EU Blames India and China for Rise in Global Food Prices

Following the footsteps of President Bush, now the EU blames India and China for the increase in global food prices. According to the EU Commissioner for agriculture and rural development Mariann Fischer Boel, “the first elephant is the huge increase in demand from emerging countries like China and India. These countries are eating more meat. It takes about 4 kg of cereals to produce one kg of pork, and about two kg of cereals to make one kg of poultry meat. So a dietary shift towards meat in countries with populations of over 1 billion people each has an enormous impact on commodity markets.” However, this article does not quote any data to point to this growing trend of meat consumption in India and China. The article also quotes leading economist Jeff Sachs as saying that more than “third of the US maize crop in 2008 would be used to fill petrol tanks.” By the way, oil futures hit 123 dollars a barrel today. So, what is really driving global food prices, must be that the poor Indians and Chinese who live on less than a dollar a day are eating more. Hmm….we can’t have that happen. Can we?

Bushism, Global Food Prices and India–The Blame Game

No doubt global food prices have gone up. Last week big box food retailers and wholesalers started to ration key grains such as rice. The reasons for the sudden jump on food prices is complex. Particularly, speculation in the commodity prices, jump in fuel prices, and use of corn as a biofuel, drought, global warming, and increasing consumption are some of the reasons for the jump in commodity prices. It is completely surprising for high consuming United States to argue that the emergence of the Indian middle class as the reason for the jump in global food prices. The current US administration has indeed hit the pits and reached new lows. Really, rise in the middle class in India is the reason for jump in food prices? Really? I mean really? India is a net food exporter not an importer. You are unbelievable, lil bush and condi. Did you guys know that US agri-business is heavily subsidized by the American taxpayers so that corporations can make a tidy profit.

Outsourcing and Globalization-Tom Friedman

Here is Tom Friedman’s (New York Times and the author of World is Flat) take on the global outsourcing to India and its impact on globalization and Indian economic development. Take a look at the video:

Reflections on Karl Marx and Capitalism

Here is a series of interesting posts on the relevance of Karl Marx by noted economist and UC Berkeley Prof. Brad Delong and very interesting comments his posts on Marx have elicited. Students in my campus are equally attracted to Marxian thought. We even have the main square on the campus named Red Square.  Although students are less and less taken in by the complexity of Marxian thought.  They revert to reflexive criticism of modern capitalism, particularly globalization and corporate capitalism.  More than anything else I am extraordinarily tired of students believing that somehow “centralized state socialism” has provided all the answers and that Cuba has a great health-care system.  Why don’t they fly to Cuba to get their major medical ailments fixed?  Why head to Mass General?  I will answer this another day.But, for now let us turn to Karl Marx. Now, I am not going to say anything about Karl Marx himself, but turn you to the post by Prof. Brad Delong.

Essence of the Free Market System

Here is the essence of the free market system as articulated by Milton Friedman from the University of Chicago.