Wednesday :: May 16, 2007

Relentlessly Rising Food & Gas Prices Batter American Consumer

by paradox

The Los Angeles Times reports this morning food prices rose nationally by 3.9% with SoCal particularly hard hit on a 5.7% spike. Drought and freeze came with bad timing in late winter, while relentless fuel costs and an amazing 12 month 46% increase in corn drove up prices.

Associated Press reports record price surges for gasoline, with some regional markets actually topping out at over $4.00 a gallon with June not even here yet. The tragedy of Nigeria and more bad timing with refinery outages were cited as the main factors for the rise, the festering war in the Middle East always anxiously tugging the market in a background hum of worry.

The classic cloak of soft American propaganda is almost always omission, in what isn’t reported with the flashy graphics, tables and percentage symbols all neatly in place. Missing in both the AP and LA pieces is that for almost all of the Bush presidency wages haven’t been keeping up inflation (even low inflation), so just when “consumers” were starting to earn a little more money food and gas prices will crush the brief gain. Americans will start to get poorer again, month after month. Starting now.

A lot of Americans are hungry, even though our newspapers and magazines rarely say so. Food banks abound everywhere, desperate for more resources as they try to salve the wounds of human hunger in the present, all that Econ talk of the long run never spoken in a grim toil of duty. Now it’s going to get worse, a lot worse, but there won’t be any stories about bills in Sacramento or DC that would do anything about it, or even writers saying something should be done so our people can eat.

The United States chose a policy of belligerent imperial capitalism in protecting oil resources in the Middle East with wars and the greatest military the world will ever see. The spectacular failure of this choice is never reported or written about, of course not. We could have chosen conservation and independence but let ego, arrogance and laziness lead us intro disastrous violence where prices spiral upward relentlessly, evil lying and death are everywhere while everyone hates us.

One would think that the story of all that Reagan scoffing at regulated automobile fleet efficiency standards might warrant a few words or two now that we are at this disastrous energy junction of global warming, hatred, war and inflation is upon us 20 years later, but no, the only mention of Reagan is how much the current creepy crop of 2008 GOP candidates fell over themselves in their recent televised adulation of him.

To be an American so often means to work 50 hours a week getting poorer every minute, hurting from some failure in our health care system, anxiously hungry in a cruel environment that mocks you in its blatant televised opulence. Corporate “success” to the world of instant layoffs and berserk maiming freeways that warm the planet often don’t seem to a sufficient payoff for all the years of sacrifice for the grand vistas of achievement in American capitalism.

One hears all these snide comments about blogger profanity or anonymity, one sees The Washington Post do everything it can to stifle liberal bloggers, but it’s 0530 on a Wednesday morning and I’m here. Here because The Washington Post and the rest of the nauseating corporate American journalism corps will report rising food and gas prices but won’t tell the story.

Ultimately, when one gets down to it, of appalling widespread human American misery in hunger, pain, toil and anxiety that did not have to exist. It did not have to be with this way, this country and society made these choices of vicious capitalism and energy consumption with no regard to workers or the environment, and we can do one hell of a lot better.

This blog and this American aren’t shutting up for anybody in demanding that the Democratic Party always knows its mission is to keep the real story of what happens to real Americans alive when food and gas prices rise, and how relatively easy it is to vastly improve in these critical human areas. As long as corporate journalism refuses to tell the story and the internet exists some American always will, somewhere.

paradox :: 5:42 AM :: Comments (27) :: Digg It!