Western elites playing their “food card”?

From Benjamin Fulford at Weekly Geopolitical News and Analysis:

Image credit: Stephen Webster/Wonderful Machine via The Atlantic

“The end game for the Western elite is becoming clear now that food riots have once again begun erupting around the world. The elite has worked long and hard to ensure they controlled a monopoly on the world’s grain trade. They have also forced most countries that submitted to IMF “austerity programs” to give up food production in exchange for production of inedible commodities that can be traded for “dollars.” This has been part of their long term plan to conquer humanity by controlling their minds, their stomachs and their lives (through threat of violence).”

Weekly Geopolitical News and Analysis

And now some insights into the food security situation from Robert Felix (Ice Age Now.com) via Rense.com, from a story titled “U.S. food riots much closer than you think”

“Recently, I said “we’ll be fighting in the streets for food long before we’re buried in ice.” I say the same thing in my book Not by Fire but by Ice.

I just received an email from a reader that sums it up better than I did…

“I spent about thirty years working in commercial agribusiness. My main job was to purchase ingredients, mainly grain, for flour mills and animal feed mills. As a part of my job, I was forced to understand the US food supply system, its strengths and weaknesses. Over the years, I became aware of some things that nearly all Americans are completely unaware of. I am going to make a list of statements and then you will see where I’m going.

— 1% of the US population grows all of the food for all Americans.

— Nearly all Americans know essentially nothing about where the food they eat every day comes from. How it gets from the ground to them. And they don’t want to know about it. It’s cheap, as close as their local store, and of high quality. So no worries.

— The bulk of the food we eat comes from grain. Although they raise a lot of fruits and vegetables in California, Arizona, Florida, Oregon and Washington, those things don’t compose the main part of the average diet. Half of what a meat animal is raised on is grain so when you eat meat you are really eating grain. And, of course, we eat grain directly as bread, bagels, doughnuts, pasta, etc. Milk (and milk products like cheese) comes from cows that eat grain. A lot of grain. And the grain they eat is not produced where the cows are located.

— The lion’s share of grain produced in the US is done in a concentrated part of the US Midwest (Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri is the center of this area). The grain is moved to the coasts (where 70% of the population live) by only TWO (2) railroads.

— Nothing is stored for very long in a supermarket. One day grain travels (by rail) from Kansas to Seattle to a flour mill. The next day the flour mill makes the flour and sends it to a bakery. The next day the bakery makes it into bread (and other baked things) and the next day it is at the store where it is purchased that day. Nobody stores anything. The grain is produced and stored in the Midwest and shipped daily in a single railroad pipeline to the rest of America where the people live.

— Up until the 1980s there was a system that stored a lot of grain in elevators around the country. At one time, a whole year’s harvest of grain was stored that way. But since taxpayers were paying to store it, certain urban politicians engineered the movement of that money from providing a safety net or backup for their own food supply in order to give the money to various other social welfare things. So now, nothing is stored. We produce what we consume each year and store practically none of it. There is no contingency plan.

Now for my take on what this means for us and what it has to do with the topic you are publicizing.

— If a drought such as has lingered over other parts of the US where little grain is grown were to move over the grain-producing states in the Midwest where few people live, it
would seriously damage the food supply of the country and the apples of Washington, the lettuce of California, the grapefruit of Florida and the peanuts of Georgia won’t make up the difference because grain is the staff of life and most of it is grown in the Midwest.

— Americans are armed to the teeth. In LA people burned down their own neighborhoods to protest a court case.

— In order for riots to break out the whole food supply doesn’t have to be wiped out. It just has to be threatened sufficiently. When people realize their vulnerability and the fact that there is no short term solution to a severe enough drought in the Midwest they will have no clue as to what they should do.  Other nations can’t make up the difference because no other nation has a surplus of grain in good times let alone in times when they are having droughts and floods also. It takes two or three months to raise grain, yet people have to eat usually at least once a day, usually more than that.

–So, basically, we have in place a recipe for a disaster that will dwarf any other localized disasters imaginable. The important thing to note is that there is no solution for this event. There is no contingency plan for this. People living in certain parts of the US will fare better than others (which is another story) but those who live in big cities, where most of the US population live, are done for….”

Read it all on Rense.com

And now, a related story from Chrystia Freeman, writing for The Atlantic, “The Rise of the New Global Elite”:

“If you happened to be watching NBC on the first Sunday morning in August last summer, you would have seen something curious. There, on the set of Meet the Press, the host, David Gregory, was interviewing a guest who made a forceful case that the U.S. economy had become “very distorted.” In the wake of the recession, this guest explained, high-income individuals, large banks, and major corporations had experienced a “significant recovery”; the rest of the economy, by contrast—including small businesses and “a very significant amount of the labor force”—was stuck and still struggling. What we were seeing, he argued, was not a single economy at all, but rather “fundamentally two separate types of economy,” increasingly distinct and divergent.

This diagnosis, though alarming, was hardly unique: drawing attention to the divide between the wealthy and everyone else has long been standard fare on the left. (The idea of “two Americas” was a central theme of John Edwards’s 2004 and 2008 presidential runs.) What made the argument striking in this instance was that it was being offered by none other than the former five-term Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan: iconic libertarian, preeminent defender of the free market, and (at least until recently) the nation’s foremost devotee of Ayn Rand. When the high priest of capitalism himself is declaring the growth in economic inequality a national crisis, something has gone very, very wrong.

This widening gap between the rich and non-rich has been evident for years. In a 2005 report to investors, for instance, three analysts at Citigroup advised that “the World is dividing into two blocs—the Plutonomy and the rest”:

In a plutonomy there is no such animal as “the U.S. consumer” or “the UK consumer”, or indeed the “Russian consumer”. There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie.

Before the recession, it was relatively easy to ignore this concentration of wealth among an elite few. The wondrous inventions of the modern economy—Google, Amazon, the iPhone—broadly improved the lives of middle-class consumers, even as they made a tiny subset of entrepreneurs hugely wealthy. And the less-wondrous inventions—particularly the explosion of subprime credit—helped mask the rise of income inequality for many of those whose earnings were stagnant.

But the financial crisis and its long, dismal aftermath have changed all that. A multibillion-dollar bailout and Wall Street’s swift, subsequent reinstatement of gargantuan bonuses have inspired a narrative of parasitic bankers and other elites rigging the game for their own benefit. And this, in turn, has led to wider—and not unreasonable—fears that we are living in not merely a plutonomy, but a plutocracy, in which the rich display outsize political influence, narrowly self-interested motives, and a casual indifference to anyone outside their own rarefied economic bubble.

Through my work as a business journalist, I’ve spent the better part of the past decade shadowing the new super-rich: attending the same exclusive conferences in Europe; conducting interviews over cappuccinos on Martha’s Vineyard or in Silicon Valley meeting rooms; observing high-powered dinner parties in Manhattan. Some of what I’ve learned is entirely predictable: the rich are, as F. Scott Fitzgerald famously noted, different from you and me….”

Read it all on The Atlantic.

To continue with the theme, here’s an excerpt from a review of Raj Patel’s book “Stuffed and Starved” in the Guardian UK:

“There is a passage towards the end of Raj Patel’s book, Stuffed and Starved, which elevates its author to the rank of soothsayer. He wrote it at the beginning of 2007, well before the roar of anger about rising food prices that resounded across the planet and that he so uncannily and accurately predicted.

The passage begins with Patel’s summary of earlier sections of the book in which he depicts the wasteland, as he calls it, of the modern food system. It is a system that destroys rural communities, poisons poor city dwellers, is inhumane to animals, demands unsustainable levels of use of fossil fuels and water, contributes to global warming, spreads disease and limits our sensuousness and compassion. As if that litany wasn’t enough, he then adds this: “Perhaps most ironic, although it is controlled by some of the most powerful people on the planet, the food system is inherently weak. It has systemic and structural vulnerabilities that lie close to the surface of our daily lives. All it takes to expose them is a gentle jolt.”

When he wrote that passage, Patel had in mind his native Britain and its occasional history of food crises. There was the oil crisis of 1973 that prompted panic-buying in the shops. Or 2000, when protesting truckers blockaded the oil refineries and the shelves again came close to emptying. Those events inspired Patel to contemplate a startling question: “What would have happened,” he wrote, “had all the food on the shelves run out?”

He left that question dangling in the book. But he got thinking about it again as he was on a tour of Australia last August promoting the book. As he travelled from Perth to Melbourne and then Sydney he kept being asked the same question: how did the drought that by then was already biting hard on Australian farmers as well as on consumers who were suffering rising prices, fit into his critique of modern food production? As he faced his audiences, it began to look to Patel, in a tentative, creeping way, that the gentle jolt he had written about was really happening….”

Read it all on The Guardian

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