chapter  5
33 Pages

World hunger, world markets

WithJoseph N. Belden, Vincent P. Wilber, Enid Kassner, Rus Sykes, Ed Cooney, Lynn Parker, Alan Sanders, Cynthia Schneider, Marsha Simon

Given the fact that human beings must eat to live, the tragedy of world hunger and the poverty which causes it is intimately related to distortions in national and international systems governing the production and distribution of food. Among the great unmitigated tragedies of this interdependent world are mass human hunger and the near breakdown of equitable systems of international trade which could help to bring it under control. Most American food produced for export and its sale abroad is subsidized, directly or indirectly, in a myriad of different ways, by the US government. When the issue of government supports is discussed in macro-economic terms, the results can be misleadingly cheering, the illusion being that because food exports improve the US trade balance they must be good also for American family farmers. If government and the big grain traders are the ruling gods of agricultural exports, then Public Law 480, also known as Food for Peace, is their prophet.