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 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 24-Apr-08
Food rationing comes to the United States

Web Log - April, 2008

Food rationing comes to the United States

After years of price rises, mainstream media is finally recognizing there's a problem.

Related Articles

Food Prices
Food rationing comes to the United States: After years of price rises, mainstream media is finally recognizing there's a problem.... (24-Apr-08)
Food panics and riots spread around the world: The unending sharp price wheat, corn and rice prices are destabilizing nations.... (9-Apr-08)
UN World Food Program to institute food rationing: Surging food prices are causing food riots around the world.... (26-Feb-08)
Wheat price rises blocked by commodities market price increase limits: American wheat stockpiles are lowest since just after World War II.... (9-Feb-08)
Wheat prices surge above $10 per bushel, sparking little concern: World food stocks dwindling rapidly, according to the UN.... (23-Dec-07)
UN expert calls biofuels a "crime against humanity": Separately, Oxfam says that biofuels won't work, and they "trample" poor people.... (7-Nov-07)
United Nations warns of social unrest as food prices continue meteoric climb: With world wheat prices now up 60% since January, countries are panicking... (08-Sep-07)
World wheat prices up 30% since May on panic buying: Wheat prices hit an all-time record high, as stocks are low, and poor weather... (25-Aug-07)
The global warming fad is becoming the enemy of food production.: Food prices are continuing to increase sharply around the world.... (16-Jul-07)
Price of food is skyrocketing in India and China: In fact, crop prices are increasing around the world,... (11-Apr-07)
In Mexico, violent crime from drug cartels increases with tortilla prices: After Acapulco incident, Canada may advise citizens not to travel to Mexico.... (8-Feb-07)
UN World Food Program will cut Darfur humanitarian rations in half: This continuing genocide is a very sad situation, but it can't be stopped.... (29-Apr-06)
In a new bizarre move, North Korea demands an end to U.N. food aid: The famine-stricken country officially told the UN World Food Program... (26-Sep-05)
Food prices continue to increase dramatically around the world: Hunger, poverty and starvation are spreading to increasing masses of people around the world,... (10-Aug-05)
China appears to be approaching a major civil war : Unrest is spreading, and economic disparities make China a textbook case for a massive civil war in the making (16-Jan-2005)
Green Revolution vs Malthus Effect: Despite the "Green Revolution," world population continues to grow faster than food production. This is one of the fundamental reasons why wars occur. (28-Jun-2004)

It has been a mystery to me for years how the world could possibly be so oblivious to the growing problem of food scarcity and higher food prices. I first wrote about this in 2004 in "Green revolution vs the Malthus effect," and the mystery has been growing since then as the problem has gotten worse every year. Food prices have been growing faster than inflation since 2000, and started spiking rapidly by 2007.

The "Malthus Effect" is a term that I coined for the phenomenon that population grows faster than the food supply, resulting in genocidal wars. Thomas Roberts Malthus first wrote about this in 1798, but he made a mistake in concluding that food scarcity and rising food prices would cause famine. What I call the "Malthus effect" corrects this error by concluding that food scarcity and rising food prices would cause genocidal war, as populations compete for scarce resources.

It's somewhat of a cultural breakthrough that this past week, BBC, CNN, CNBC and other major media channels finally devoted a great deal of air time to the worldwide food crisis.

What really has caught everyone's attention is that major warehouse clubs Sam's Club and Costco are in the process of limiting sales of rice, and considering the same for flour and for some oils.

The motivation for rationing is that large purchasers, especially restaurant chains, are hoarding large quantities of rice because the price keeps on increasing. The world price of rice has more than doubled in the last year, and increased 47% just this year. Prices are expected to continue increasing at least until 2009. And so large purchasers are hoarding to save money, resulting in rationing.

In fact, food scarcity and food prices are creating destabilization all of the world. Haiti's government fell last week because of rising food prices, and rice-producing countries, including China, India, Vietnam and Egypt, have been limiting or forbidding exports.

The world's largest rice exporter, Thailand, is also considering export bans to prevent internal shortages. The World bank is warning that if Thailand reduces exports, then panic buying may be triggered throughout Asia.

World Vision International, which provides food relief in 35 countries, said it can no longer provide rations to 1.5 million of the poor people it fed last year because of soaring costs.

This is affecting everyone in the world, creating pools of hunger and starvation in many different places.

If the situation is so bad that the United States, the best-fed country in the world, is forced to resort to food rationing, then you can just imagine what must be happening in the developing world.

It's only a matter of time before one of those pools of people turns into a hungry mob, and then an angry mob.

Reggae isn't my favorite kind of music, but this video of Bob Marley's "Them Belly Full" is really great, and carries an important message:

    Them belly full but we hungry
    A hungry mob is an angry mob
    A rain a fall but the dirt it tough
    A yot a yook but the yood no 'nough

You're gonna dance to Jah music, dance We're gonna dance to Jah music, dance Forget your troubles and dance Forget your sorrows and dance Forget your sickness and dance Forget your weakness and dance

Cost of living get so high Rich and poor they start to cry Now the weak must get strong They say, oh what a tribulation

Them belly full but we hungry A hungry mob is an angry mob A rain a fall but the dirt it tough A pot a yook but the yood no 'nough

We're gonna chuck to Jah music, chuckin' We're gonna chuck to Jah music, chuckin' Chuckin', chuckin', chuckin', chuckin'

Belly full but them hungry A hungry mob is an angry mob A rain a fall but the dirt it tough A pot a cook but the food no 'nough A hungry man is an angry man A rain a fall but the dirt it tough A pot a yook but the yood no 'nough A rain a fall but the dirt it tough A pot a cook but the yood no 'nough

(24-Apr-08) Permanent Link
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