49 Million People Went Hungry at Some Point in 2008

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Not much action in the markets yesterday. The Dow rose 30 points. It is now well above the point at which the post-’29 crash bounce peaked out.

Gold didn’t move yesterday. It remained at $1,139.

Mortgage delinquencies hit a new record in the third quarter. And producer prices came in lower than expected. These are both indications of a weakening, deflation-prone economy.

Perhaps this is what prompted Mr. Ben Bernanke to tell the world that he may keep rates lower, for longer, than he thought…and perhaps forever.

“Bernanke signals ‘extended’ low-rate period may become longer,” reports Bloomberg.

Today, we discover that “1 in 6 hungry in America last year.” That is the headline in the USA Today. If you believe the report, 49 million people went hungry at some point in 2008, the highest number since the government began keeping track in 1995.

Meanwhile, we learn – in the same paper – that “Rising obesity will cost the USA $344 billion.” That’s what fat people cost the nation annually, equal to 21% of health-care spending.

The two problems should cancel each other out, shouldn’t they?

Oddly, the states with the greatest girths are also the poorest. Mississippi is number one in fat. It’s also the poorest state. Could it be that fat people are going hungry? Is this a good thing; or a bad thing?

Until tomorrow,

Bill Bonner
for The Daily Reckoning Australia

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
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7 Comments on "49 Million People Went Hungry at Some Point in 2008"

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baal
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first it was drug dealers that were the problem. next it was smokers, then the terrorists, and now it’s all the damn fatties fault.

egads! if the rascals balance the budget, i’ll quit smoking and lose weight…. my arse.

Annie
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One of the reasons fat people go hungry is because they eat rubbish food with no nutritional value. This leaves them hungry even though they have eaten. The fact that junky food is cheaper is also a reason.

Ned S
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Yeh but fat albeit malnourished people are entitled to make their own lifestyle choices (for mine) – My only whinge is if government wants me to pay for those choices because the bloated pigs are voters.

Ange
Guest
This is a dumb article Bill! If I’m starving it doesn’t matter if the guy down the street is obese – we don’t ‘cancel’ each other out. Obesity is linked to high calorie food with low nutritional value (eg, fast food, very cheap and being used as a main meal substitute for low socio-economic families cos it’s cheaper and more accessible than meat and veg dinners made at home). Meanwhile, really poor people (probably living out of their cars in the US by now) can’t even afford Mackers or Dunkin’ Donuts, so go without a decent meal for days. Two… Read more »
Ned S
Guest

Ange – You only gotta worry about the kids getting protein – Us old buggers can live on rice and a few vitamin supplements for donkey’s ages :)

Ned S
Guest
I’m 51 yo. And an Aussie. I’ve tagged along on the arse end of the baby boomers all my life – The competition seemed tough. But I’ve managed to get a debt free house to live in. And another one in super – Plus some cash. My strategy – Have a great time between 50 and 60 – I pretty much stopped working at 49. Work if it seems to have attractions between 60 and 70 maybe? Or just sit back and bludge indefinitely – If I can figure out how to do it – Because I sure can’t outsmart… Read more »
Ned S
Guest

And I’m a parasite (well a wannabe one anyway) because I don’t wish to contribute to the wellbeing of all the other parasites anymore – Not easy though – Takes a while to go from being a net contributor to a net taker – Both practically and psychologically – But I have determined to work on it! :) Yo ho ho, It’s off to Bludgerdom we go …

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