Hunger

Hunger is a problem the world over.  And while it shouldn’t happen anywhere, when I read about it here in the US it just makes me sick.  We have so much money in this country and so many fucking rich people, that to see the other side is just sad.  And the worst part is that it doesn’t just affect those that are homeless.  People that have homes and jobs are still struggling to get enough to eat.

Three articles (two of which are online) have highlighted this recently.  The first was in the NY Times.  It was a piece about how food stamp usage is way up especially because so many people are out of work.  But even those that are still working are having a hard time making ends meet.

A more recent piece was in the Washington Post.  This one is specifically addressing the problem of hunger among children here in the US.  And again, the Obama administration has said that it wants to tackle this problem but it really hasn’t done anything to make the situation better.  We need less talk and more action.  Unfortunately, it seems that Obama is all about just talking.

And finally, in another excellent piece by Chris Williams in the International Socialist Review, he asks broader questions about hunger, population and the environment.  Unfortunately, this piece isn’t online yet, but it is in the Nov-Dec 2009 issue of ISR and should be online in a month or so.

Of course, as I have said before, I think the problem of hunger is one of the biggest black marks against capitalism.  People are not hungry because we don’t have enough food (in the US or in the world).  Especially in the US where we have an epidemic of obesity, it is impossible to argue that we don’t have enough food.  The real problem is distribution.  People are hungry because they can’t afford food.  This is really a travesty.  No one should be allowed to go hungry simply because they are poor.  Unfortunately, like everything else, food is for sale.  Food is sold for a profit.  Without a profit to be made, then there would be no food sales at all.  Food is not provided to those that are hungry, it is sold to those that can afford it.

Just as with healthcare, it is amazing to me how we can turn everything into a commodity.  If you are sick but can’t afford insurance, too bad for you.  If you are hungry, but can’t afford food, well, it sucks to be you.  There is something perversely wrong with this system.  Until we realize that not everything is or should be a commodity, we will continue down this path to perdition.

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One Response to “Hunger”

  1. rhinoforthehungry Says:

    Very well said. The obesity problem comes when the cheapest available foods are unhealthy, fast food shit that is readily available everywhere. Capitalism is an upper class mechanism to keep the upper class up. More exclusive upper class is the better it works. So I totally agree capitalism not only sucks it lacks morals, compassion, and caring for others.

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