Making the Bad Worse

Deroy Murdock is unremittingly critical of government subsidization and mandates related to ethanol:

Poor Haitians rioted last week outside Port-au-Prince’s presidential palace, forcing Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis’s April 12 ouster. Haitians are sick and tired of food prices that are 40 percent higher than last summer’s. Some have resorted to eating cookies made of salt, vegetable oil, and dirt. That’s right: Dirt cookies.
Developing-world denizens are taking it to the streets with growling stomachs. In Bob Marley’s words, “A hungry man is an angry man.”
Climbing corn prices have ignited Mexican tortilla riots. Enraged citizens in Egypt and Pakistan — potential Muslim powder kegs — have also violently protested premium prices for basic staples. Similar instability has erupted from the Ivory Coast to Indonesia. Resurrecting the defeated “import substitution” model of yore, India and Vietnam are among the nations that lately have prohibited grain exports and imposed government price controls. Kazakhstan, Earth’s No. 5 wheat source, just halted wheat exports, hoping to hoard local supplies. One third of the global wheat market is now closed.
High oil prices and growing global food demand fan these flames, but government lit the match. Atop the European Union’s biofuels mandate (5.75 percent of gasoline and diesel by 2010; 10 percent expected in 2020), America’s 51-cent-per-gallon ethanol tax subsidy (2007 cost: $8 billion) and Congress’ 7.5-billion-gallon annual production quota (rising to 36 billion in 2022, including 15 billion from corn) have turned corn farms into cash cows. Diverting one quarter of U.S. corn to motors rather than to mouths has boosted prices 74 percent in a year.

In keeping with Monique’s post yesterday, I’d observe that environmentalism has become a mania, and as with other manias in history, it has the potential to cause grave harm to humanity. A food crisis is not a solution to the world’s problems… unless one believes that human beings are the problem.

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15 years ago

What’s that? Yet another moronic and misguided socialist policy is actually HARMING people? Wow. Whoda thunk.
Not to mention that it takes more fossil fuels to produce ethanol than they replace and therefore they’re a net LOSS anyways…

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
15 years ago

We have to shut up now and listen to pie throwing spoiled brat rich kids about how to save the planet-oil baron Gore has all the answers from his filth spewing private jet

15 years ago

Even the WSJ has a story today about how it’s time to start hoarding food.
Basically plan for a really long, really bad hurricane.
Then buy a gun if you haven’t already.

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