Thursday, February 17, 2011

Economic growth and food riots

It is so ironic.  For about the past year, we were hearing over and over that Latin American economies were on fire, recovering from the global recession faster than the developed world (back in December, for example, both ECLAC and the Wall Street Journal, not exactly bosom buddies, were excited).  The problem, of course, was that economic growth was dependent largely on high commodity prices, which had become something of a pet peeve of mine.

A mere two months later, reality sets in.  High commodity prices are not so good when you are the buyer, and it is even worse when it's food.  In fact, now the UN is concerned about food riots in the poorest Latin American countries because of the rise in prices.  The Bolivian government may even stockpile food.


Lobster bake 3:39 AM  

We are not just concentrate on economic and political problems in our country. Let's see the problems on food supplies. Even we have more money if we don't have to buy, our money is useless and we still suffer into hunger.

Amy K.,  3:42 PM  

A highly relevant article made the front page of La Razón this morning:

Por primera vez en la gestión del presidente Evo Morales, la convocatoria de la Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) a un paro nacional de 24 horas tuvo una respuesta masiva en las nueve ciudades capitales del país, principalmente de parte de trabajadores fabriles y maestros.

The rising price of food and services in Bolivia has sparked nation-wide protests similar to the mobilizations from 2000-2005 that culminated in Morales's election. Morales has maintained significant popular support throughout his presidency, however, rising prices, combined with the gasolinazo debacle, might cause those numbers to drop significantly. It's been an interesting year so far for Bolivia.

Anonymous,  5:23 PM  

Does this mean no "so what?" question at my thesis defense?

I fear we're going to see more of these crises in the next few years.

Randy Paul 7:58 PM  


As the first comment is clearly comment spam, I have a friendly suggestion: edit the URL for the words "Lobster bake" and have it go to your Amazon wishlist.

Anonymous,  9:00 AM  

@ Randy. So it is. I just thought it was a non-native English speaker who hadn't read Sen. Which is to say I almost got into an argument with comment spam. Fail.

Greg Weeks 9:33 AM  

I hadn't really paid attention, but the idea of getting into an argument with spam would be a good source for a comedy skit.

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