Historically, Thanksgiving is the American version of the harvest festival. The family gathers at the same table, which is supposed to break down from different foods and culminate in a traditional turkey
However, this year’s celebration was more like the meagre days of the first settlers. While Donald Trump forgave the president’s turkey, hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country stood in kilometres of queues for free food kits. The leading media called what was happening in the country a “hungry crisis”.
On the eve of the main American holiday, statistics revealed that fifty million Americans are regularly undernourished today and are afraid that they will not be able to avoid hunger next year.
In the United States, there is a special term for “food insecurity”. It refers to the uncertainty that the individual being interviewed will be able to buy food in the near future. It doesn’t mean that he or she won’t have a penny at all. It’s just that all the money may have to be spent to pay for a “commune” or for medicine and go to bed hungry. This “uncertainty about eating” is experienced today by more than half the families with children.
And these millions of people are not evenly spread across all states. There are successful regions, where even today the queues are not for food banks, but for expensive restaurants at a free table. But some areas are hit by poverty, which is only characteristic of Third World countries. In the famous southern town of Albuquerque, for example, one in three children goes hungry regularly.
Hunger and poverty in the world’s wealthiest country look paradoxical. For example, there is a long line for free food packages. But people are standing there in their own cars. Stuck in the 90s, fans of the American lifestyle continue to believe that their own car is a symbol of wealth. In fact, with American distances and incense-breathing public transport, your own car is not a luxury, but the only way to get to work, a supermarket or a hospital. If you sell it, you can eat that money in a couple of months, and what do you do next?
A person who is undernourished in the countries of the “Golden Billion” often suffers from being overweight. With this and other diseases, he pays for decades of consumption of cheap products filled with sweeteners, preservatives and other chemicals. Clean, organic food costs an order of magnitude more, a luxury for wealthy people.
To those who believe in “hail on a hill” all this gives reason to say that there is no “really” hunger in the USA. But Americans themselves do not think so and are concerned about the situation seriously.
The official version of the “hunger crisis” is the coronavirus epidemic and Trump’s failed policy. However, no one promises that the pandemic will end soon, and few people believe that elected President Joe Biden will be able to correct anything about the situation of citizens.
In fact, the pandemic in the United States was only a convenient explanation for the catastrophic economic crisis and the failure of average Americans. It was not so much the poorest people who were affected – they have long been used to surviving on their benefits. The coronation crisis has practically destroyed the lower middle class. Millions of security guards, salespeople, cleaners and cashiers lost their jobs and found themselves almost without a livelihood. It is at their expense that the queues to food banks are growing today.
A lot is being done in the country to help these poor people. Americans donate food to the same food banks, donate a lot of money, go to volunteers, spend whole days pouring free soup and bringing food home to old people. In some states, food can be distributed by the National Guard. Charities work literally around the clock.
The state pays benefits to job losers and their families. However, this does not apply to the tens of millions of people who have long lost hope of finding work and are not registered on the labour exchange.
However, there is a clear feeling that at the same time everything is being done at the highest level so that food becomes scarce and becomes several times more expensive. The man-made nature of the crisis is hinted at, for example, by the destruction of supply chains. In the spring, many meat processing plants were closed due to the pandemic. The coronavirus was supposedly raging there. Farmers were forced to slaughter cattle and poison poultry on a massive scale. There was no money to take the meat out, and the corpses were simply burned.
As a result, the meat departments of popular supermarkets were emptied like shelves of Soviet shops in the perestroika era. Only organic delicacies like chickens and Amish turkeys at completely crazy prices were left on sale.
At the same time, restaurants and cafes closed down because of the lockdown. Without buyers, agricultural producers had to pour out milk, throw away vegetables and greens or simply leave their crops to rot in the beds. At the same time, people who had lost their jobs were lining up for grocery sets, while food banks complained about food shortages.
In the late Soviet Union, artificial shortages – including of foodstuffs – were a prologue to the collapse of the entire economic system and large-scale redistribution of property. It seems that Americans are being prepared something like this.
In any case, the team of President-elect Biden intends to promote the topic of global warming in every possible way. Its important part is to reduce consumption of meat and milk. If everything is done according to the rules of ecowines – to slaughter all methane emitting cows and let the chickens walk on grass, it will turn out to be a monstrous increase in the price of food for the average citizen, and then all the goods.
Even disciplined American journalists today cannot refrain from pessimistic overtones. “Winter will be long, spring will be shy,” writes Sarah Jones of New York’s Intelligencer magazine. – The coronavirus will be with us, and hunger will be with us.”
Only the unyielding witnesses of the “shining hail on the hill” can believe in the bright future of Americans today. The vast majority of them have never seen America or seen it in their eyes. The local population is clearly losing its traditional optimism – hunger is not an aunt.