Caseworkers Fear For Their Safety
UPDATED: 5:56 pm EST November 16, 2009 ClickOnDetroit.com
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan caseworkers who deal with food stamps and other aid programs say they have never been so overwhelmed — or so worried about their safety.
Some clients have begun taking their anger out on the very people who are offering help.
One frustrated client hurled a piece of concrete through the window of a welfare agency. Another threw her car keys at a worker before being escorted away.
The dismal economy has caused record demand for food assistance and public health care, forcing impoverished clients to wait hours for help in crowded office buildings. To make matters worse, a troublesome new computer system is also causing delays.
The state says it is short 700 full-time field workers. It will be tough to bring in reinforcements given Michigan’s budget problems.
The price of food in the United States has risen 28% over the past year. The truckers who bring the food to the markets; many are going bankrupt. That has even been on television. The excess costs are being passed along to the populace. It is slowly ratcheting up. Soon the poorer people will be living on beans and bread. And even the bread will become scarcer. Famines are going to become alot more common. Food shortage will be felt worldwide, includeing the U.S. Those who can AFFORD it, will not be hungry for a while. But to the average American, it is going to become uncomfortable. They will first have to cut off their cable to save $. That is actually already beginning.
The corn being grown in this country is genetically altered now and being grown in large part to service biofuel. A can of corn will have doubled in price by this summer from last summer. A large can off coffee now costs $13.99 at the grocery store (verified it this week). Some sales are offered for it at less but in general coffee will not cost alot more. Drip by drip (no pun intended) and day by day, the food becomes more expensive.
Food Riots are Coming to the U.S.
Binoy Kampmark Counterpunch May 11, 2008
There is a time for food, and a time for ethical appraisals. This was the case even before Bertolt Brecht gave life to that expression in Die Driegroschen Oper. The time for a reasoned, coherent understanding for the growing food crisis is not just overdue, but seemingly past. Robert Zoellick of the World Bank, an organization often dedicated to flouting, rather than achieving its claimed goal of poverty reduction, stated the problem in Davos in January this year. ‘Hunger and malnutrition are the forgotten Millennium Development Goal.’
Global food prices have gone through the roof, terrifying the 3 billion or so people who live off less than $2 a day. This should terrify everybody else. In November, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization reported that food prices had suffered a 18 percent inflation in China, 13 percent in Indonesia and Pakistan, and 10 percent or more in Latin America, Russia and India. The devil in the detail is even more distressing: a doubling in the price of wheat, a twenty percent increase in the price of rice, an increase by half in maize prices.
Finger pointing is not always instructive. In this case, it may be. The US and various European countries are moving food crops into the bio-fuel business, itself an environmentally unsound business. This, in addition to encouraging developing countries to not merely ‘liberalize’ their agricultural sectors, but specialize in exporting specific cash crops (cotton, cocoa), has done wonders to precipitate the shortages. Consumption in developing economies, added to the vicissitudes of climate change, water availability, and rising fertilizer costs, are others.
Political stability is being undermined. Food shortages are proving endemic. Food riots are becoming common. Riots have been sparked in Cameroon, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Uzbekistan and Yemen. There have been riots over spiraling grain prices in Mauritania and Senegal. In Mexico City, mass protests were sparked by a price hike in tortillas. In Haiti, biscuits are being made from a mud compound. The Somali capital Mogadishu bore witness to the deaths of five people.
You can read more of this article from Counterpunch