Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Politics of Rice 30

Is it, world food crisis, that serious? Yes, apparently. Here some excerpts from The Economist (The silent tsunami, April 19th):

Famine traditionally means mass starvation. The measures of today's crisis are misery and malnutrition. The middle classes in poor countries are giving up health care and cutting out meat so they can eat three meals a day. The middling poor, those on $2 a day, are pulling children from school and cutting back on vegetables so they can still afford rice. Those on $1 a day are cutting back on meat, vegetables and one or two meals, so they can afford one bowl. The desperate - those on 50 cents a day - face disaster.

2 comments:

Daniel Suryadarma said...

I may get lynched for this, but isn't this exactly what 'survival of the fittest' means?

We may still be a long way from fully understanding why some people move out of poverty while others remain mired in it, but there are suggestions that motivation may explain a good part of it. Those who are willing to work hard and fight for a better life will, in essence, achieve it.

Aco said...

Daniel, I'm not too worried with the upper two groups. It's the lowest unfortunate that concerns me. Because big part of this recent rapid change is due to unnatural cause: biofuel subsidy and mandates. I'll probably be less concerned if everything goes natural: when people stop planting wheat and instead go for corn for biofuel (as opposed to food) because the government provides big incentives in form of subsidy or manadates; not because corn-based biofuel has become more economically attractive relative to wheat (without superficial incentive from the government).