How to starve a country

I’ve posted before about the damage farm subsidies can do to the economies of other countries. Corn is one of the most heavily subsidized crops and it’s being used to create ethanol, which is currently more profitable than selling the corn for food because ethanol is subsidized, too. This is causing some very serious problems in Mexico: the cost of corn, a staple of mexican food, has gone out the roof. People are hungry enough to protest.

Ethanol isn’t significantly better for the environment than oil, but the government needs to look like it’s trying to become more energy independent because of the mess we’ve made in the Middle East. Things don’t happen in a vacuum. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan is linked to hunger in Mexico.

The high price of tortillas and other, crueler vagaries of the international order illustrate the interconnectedness of events, from the Middle East to the Middle West, and the urgency of establishing trade based on true democratic agreements among people, and not interests whose principal hunger is for profit for corporate interests protected and subsidised by the state they largely dominate, whatever the human cost. [link via LMB]