Who Moved the "Cheese" of the American People?

By Xin Ping (Xinhuanet) 10:54, August 11, 2022

Recently, due to soaring commodity prices and high global inflation, many countries around the world are in the shadow of food and energy crises. However, the crises in the U.S. have benefited some while hurting the others. To be exact, a few capitalists sit on vast cash reserves, while millions of American families are living in dire straits.

The U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) continued to climb in June and hit a record 9.1%, representing the biggest yearly increase since 1981, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics. High food and energy prices, the two biggest drivers of rampant inflation, are also the two toughest challenges affecting ordinary Americans′ lives.

Fuel, electricity and other energy prices have risen by 41.6% in the past year, the biggest 12-month increase since April 1980. Although the average price of gasoline fell slightly in July from its record high of $5 per gallon, high gas prices are still imposing great financial burdens on the American public.

Food prices, the biggest concern for most U.S. households, are also surging. Food prices in June were 10.4% higher than those of a year ago and the highest since February 1981. Many Americans have started to turn to social welfare agencies such as food pantries for necessary food, and even one-fifth of government-subsidized military families are facing food shortages.

The U.S. is known as a vast, resource-rich and fertile country, with only 4.3% of the world's population and as much as 13.15% of the world's arable land. It's the No. 1 oil producer, No. 2 food producer and No. 1 food exporter in the world. The U.S. not only enjoys self-sufficiency in oil and food, but also exports agricultural products and energy in large quantities.

In other words, unlike those resource-poor countries, the U.S. shouldn′t have been so fragile when facing the declined energy and food supply since the Ukraine crisis started. Then why are common citizens of the U.S., a superpower with the biggest economy and massive reserves, running out of oil and reduced to hunger?

The reason is simple. After the Ukraine crisis broke out, the U.S. and its allies imposed harsh sanctions on Russia, which led to a significant increase in the prices of energy, food and other commodities on the international market. With international prices much higher than those in the U.S., the American oil and food monopolies have never hesitated to sell more goods abroad for huge profits, completely ignoring those who struggle to survive in the country. The truth is that there is no shortage of oil and food in the U.S., but the ordinary people are deprived of the right to buy these necessities at a reasonable price.

In fact, ADM, Bunge, and Cargill, three of the four largest grain companies in the world, which monopolize 80% of the global grain trade, are based in the United States. The share prices of ADM and Bunge rose by over 50% and 40% respectively in April this year compared to January, and three members of the Cargill family have recently joined the ranks of the world's 500 richest people.

Politicians and billionaires in the U.S. are fully capable of dampening the domestic food prices, but the cruel reality is that the prices have remained high. For the common people, food is a necessity of life, but in the eyes of the rich and powerful, food is just a commodity that can be speculated on for profit.

Let’s take a look at Exxon Mobil, which Biden says "made more money than God this year". In the first quarter of 2022, revenue at Exxon Mobil soared by 53% to 90.5 billion dollars, with net income doubled to 5.48 billion dollars. The company is estimated to bring in $16 billion in the second quarter, making the highest quarterly profit in its history.

President Biden seems to have tried hard to contain inflation---bashing domestic oil giants while praising farmers as the "breadbasket of democracy", and pressing the Middle East countries for oil output increase---but with little effect. Here is why: what Biden has done is nothing but a SHOW, the purpose of which is to distract public attention from the profiteering monopolies and billionaires. The U.S. administration has gone so hypocritical that it′s maximizing its own interests regardless of ordinary people′s livelihood.

The energy and food crises that the American people suffer from right now are essentially conspiracies mounted by the hegemonic government and the domestic magnates of the U.S., at the expense of the people in their own country.

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liang Jun)


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