UN Chief Notices that Food Costs Money

The cause of hunger in the world is not a lack of food but poverty. Poverty is a consequence of dysfunctional economies suffering under corruption, dictatorships, and fascism. The same factors that contribute to poverty also contribute to global insecurity that drives up energy prices.

You want to drive down food prices? Then create conditions that contribute to global security and lower energy costs. The reason why energy, specifically oil, is important in this is that fertilizers are predominately based on petroleum and of course the logistics of food is entirely dependent on oil. Lower oil prices mean lower food production and logistic costs.

I would also like to see the UN get more forcefully behind biotech as a proven way of enabling healthy farm production in regions that have hostile climates and lack sufficient water for traditional crops. People are often fond of saying that solutions come from a portfolio of options, it’s time for them to embrace the proven options that they don’t agree with as well as the ones they do.

It is somewhat shocking that UN Chief Ban would display such ignorance about the role that economic theories have in global trade. Just like how the laws of physics serve as predictors for behaviors in the physical world, economic theories serve as operating principles for global market and to ignore them is to court disaster. The other contributing factor for high food prices right now is that commodities like corn and soybeans, a core food stock, are being shifted to biofuels because government tax incentives and market prices make these commodities far more valuable as energy than as food. In effect by encouraging more production the UN is playing market rules to what they determine to be a positive outcome, lower prices.

“We need a real world and not the world of economic theories,” Ban said. “I will work on this right now with a sense of urgency.”

[From UN chief warns world must urgently increase food production]

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