54 Million People in the U.S. May Go Hungry During Pandemic—Can Urban Farms Help?

Lambert: I have great sympathy for these projects. That said, if urban areas are to become self-sufficient in food, questions both of consolidation and the labor force will come to the fore.

By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner, a writer based in New York. She is a writing fellow at Earth | Food | Life, a project of the Independent Media Institute. She’s written for the New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Glamour, AlterNet, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, Architectural Digest, Them and other publications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Columbia University and is also at work on a novel. Follow her on Twitter: @melissabethk. This article was produced by Earth | Food | Life, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

When I call Chef Q. Ibraheem to discuss urban farming in her own cooking career, she’s in the middle of placing an order for microgreens from a small farm in Lake Forest, a ritzy suburb just north of downtown Chicago. Now’s a great time for her to chat, actually, because the Chicago-based chef is immersed in what she loves, sourcing ingredients as locally as possible.

“It’s really important we know where our food is coming from,” she says. “I know my farmers by name. I can go to the farms, see how they are growing everything, see it in the soil. It’s always nice to have something within reach and know your produce.” Chef Q runs supper clubs and chef camps throughout Chicagoland, sustaining the local economy by purchasing ingredients from urban gardens and farms within miles of her pop-up experiences.

“As a chef, you realize you have a responsibility to your guests,” she says, and for her, that responsibility means being transparent about ingredients, and even educating diners about what’s on their plates. Growing up spending summers on a farm in Georgia, Chef Q has an innate curiosity about where and how her food is grown, and she recognizes the importance of farms in both urban and rural areas.

Commercial urban agriculture is on the rise, with small-scale farms in New York City like Gotham Greens, which reduces the amount of energy, land use and food waste in tight, underutilized spaces to produce herbs and roughage for the masses. In Austin, Texas, backyard farms and urban gardens sell ingredients to restaurants and markets throughout the region, as do similar projects in Los Angeles. In fact, innovations allowing farmers to grow without soil or natural light expand the potential for food sourcing in urban areas. Urban farming has increased by over 30 percent in the past 30 years, with no indication of slowing down. Urban land could grow fruit and vegetables for 15 percent of the population, research shows.

While the COVID-19 lockdowns have inspired a burst of urban farming as people have been starting to grow their own fruits and vegetables at home, a renewed interest in culinary arts, plus a nostalgia for simpler times in many fast-paced big cities—just look at all the mid-century era diners popping up in Manhattan right before the pandemic—may be accountable for the steady rise in urban farms. More consciousness about the environment, too, may lead small growers to want to reduce transportation emissions and take charge of the use of pesticides and fertilizers in their foods, but there’s another great reason for urban farms to continue growing: Feeding the masses. And with 68 percent of the world’s population expected to live in urban areas by 2050, it’s time to take urban farming seriously as a viable, primary food source.

Despite being the wealthiest nation in the world, the United States had more than 37 million people struggling with hunger in 2018. Since the pandemic, that number is expected to rise to up to 54 million people. And while systemic changes may one day be able to greatly reduce this number, a planting cycle is quicker than an election cycle. Bureaucracy may not immediately solve fair wages, but vegetable seeds may help communities when times are tough.

Urban Farming as a Social Practice

In her work, Chef Q has helped turn empty lots and abandoned buildings into urban farms, which allows neighbors to “take ownership in their communities” and also become educated consumers. In neighborhoods where the fancy grocery store is referred to as “Whole Paycheck,” Chef Q has seen seed exchanges help folks start growing new produce, and regain agency over their food budgets and eating habits. Programs like the Chicago Food Policy Summit, a free annual event on Chicago’s South Side, help popularize urban farming and education and help provide Chicagoans with grants to start growing their own food. Though gentrification may bring relief to previously dubbed food deserts—neighborhoods without a nearby source of fresh food—the slew of problems attached to gentrification, including higher costs of living, can easily make these new, more nutritious food options completely unaffordable to residents of the neighborhood.

As seen in smaller cities, urban farming may be the key for cities to be less reliant on rural areas, and also help achieve food security. As Dr. Miguel Altieri, professor of agroecology at the University of California, Berkeley, has shown, diversified gardens in urban areas can yield a large range of produce and efficiently feed nearby residents.

Of course, land in cities is often at a premium, with many people living in little space. Shifting public land use to incorporate food growth and getting creative with rooftops, basements and unused buildings can seriously change the way cities consume fresh ingredients.

In fact, renewed efforts by the conservation organization World Wildlife Fund to boost indoor farming may revolutionize some sources of produce, particularly in cities. Repurposing unused indoor space, such as warehouses, can create direct sources of ingredients for restaurants or community supported agriculture for neighbors. Indoor farming, while potentially more expensive, also allows urbanites from all walks of life to connect to the food system, repurpose food waste into compost and expand knowledge on growing food. Greenhouses like Gotham Greens’ rooftop spaces can supplement indoor and outdoor spaces, adding even more potential healthy food to local ecosystems.

Urban Gardening With Neighbors in Mind

When she’s not hosting pop-up dinners with culinarily curious Chicagoans, Chef Q volunteers with Foster Street Urban Agriculture, a nonprofit garden that aims to help end food insecurity in Evanston, the Chicago suburb home to Northwestern University. In the garden, Chef Q teaches kids how to water, plant, weed and grow produce. She’ll notice a multigenerational interest: “Once kids taste zucchini, it’s over,” she jokes, of little ones bringing in parents and grandparents to learn to cook with more fresh produce. “They’ll start [the program] eating hot Cheetos, and they’re eating something green and leafy and won’t go back.”

Kids also just love being able to eat something that comes out of the ground and will take their passion back home, growing tomatoes in their windowsills or trying other small gardening projects in spaces available to them near home. Harvests from Foster Street are donated to food pantries and also sold at a local farmers market, where kids learn community-based entrepreneurial skills.

“Everyone eats, it’s a common denominator,” she says. “When food is on the table, people will have conversations.”

Now, in the wake of COVID-19, urban farms have become more essential than ever. Chef Q has partnered with farms that would otherwise throw away produce without their major restaurant and hotel clients, to redistribute food to Chicagoans in need. She’s noticed a spike in the price of fresh food, thanks in part to the expensive early May crops—peas, leeks and spinach. “It’s been imperative,” she says, of feeding the community with a local bounty of eggplant, microgreens, cheese and more farm-to-fork provisions.

Chef Q emphasizes that urban gardens still have to grow food to feed communities. Across the nation, we’ve seen victory gardens pop up in yards of homebound upper-middle-class Americans, planted with hope, thriftiness and a creative outlet in mind. But for those who don’t have yards or ample space, shared urban gardens can still serve a local population. When people don’t have money, growing food is a solution to provide nutrition, and perhaps even income. And it starts with advocacy, volunteers and outreach. “Plant something in the windowsill,” Chef Q suggests, as an entryway into small-scale gardening. “It’s essential. We can’t stop.”

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

37 comments

  1. Cocomaan

    It’s admirable for people to create their own food. My wife and I started gardening on our fire escape and never looked back.

    One aspect of urban gardening that I think gets overplayed in these discussion is the no soil no natural light gardens. These are essentially the aquaponic/hydroponic gardens that marijuana growers have used for years. And I don’t see how they’re energy efficient for the amount of yield.

    Also, people need to be careful with soil in abandoned lots, make sure you test it! Lots of nasty stuff can show up.

    Reply
    1. Billy

      Vegetables that grow in the ground, like Potatoes, radishes and carrots are risky in untested urban soil. Annuals that have roots only in that soil are safer. Tree crops are safest, but people waiting for fruit would have starved many years earlier.

      What about your garden water? Thanks to progressive labeling laws, new general use hoses often are labeled “Do not drink from this hose-it may cause cancer” and will poison your soil.

      Recreational Vehicle stores sell Drinking Water Safe hoses. There is still lots of B.S. around that. “Lead Free”, may contain other toxins. Do your research.

      This is a good list of things to look for, although it appears to have been written by software.

      https://theberkey.com/blogs/water-filter/is-your-garden-hose-safe-for-drinking

      Reply
      1. EMtz

        I was a certified organic grower back in the US and now have a modest back yard garden in central México. A good soil test revealed what’s in the soil. Tap water here contains heavy metals so I filter the water and set out rain barrels. Nothing is impossible. It’s all common sense.

        Reply
  2. Henry Moon Pie

    Attempts at urban agriculture run up against the same issues as everything else in this society.

    I live across the street from an urban farm that collapsed a few years ago. It was a job training project for workers with disabilities, and for a few years, we enjoyed talking with some of the young people who worked there as they went to and from the bus. This urban farm was selling its produce to upscale restaurants similar to the way this post recounts the Chicago operation. Unfortunately, the people who ran the project double-dipped on grants, and the whole thing went under when that was discovered. The situation was quite similar to that of the community center/day care next door that went under around the same time.

    This spring, with thoughts that Covid and lousy leadership might make food pricey, even hard to get, I tried to get permission for us to use some of that land for a community garden. Finding people in charge with all the shutdowns and working from home was not easy, but I finally found the folks who were responsible for the property. Unfortunately, they were losing title because they were no longer farming the land, and ownership was basically in limbo between this NGO and the city until it was too late to plant anything.

    So now we’re trying to work something out for next summer. What I’d like to see is for us to get a permaculture food forest going on most of the property with some of the land being left for a community garden of annuals.

    Whatever we try to do, it will take overcoming the corruption and incompetence of existing systems.

    Reply
  3. funemployed

    I love these projects in general and this one in particular. Must quibble though.

    1)Urban areas cannot be self-sustaining food wise. Not even close. The people are too close together, and there’s too much other crap in the way.*

    2) No matter how you slice it, it’s way, way more expensive to grow food at scale in a city than, well, basically anywhere else. Even if you really do want to grow food at scale inside a building without using sun or soil…still way cheaper outside city limits.

    3) Because 1 and 2 are widely known, any framing of urban farming as a “solution to hunger in the US” is as nonsensical and disingenuous as touting some new, costly kind of building design as “the solution to homelessness.”

    There’s plenty food. There’s plenty roofs. The solution to hunger in the US is to give people food instead of throwing it away. The solution to homelessness is to allow people to live inside. These are not complex problems, and won’t be until there are actual shortages of food and shelter.

    *Detroit is exceptional, but only because the people left – I’m not talking about abandoned cities.

    Reply
    1. The Historian

      I agree. While I think gardening will help slightly, it can’t be the solution to hunger – especially in urban areas. To prove this, calculate the amount of calories a person would need to live on for a year. Then calculate the size of the garden you would need to provide those calories. Vegetables are usually low calorie items, so you need to plant the more starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes too. I sincerely doubt that you could grow enough grain in an urban area to help supply a person’s caloric needs.

      We need a different policy towards food, one that allows people to actually afford to eat – not one that tells them to grow their own.

      Reply
      1. Zamfir

        Potatoes are high on the scale for calories per square meter. You can feed roughly 15 people on an acre of potatoes, purely looking at calories. Most foods need more area than potatoes though, so food diversity will increase the requirements.

        I would say, if you have a quarter-acre lot, it’s completely dedicated to intensive farming, and you’ll accept a very basic diet, you’ll probably not feed a family completely but you can make dent.

        Reply
      2. a different chris

        Yes to all of that. But here’s the problem:

        >Urban areas cannot be self-sustaining food wise. Not even close.

        Our current wacko-capitalist system is set up that they don’t have to be “even close” to screw up the consolidated farms profit margins.

        So the Urbanists grow say 15% of our food, and all the heavily leveraged “big farmers” who grows the remaining 85% go bankrupt at the demand drop and starts dumping it all over the nearest hill. Then winter comes (I never did figure out how they fed themselves in Game Of Thrones, btw) and everybody is screwed.

        This system is so brittle.

        Reply
        1. The Historian

          Large co-ops and collectives are the best way to feed people. Not everyone knows how to or can have a garden but everyone can donate their skills in some way and get paid back in the form of cheaper vegetables.

          I hate to say it, but NO, not everyone can ‘garden’ even if they have the land and the desire, as those at CHAZ/CHOP found out. It is a skill and an art and you need people who know how to do it to teach those who don’t know.

          Reply
          1. General Jinjur

            Oh yes. So true. My husband and I are hapless gardeners. I had begun to think it may be a political issue. It’s easier to acknowledge our disappointing results if our plants are passive aggressive anarchists.

            Reply
    2. garden breads

      About the best a city can hope for is to provide it’s own vegetables. Hong Kong despite its population density provides most as little gardens are tucked in absolutely everywhere and on roofs etc.

      The most optimistic case for self sufficiency is in the Ecology Action (Jeavons) booklet “One Circle: How to Grow a Complete Diet in Less Than 1000 Square Feet” by Dave Duhon & Cindy Gebhard (1984). But that requires 1000 feet of actual planting space, a very long growing season for two crops, limited crop selection (high energy or carbon for amount of space) and soil that has been developed (which takes years without massive external inputs). I grow a lot of calories in potatoes, garlic, jerusalem artichoke etc. in my space. But I also have tomatoes, peppers, herbs, salad greens and fruits – but there are nowhere near enough calories in these from a quarter acre to keep one person alive, much less a family.

      Reply
  4. katenka

    Here in Chicago, the city pulled a cute stunt this year (of all years). They placed a number of new restrictions and demands on the use of fire hydrants, which a lot of community gardens use as their water supply, and basically made it so expensive it was out of reach (among other meaningful obstacles) for most gardens. They also were so slow about doing their bit of simply signing permits that even gardens that were part of big enough organizations to pay the costs and jump through all the hoops had to sit and wait MONTHS before being allowed to use the water. (Some still haven’t gotten this permission. Bit late in the growing season at this point.) Meanwhile, if a garden decided to take matters into their own hands and turn on a fire hydrant stealthily, the city responded instantaneously by capping the fire hydrant and charging them over a thousand bucks as a fine (this happened to the garden next to my own; no response, no response, no response on their permit, but they went rogue because their plants were dying and BOOM the city capped-and-fined them the next day). In my community garden, I grow food for a local food pantry; most of my early crops ended up dying due to this ruler-created drought (and we were actually one of the first to finally get a permit).

    Reply
    1. Billy

      Chicago is a failed city. If you can’t get fresh water next to one of the biggest lakes in the world, there’s something wrong with the city government. What are you doing to replace it? Your horror show of a mayor is hopefull going away soon.

      Reply
      1. katenka

        Our mayor is indeed the worst and seems to like to find all sorts of new and unexpected ways to demonstrate it.

        Most of the people in my garden are tending only small plots, so while the drought was on, they lugged water from home in plastic jugs, and it was enough to keep their few plants going. I have a much bigger area to cover, so I couldn’t do this and just hoped that the weather would be different than it always is (rainy spring — good! — and dry summer — eek). However, the weather was *not* different, which = some plants just couldn’t get over the hurdle and opted to improve the soil for next year instead, sigh. The silver lining is that a population of prickly pears I was trying to get established (and that was seriously struggling; I unfortunately started it last year, in a remarkably wet spring) is happy! Also, we’ve been working on a weed improvement project around the perimeter, and the drought helped some of the tough natives we’ve been trying to get going make headway (they won more ground by simply not dying).

        The garden next door is filled with refugee farmers who have a small CSA from a common area; they also have large individual beds where they feed themselves from what they grow and sell it at their own produce stand (in other years, also at a farmers’ market). My garden was inconvenienced, and fresh food I should have been able to give to the pantry in a year when they need it more than ever just didn’t happen; but it landed a body blow on our neighbors.

        Reply
  5. Wukchumni

    I was told by a friend that there were hundreds of cars lined up @ our food bank in town last week, this in a place with 2,000 people, so perhaps 15-20% of the citizenry is food insecure and can only eat via the largess of others.

    There’s more tree crops than you can shake a stick at on the Central Valley floor, so at least the food is somewhat handy, but what about food deserts such as Southern California where the nearest food grown is 50 miles away mostly, if not further?

    Frankly, the concept of city people growing enough food to sustain themselves is a tall order because our society doesn’t value patience, and that’s what growing good is all about, we want it yesterday, if not sooner.

    A lot of people are going to starve to death, once the free stuff goes away.

    Reply
  6. Wukchumni

    For what it’s worth dept:

    25 pound bag of Thai white jasmine rice @ WinCo supermarket went from $17 a month ago to $25 the other day.

    That’s nearly a 50% increase in no time flat.

    You can expect to see a lot more of this happening, whether it prompts people to want to grow their own food, is a mystery.

    Reply
  7. Rod

    4H and the FFA and other Farmer and Agriculture grooming programs should be supported, coordinated, and promoted by each States Agricultural Extension Agency and having a focus on evolving Urban/Suburban Food Production Operations. People can grow the stuff and people want the stuff–but getting the two together is the tough part.
    Their(The Extension) mission is funded and paid for already but often their focus is on what they classify as Commercial Ag(usually large monocrops) although Small Markets probably provide an equal if not greater opportunity for more individuals.

    here is our States Extension example of Services(supported on a dwindling budget)–yours should have one also…

    https://www.clemson.edu/extension/index.html

    This is from a Private Partner of theirs in the cause–whose emphasis is primarily on small, local, and sustainable enterprises:

    https://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/farm-services/

    In both cases I see a necessary–though missing partner–the Co-Op Organization.

    disclaimer–this is not in any way a promo for that Ag Univ or its football team or way overpaid coach who should be funding the growth of CSA foodstuffs for his teams training table as an example of what can be done…IMO

    Reply
  8. Synoia

    It is estimated that 30% to 40% of food in the US is wasted.

    It is also estimated that 30% people in the US are Obese.

    That suggests that the US could reduce food consumption by 30-40% plus another 15% to 20% of the 60% of the food eaten.

    The amount of food consumed might be reduced by 45% to 60%. Lets say 50%.

    Of that 50%, probably 20% to 50% could be individually grown.

    The cumulative 75% cut would be a massive change to the Food industry, and would do much to cut water, pesticide and herbicide use.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Yet millions of Americans are food insecure or go hungry even when economy is doing “well.” Add that often the only available and affordable food is garbage like fast “food.” This means that one can be malnourished, hungry, and fat all at the same time and millions of Americans are enjoying this paradoxical state.

      Reply
  9. fwe'zy

    Support farmers and a decent way of life for the actual workers. Fight for better resource allocation. Actually deal with the problem, our political-economic setup, which serves only capital accumulation. Don’t undercut farmworkers with these DIY fantasies, which improve our individual lives if we are subsidized/ privileged/ heroic/ exceptional, but which are dire if not.

    Community and school gardens are wonderful; we had a similar fashion twenty some years ago, and then they died out. TPTB and associated propaganda farms trot them out every time the commons and public goods are robbed and ravaged: “hey buddy, God helps those who help themselves!”

    Michelle Obama with her inane victory garden, as though obesity comes from “not eating clean,” as opposed to political-economic inequality that drives and feeds on these lifestyles.

    Telling poor people, especially “BIPOC,” to farm their own food because the economy proper is built for upward spiral of wealth is about the grossest we can get. TAKE BACK THE ABUNDANCE.

    Kinda like “we don’t need public schools! Just get online! Don’t get vaccinated! DIY this glutathione almond milk shake instead! Parents know best.”

    Do you see how this is just austerity and bootstrapping? More atomizing? Sure, you get to know your neighbors, eat delicious tomatoes, and forget the rest. If you’re lucky, you build a Repair Cafe’ to counteract planned obsolescence … so nobody cares about money, and your community is the absolute coolest. Eating a heckton of potatoes and artisanal hemp cheese. Meanwhile, the bull market comes and tears it all down, for High Density Income Housing.

    Reply
    1. katenka

      I agree with you completely that the primary problem/enemy is the system. However, I don’t think it’s the only problem.

      The vision you described of a sort of halfway kind of approaching independent-ish (at least as far as tomatoes are concerned) community is in practice probably more descriptive of something that could happen in a suburb than in the city (barring SERIOUSLY emptied out places like in Detroit…which, well, who knows, maybe we’ll get there). That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have rhetorical/propagandistic power exactly like you described TPTB using (bootstrap your way out of your problems by throwing some potatoes in that rubble-strewn, lead-soaked lot next door, or you suck and it’s all your fault!) — it certainly does. Also, you are correct that small ventures remain at the mercy of the whims of a vicious system, and being at the whim of a vicious system is a dire position to be in (cf. my city’s water adventures this year, as I described earlier).

      However, in my observations in practice, urban community gardens aren’t even remotely fantasizing about building a wholly independent “the hell with the rest of you, we’ve got spinach” community. They serve a lot of purposes, and the merits of those purposes vary, but one that you didn’t reference (sarcastically or no) is working and protecting the margins. We can’t feed everyone in the community. We CAN provide a little extra that keeps people balancing on the edge from falling over it. It’s the same with our ecosystem efforts: we’re not building a complete and permanent home for all the beings, but we are building a small oasis and toehold for beings that are struggling. I grew up quite poor, and my opinion from what I experienced and observed (with all the pluses and minuses inherent in that) is that these toeholds aren’t the glorious solution to everything, but they matter. Sometimes they make all the difference.

      There’s also the issue of whether we think urban gardening/food growing has a place in our desired future. If the answer is yes, it is worth bearing in mind that making them happen takes time — quite a lot of time for some objectives/aspects. Now is not too soon to start if it’s something we want in five, ten, or twenty years.

      Reply
      1. fwe'zy

        I agree with you completely that these strategies could well serve the margins, and I’m grateful for you and others who do these things. If urban farming is something “we” want, trust that it’s already waiting in the wings, with a unicorn behind it. Until that lever is broken, we will forever be administering triage instead of building the future.

        Reply
        1. katenka

          Lurking unicorns are the worst! You can’t even repel them with coyote urine or human hair clippings. They’re not afraid of coyotes, and they just flat-out eat people.

          Reply
  10. Nate

    Short answer: no.
    Long answer: hah, no.

    Take a look at virtually any New Yorker’s family-blogging social media account (and don’t say that only rich, entitled white dopes have social media accounts, that’s stupid and you know better). They’re all about lazing and having food delivered to their door, they’re not going to hack parking lots into fields, much less tend to rows of corn and okra. Jeez.

    Reply
    1. Will

      You nailed it Nate.

      Like our family members on government assistance who have every entertainment device, video game, dvd, and subsist on Dominoes pizza. Facebook shows their government covid checks are going to aftermarket upgrades for the F250.

      Reply
      1. fwe'zy

        Will that’s perfect. The money is going where it’s needed: the economy. Go’darn those entertainment device, video game, dvd, and Dominoes pizza workers! Why aren’t they all home grinding hominy for grandma’s lotion?!

        Reply
  11. Sound of the Suburbs

    Learning from history.
    We stepped onto an old path that still leads to the same place.
    1920s/2000s – neoclassical economics, high inequality, high banker pay, low regulation, low taxes for the wealthy, robber barons (CEOs), reckless bankers, globalisation phase
    1929/2008 – Wall Street crash
    1930s/2010s – Global recession, currency wars, trade wars, austerity, rising nationalism and extremism
    1940s – World war.
    We forgot we had been down that path before.

    The lesson of history …….
    When the US needed an FDR, it got an Obama.
    Now they’ve got Trump.
    They’ve taken a more European approach this time.
    Trying to maintain the status quo is not a good idea, they needed a New Deal.

    Reply
  12. Will

    America grows food so cheaply nobody will starve. If people cannot afford basic food to cook from scratch it will be provided by the government or private parties.

    Rice, beans, corn, sugar, flour, milk, potatoes, cheese are so cheap they are practically free.

    What many poor Americans really want is fast food.

    Reply
    1. fwe'zy

      What many poor Americans want is to be part of this society that can pelt a convertible into space but insists that the deplorables stay in their hovels.

      Reply

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