The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Food Prices Are Rising

Aug 24, 2020

Nearly every type of food has become more expensive since the pandemic started. Compared with this time last year, prices for beef are up 25.1%, eggs are up 12.1%, and pork is up 11.8%, as reported by the Federal Government. Already-rich owners of the food related businesses are churning very fast profits out of their scheme and getting richer with every passing day.

A handful of companies control the meat industry, starting from very large animal farms and ending with very large meat processing plants. Fruit and vegetable farming is also concentrated in highly industrialized, very large farms, and dominated by a few companies. This monopoly power of a few companies pushes the food prices higher; and the pandemic provides these food companies the excuse to further jack up the prices. This year, when these companies could not sell their products to the restaurants closed due to the pandemic, they destroyed the food on the farm grounds or in the meat and dairy processing plants to keep prices high.

Workers lost their jobs and stable income in large numbers this past year. Available jobs are scarce; and when available, they are low-paying temporary jobs. Under such dire conditions, drastically rising food prices are a real burden for workers. More than 1 in 6 adults were food insecure in May, according to an analysis by the Urban Institute.

That is, workers have been cornered with lack of good income, while the society is very rich; and at the same time, also with the skyrocketing food prices, while the food is plenty. The root cause of these maladies is the capitalist society organized by the rich for their profits.

Public control of these few companies in order to feed the needy, and confiscating food from the companies before they destroy it are sacrilegious acts in the capitalist system. So, the food is produced in large quantities, but it is kept from the workers’ reach.