Jul 30, 2012
The worst drought in half a century will drive up food prices in 2013, the USDA says.
Surprise surprise, food companies are already using the drought as an excuse to drive prices up now.
It’s a stark reminder of how a natural disaster is made worse by the capitalist economy.
Many farmers are already being damaged by the drought: 88% of the current corn crop is being grown in drought-stricken areas. Soybeans and other crops are almost as hard-hit. Cattle farmers who no longer can afford the feed are “culling” their herds – selling off part or most of them.
It means more and more smaller and medium-sized farmers will be driven into ruin, losing their farms to the banks and forced to sell at rock-bottom prices to large, corporate farms. And those corporations will turn right around and sell their produce at even more inflated prices to consumers who can barely afford them.
People with a lower income spend a higherpercentage of that income on necessities like food – so even the 4 or 5% price increase predicted by the USDA will hit working-class consumers much harder than wealthier ones.
Unemployed workers can afford that more expensive food even less. And food prices are expected to rise even higher internationally than they will in the United States.
Capitalism automatically assumes that working people will be the ones to pay for a natural disaster – while the wealthy make money off of it!
Enough of this! Let the capitalists, who benefit from every twist and turn of the capitalist economy, be the ones to pay. Our wages need to be linked directly to the real increase in prices. When prices go up, our wages should go up. Immediately!