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Prophetic heed on the food crisis

*from my blog*

Was Tilford Gaines - "former vice president and economist of Manufacturers Hanover Trust" (now known as the Chase Manhatten Bank or the investment firm JPMorgan Chase Bank) - an economic prophet? Does his words in Protected content us insight on what to expect in light of the current food crisis that is experienced in the developing world?

In Communication and Cultural Domination, Herbert Schiller quotes Tilford Gaines:

“To return to the fundamentals, the question that the conservative economists are increasingly asking themselves is whether or not the market enterprise system that has worked so well for us [that will be the US] for Protected content is, in fact, a viable system. As we look realistically at the history of the world during this Protected content period we see it spotted with episodes of severe depression – the Protected content was by no means our first serious depression – with periods of growth interspersed between these depressions. Under the political autocracy that has characterized the world governments through most of the time until the Second World War, the bargaining position of the workers who are most sadly affected by theses depressions has been weak that there have not been, as a general rule, serious political disorders accompanying the depressions. We must now ask ourselves if the twenty-five to thirty years since the Second World War might not be an unusual period. We have prided ourselves during this episode upon having solved the problems of instability that have plagued capitalist economies throughout their history. But in fact have we not just been living during a period of unusual stability supported on the one hand by a strong U.S. economy and on the other hand by cheap natural resources from developing countries? If the worst should happen, if the recovery is only a temporary interlude during which price inflation will once again accelerate leading to a more serious recession in only a few years, and if this is accompanied by food shortages around the world, what might the prospects be within nations and among nations for not only economic stability but international political harmony?” (p.19)

Let’s see: Price of crude oil is now over $120 a barrel (“price inflation”). US perhaps already in recession. Mix in the food crisis (“food shortages”)...increasing instability! More war on the horizon? Like the world need any more of it.

Like a friend of mine mentioned over the weekend: If the Food and Agriculture Organization did not see this coming, then they are indeed incompetent. Senegal’s president suggested that FAO should be dismantled. I cannot help but to agree.

By the way, didn’t Fidel Castro warn the world of an impending food crisis in Protected content ? Makes you think...

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