Friday, March 30, 2007

Hunger: Where Is The Scorn? (full text)

Hunger: Where Is The Scorn?


Posted 3/29/2007

Food Security: There's never a shortage of dictators to hurl abuse at
the U.S. for its food policies. But they have no right to do it.
Marxism, not freedom, is the world's foremost creator of hunger.

The blame-America-first crowd often zeroes in on U.S. plenty, calling
our lack of want 'excess' and our great food productivity an ecological

There's been a malevolent new wave of this lately as more news of failed
Marxist regimes and the hunger they create comes out.

Cuba's communist dictator Fidel Castro on Thursday denounced the U.S.'
production of grain ethanol as 'sinister' and a coming cause of
ecological catastrophe and global starvation. Not only would it affect
Cuba, which has rationed food since 1962, but 3 billion other people, he

Not to be outdone, the United Nations denounced the West for North
Korea's new famine, laughably claiming the nuclear-armed state was a
victim of bad harvests and a lack of food aid from the stingy West.

Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, the West is regularly denounced as the culprit
for conspiring to keep food off the African nation's shelves even as its
offers of genetically modified food aid have been rejected.

Dictator Robert Mugabe's enemy isn't hunger itself, but improved food
production from the green revolution, developed in an atmosphere of
freedom and capitalism.

By the way, all three Marxist states claim food is a right for all. But
the hunger their people suffer is in fact just another monstrous
instance of state failure. In all three, private property is outlawed
and expropriated.

The people who don't escape have no means of bettering themselves under
state control. They live as serfs, as land goes fallow. While wielding
absolute power, all three states fail to provide even the most basic
needs of their citizens. They are the causes of hunger in the world.

But which of them are held up to world scorn for their awful behavior?
Which are held responsible for creating terror and starvation in their
own lands, even as they demand bailouts from the free countries they curse?

Where is the U.N. report denouncing North Korea, Zimbabwe or Cuba for
policies that create mass starvation, all because they refuse to permit
any free-market activity even if it means saving their citizens' lives?

Castro, whose ruined nation shipped $780 million worth of vegetables,
sugar and agricultural exports to the U.S. in the 1950s, has turned his
nation into a lunar wasteland over his 48-year dictatorship, its famous
sugar industry now gone. Does Castro take responsibility? No. He blames
global warming, not his disastrous decisions.

But Cuba's land lies in ruin not because of bad weather but because its
massive propaganda-driven 'great sugar harvests' of the 1960s ruined the
land in the name of making Castro's arbitrary quota — and because no
citizen can own or trade land for its most efficient use. Now, Cuba
grows so little food it must import it from the very nation its leader
denounces and undermines and blames.

In fact, it's Castro's dirty secret: The U.S. is Cuba's food lifeline.
The U.S. sells $340 million in food a year to Cuba just so its ration
books can be worth the paper they're printed on.

The U.S. is Cuba's top trade partner, but Cuba ranks only 32nd on the
U.S. list. America grows enough food to feed dozens of countries and,
through ethanol, its own cars.

'Prior to 1959, when Castro took power, Cuba had the fourth-highest
protein consumption in the Western Hemisphere,' says Humberto Fontova,
author of 'Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant.' 'Today, it's near the

According to a Spanish study, Fontova said, in 1842 Cuba's plantation
slaves got royally decreed daily rations of 8 ounces of meat, 4 ounces
of rice, 16 ounces of starch and 4 ounces of beans. By contrast, when
Castro started rationing food in 1962, Cubans got 2 ounces of meat, 3
ounces of rice, 6.5 ounces of starch and 1 ounce of beans.

'Yet (Newsweek's) Eleanor Clift will tell us that to be poor in Cuba is
better than to be poor in the U.S.,' Fontova said — a claim Clift made,
he says, on TV's 'The McLaughlin Group' during the Elian Gonzalez debacle.

Meanwhile, the U.N. blames the West for not feeding North Korea —
missing the problem of Marxist state control that would make food
impossible to produce no matter how good the weather.

The world is 'losing the fight against hunger' in North Korea, a U.N.
official said, without even a wayward glance at the dictatorship that
caused all this misery.

Somehow Singapore and Hong Kong, two Asian states which grow no food
either, manage to avoid famine.

The difference is they produce value from their free minds and their
industry under capitalist incentives, with governments that don't seek
to control all economic activity. There's plenty of food, and virtually
no hunger, in both city-states.

This all boils down to state control. What we want to know from the U.N.
is what dictatorship can claim a right to rule a country, making all
decisions for its citizens, with no responsibility to feed them?

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