A World In Need
As a result of the Midwestern drought, global prices for corn and other staple foods have increased dramatically. Corn prices are up by half since May, while soybean prices are up by over a quarter. With the drought only worsening, traders are beginning to talk about something entirely unprecedented: double-digit prices for a bushel of corn. Meanwhile, under the president's environmental mandates, 50% of this year's crop is being burned up to produce ethanol.
When global grain prices rise, it is always the poor who suffer the most. Of course, Americans, who spend an average of 18% of their income on food for home consumption, will be hurt as well. But for the poor in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Ethiopia, increased grain prices are a matter of life and death.
In fact, almost one billion people worldwide will go to bed hungry tonight, half of them children. On average, 5 million children die of starvation each year before reaching the age of five. This year, that number will be much higher. For poor children at the margin, a large increase in grain prices is nothing less than a death sentence.