Food Shortages and Subsidies

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With the increase in demand from China for things like meat, milk and rice, we are seeing food prices skyrocket and even food shortages. It’s funny to think that there can be food shortages when governments in Europe and the U.S. heavily subsidize agriculture. In the past twelve months in Spain, for example, the price of milk has increased 30%. Something like 40% of the total EU budget goes to agriculture — that means that consumers are paying twice (first through taxes and second at the cash register).

Nevertheless, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. If the wealthy nations don’t react quickly and change their agricultural policies, China may just be the opportunity that developing nations in Africa and Latin America have been waiting for to finally be able to compete in a global market.

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4 Comments

Filed under Essays

4 responses to “Food Shortages and Subsidies

  1. ReWrite

    this is a really serious issue that deserves a lot of attention. It isn’t only China, but countries all over the world are having huge food shortages and hoarding their own food.

    Bill Moyers, as you probably saw, did an excellent job covering these stories.

    This stuff is much more important than the Obama/Clinton nonsense (neither of which will address these issues) that the media is cleaning up on.

  2. Today, The Washington Post says egg prices are up 35 percent in the U.S., with milk and bread not far behind… But… what happens in Africa?

  3. eric

    Exactly, farmers in the rich countries are paid to throw food away or not grow it at all, meanwhile weaker economies that could compete on price can’t because of trade protectionism. The end result is that everyone loses: increased prices, food shortages and continued poverty.

  4. ReWrite

    And the leaders of the US and Europe refer to this as “Free Trade” and/or a “Free Market.”

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