Food prices have increased by an estimated 40 percent globally since 2007. This increase has had a disproportionate effect on many developing nations, where families often spend more than half their income on food. The situation is particularly troublesome in countries such as Nigeria, Vietnam and Indonesia, where the percentage of income spent on food is respectively 73, 65 and 50 percent, as reported recently by the New York Times. As a result riots have taken place in several countries as people protest the rising food prices.
The IMF published a brief analysis last month predicting that the social implications in Sub-Saharan Africa may be severe. It also points to long term and temporary factors – including rising biofuels production and droughts – contributing to the current increase in food prices as well as guiding policy responses.
Oh, the Bob Marley tune that inspired the title of this blog post goes on to say that a "hungry mob is an angry mob." How is that for a policy-guiding principle?
hungry men are angry men
People get angry about things in their life. For example, in America people get angry about taxes or gas prices or unemployment. They complain and they moan and they sometimes wave placards and protest boards.
But sometimes it is more serious. Do you know the story of Rodney King. Rodney, a black guy, was really badly beaten up by a load of dirty cops, but a witness videoed it. It was a big court case but a white jury found the cops innocent and said they'd done nothing wrong. The black community was furious and they rioted and smashed up anything they could. There was social unrest, it was very worrying.
So different things cause different levels of anger. Gas prices make you a bit angry. But injustice makes you more angry.
Now, thank all your lucky stars that you don't know what it means to be hungry. Without food people die. And they die slow. And it happens.There are hungry peopletoday all over the world. People with no food to eat are desperate people. Imagine if there was suddenly no food in American supermarkets. What would you do? Where would you get food if there was no food?
Imagine how panicked and angry people would be. They would riot. They would steal. They would go crazy with fear for themselves and their children. Society would collapse. There is a famous quote, "Society is only three meals away from revolution."
Your quote means the same as my quote. Hungry men are angry men. i.e. People with no food will very quickly start behaving in seriously anti-social ways.