Saturday, June 25

What has grown the most during the pandemic? Multi-million dollar bank balances and queues at food banks | Arwa mahdawi


Is food made of gold now? Because it’s starting to look like this. Every time I go to my (very inelegant) local New York supermarket, I am amazed at how expensive groceries have become. Prices seem to go up every month; in fact, food prices rose 3.5% compared to last spring, according to the US Department of Agriculture.While that may not seem extreme, it adds up. And it will go on. “People will have to get used to paying more for food,” said a food distribution expert. Bloomberg Recently. “It’s only going to get worse.”

The United States, of course, is not the only place where filling your belly starts to cost an arm and a leg. Food prices are skyrocketing worldwide, leading millions to hunger. In Nigeria, food inflation increased to 22.95% in March. In Indonesia, tofu is now 30% more expensive That the last year. In Lebanon, where almost half the population lives in poverty, food is roughly five times as expensive as in 2019. In Russia, food prices increased 7.7% during the last year. In the UK, the pandemic has increased food insecurity; up to 10% of people now use food banks.

There are numerous reasons why food prices are rising around the world, ranging from the climate crisis and a surge in raw material prices to supply chain problems caused by the pandemic. But please do not expect a drastic increase in food prices and hunger in the world is a diabolically complex problem that no one can solve. To quote Mahatma Gandhi: “There is enough on this planet for everyone’s needs, but not for everyone’s greed.” In New York, there are at least three empty houses for every homeless person. In the US, food waste is estimated to be between 30-40% of the food supply; while last year, almost one in four households experienced food insecurity. I live in the richest country in the world and yet every week I see people from my neighborhood queuing at food banks. Every week, those lines get longer. Which is strange because the last time I checked, America was a capitalist country. And from everything I’ve heard, socialism brings bread lines and capitalism brings efficiency and prosperity! Apparently someone forgot to say this to starving Americans.

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Of course, the wonderful thing about capitalism is that one man’s disaster is another’s economic opportunity. In the past, rising food prices were attributed to banks speculating Farm products. Which is very profitable. In 2012, Goldman Sachs made around $ 400 million (£ 251 million) from food speculation; around the same time, tens of millions of people fell into poverty due to food prices. I don’t know how much banks are making from the current food crisis, but I do know that thanks to the coronavirus crisis, the 1% are richer than ever. Billionaires collectively earned $ 1.1 billion in 2020; they are now almost 40% richer than they were before the pandemic. While large swaths of the world don’t know how they’re going to put food on the table, billionaires don’t seem to know what to do with all their money. Jeff Bezos is reported to be buying a $ 500 million superyacht; the ship is so big that you need yours “support yacht”.

Do you think billionaires like Bezos ever stop and worry about the fact that huge inequality will inevitably lead to social unrest? Do you think they are concerned that as food prices continue to skyrocket, people are going to be so hungry that they will think about eating the rich? Yes, of course they are concerned about this. Why else do you think the richest men in the world are so obsessed with going into space? The world has enough resources to feed us all, but for some people, there is no such thing as enough.

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