Friday, May 02, 2008

Food Crisis: Praise for George W. Bush

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I like to give credit where credit's due an' right now, I'm gonna tip my tuque in the unlikely direction of Merkan President George W. Bush. Now, I'm gonna set aside all the dumbass stuff Dubya's done like waste a half a trillion dollars on a fiasco in EyeRack or oversee the collapse of the Merkan banking and housing sectors or suspend human rights in a trumped up War on Terror. Fer just a few minutes, I'm gonna look the other way and pat ol' Dubya on the back.

Yesterday, Bush asked Congress to dole out another $770 million in food aid. The Merkans already pumped an extra $200 million into food for the hungry a coupla weeks ago. Before that, they added an additional $350 million to the $1.6 billion the Merkans put into food aid every year.

The World Food Program has been asking for $755 million to get it over the hump in this food crisis. A coupla days ago, Canada stepped up with an additional $50 million on top of the $185 million we'd already pledged.

So, I say good on you, Georgie W, fer diggin' in and findin' that extra $770 million. It oughta go a long way in stavin' off a few million deaths by starvation.

Okay, now I'm gonna quit lookin' the other way.

When we talk about $770 million bucks, it sure sounds like a whole lotta dough. You might ask yerself what George Dubya coulda bought with that money if he hadn't decided to feed a few million hungry people. Well, here's one thing he coulda bought. He coulda bought one more day of war fightin' in EyeRack.

That's right, boys'n'girls, the Merkans spend over $700 million bucks in EyeRack every single day, 365 days a year.

Golly-gosh gee whiz, do you figger the war in EyeRack might be somehow connected to the food crisis?

Hmmm... could be... All that war spendin' without any ROI is one of the biggest reasons the US dollar's in the pooper. The low US dollar is what's drivin' up the price of oil. The high fuel costs affect transportation and grocery prices that are a part of the reason so many Merkans can't keep up with their mortgage payments. And, the collapse of the US mortgage market has driven speculators into commodities. And, along with high oil prices, commodities speculation has been another big factor in the food crisis. High oil prices have created a demand for biofuels. Biofuels are competing with traditional grains and are driving up the cost of food.

Now, everybuddy knows that hungry people are angry people. Even George W. Bush knows that. The Merkans got their CIA intelligence fellers an' gals stalkin' 'round every hellhole on the planet. I reckon main CIA headquarters' phones been ringin' off the hook the past few months. There's been food riots and violence in countries all over the world. Anybuddy don't think the CIA had somebuddy in most of those countries reportin' back to Washington?

The food crisis threatens to unleash a wave of violence that would multiply the EyeRack and Afghanistan and African and South American conflicts to worldwide chaos. The Merkans don't have enough riot police in their mighty military to quell that sorta new world disorder. The smartest strategy would be to make sure the poor bastards don't get so hungry that they storm the Bastille.

So, I'm givin' praise to George W. Bush for strategy. I can't say fer sure whether it's strategy dressed up like charity or charity with a strategic motive. It's a welcome additional $770 million whyever it got there.



Mark Richard Francis said...

I have to wonder if this aid doesn't come with strings attached.

The US has a habit of requiring that the aid money be spent on American suppliers.

Also, in the past, aid's been announced, but not delivered.

sassy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sassy said...

JimBobby - it does look good but like Mark, I am skeptical, especially about the strings attached.

Bill Doskoch said...

The Globe and Mail's Stephanie Nolen had a great series of stories in February about how U.S. cotton subsidies hurt African farmers.

Dubya is also one of the world's great boosters of corn-based ethanol.

See where I'm going with this?

JimBobby said...

Thankee fer chimin' in, everybuddy. I reckon there are likely some strings attached like Mark and Sassy say. In Canada, we are just in the legislative process of removing a requirement that federal aid money be spent primarily on Canadian-grown food.

Policies, subsidies and trade regulations are partly to blame, Bill, as are a few other big factors. One problem when there is a multiplicity of causes is that those responsible for one of those causes can correctly claim that their contribution is not the dominant factor. Then, they point at another "minority shareholder" who can also deflect blame the very same way.

My own study and analysis leads me to believe that unbridled, amoral speculation on the commodities markets is the biggest culprit. But, even that factor may not be responsible for the bulk of the price increases. It may be a 49% blameholder.

BTW, Bush is taking a lot of heat in India for blaming the Indian middle-class's ability to improve its diet. At the same time, he (and Canada, too) is continuing the headlong rush to agrofuels.


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