DEC, 4 some great icecream. Fresh ice, good road salt,an honey 4 the sweeter. Keep it lit folks!! Hold my lamp Mr Alexandr

Anonymous said...

If the world has "twice as much food," where is it? I mean physically. I'm not being snide, I really want to know as a matter of educating myself.

Seems reasonable enough that the Russian drought has reduced supply, therefore no food in some places. Are you saying the United States and other Western Countries can make up the difference and get food to those places and are actively stopping it from happening in order to drive up the price of wheat?

It just seems unfathomable that that kind of evil could trump any semblance of a humanitarian impulse. If it's true, then our nation is not only evil, but we're full of BS with our telethon's for Haiti and panicked nail-biting concern for the fisherman of the gulf.

So it's a pretty serious charge you're levying and I'm wondering if you can provide evidence of (a) said available food supply in Western countries (in real numbers and showing where it's located), and (b) proof it's in an active lockdown in order to drive up prices.

Otherwise, I, and any other critical thinking reader, would be forced to see your tract as hyperbole at best and "yelling fire in a crowded room" at worst.

prairie2 said...

"twice as much" is the long accepted number and I explained the reasons for that. I didn't say you could easily deliver it right now. Doing away with the predators and launching a number of reforms would fix the problems. Nobody is starving because we can't produce enough, it's a broken system and the people who broke it are making billions from it.

ickenittle said...

Reforms? No, not more reforms! Capitalism makes sure everything is equatable and honest. Business regulates itself, remember?
Oh, and those infected eggs? Fugedaboutit.You just didn't cook em right.Probably didn't read the small print on the carton.
Oh, and that tube of hamburger you bought for your cook out contains ammonia injected trimmed fat that used to go to waste. But because we care! We made it safe for you to eat. See we don't need no regulation! Our reptile brains are fully developed and have replaced that pesky concience.

appsbyaaron said...

"The last artificial shortage put a billion people into slow starvation and resulted in untold deaths." What "artificial shortage" are you talking about? Where are your references or links to your information? Without some kind of reference or actual news article I can't really believe half the stuff you are saying.

"In theory the world has twice as much food as it needs with obscene amounts wasted by glutenous Westerners..." Need more info. In theory I'm the smartest person on the planet. And what about all the food and supplies we ship overseas that are confiscated by the armies and governments of those receiving the aid?? How is that the fault of the "glutenous Westerners"?

prairie2 said...

To appsbyaaron, read my article again. The world on average produces twice as much food as we need (nobody in the food industry disputes this) and we do need to do that to keep from having a famine anytime there is a bad harvest. The fact that as much as half is wasted is not my point, the point is that there are corporations making billions by creating a shortage in the "free" market when there isn't a shortage in the total supply, not even close. You bring up another place where food is wasted when food aid is "confiscated" further proving my point. If you want more info, use the Google, Mike Malloy isn't going to read a 40 page term paper on the air to assuage your incredulity about how the world really works. I'm trying to get people to inform themselves, not tell you what to think or prove anything to your personal satisfaction.