Are they rioting in Africa?
Check – they are rioting in Africa! Toppling governments in Tunesia? Check, government toppled. Riots and demonstrations also in Albania, Belarus, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Ireland, Egypt, Yemen, Zambia… Even the British Royal Family attacked in their limo after being booed and jeered by a mob chanting "off with their heads."
If nothing else disturbs you while you buy your NFLX today – that last one should. Rich folks in an industrialized nation trying to go to the theater in their limo and being attacked by an angry mob. How long before we (in the top 1%) need to armor our cars and hire bodyguards? Is this part of the Fed’s plans to create jobs – make the top 1% so much richer than the bottom 99% that we’ll need to hire guards just to go shopping at Whole Foods as we drive past the bread lines?
“We’re in an era where the world and nations ignore the food issue at their peril,” World Food Bank’s Josette Sheeran said in an interview yesterday at the agency’s Rome headquarters. Risks of global instability are rising as governments cut subsidies that help the poor cope with surging food and fuel costs to ease budget crunches.
The global recession has eroded government aid that helped people in poorer countries afford bread, cooking oils and other staples. The U.N.’s Food Price Index surged to 214.8 in December, exceeding the previous record in 2008 when rising costs and fears of shortages sparked riots from Haiti to Egypt. More than 100 people have died this month in protests in Tunisia against food inflation, unemployment and alleged corruption, according to the U.N.
Michael Klare writes: "Already, combined with staggering levels of youth unemployment and a deep mistrust of autocratic, repressive governments, food prices have sparked riots in Algeria and mass protests in Tunisia that, to the surprise of the world, ousted long-time dictator President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his corrupt extended family. And many of the social stresses evident in those two countries are present across the Middle East and elsewhere. No one can predict where the next explosion will occur, but with food prices still climbing and other economic pressures mounting, more upheavals appear inevitable. These may be the first resource revolts to catch our attention, but they won’t be the last."
Let’s begin with food, the most important and volatile