The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet some of its citizens still go hungry, some are homeless, some fall through the cracks.
Many people who are not suffering are still counted among the 48 million the U.S Department of Agriculture claims are “food insecure.”
How is that possible?
Simply stated, it’s not.
Capitalism has created immense prosperity within the U.S., and most people have sufficient food. What’s more, as CO2 increases, global greening occurs causing significant increased plant growth. Defying common environmentalists’ claims of declining soil quality, crop yields (the best measure of soil quality) have tripled in recent decades, with records being set almost every year.
How then did the Department of Agriculture come up with that high number? According to the Foundation for Economic Freedom, nearly anybody could fall under the “food Insecure” label. It includes having ever, even for just a single moment during the year, feared running out of food, or feared being unable to purchase food, despite never actually having such problems. It also includes desiring expensive organic food, and being unable to purchase it.
Why would the government want to inflate poverty numbers?
There are a number of possible reasons. Like all institutions, government programs have to prove that they are needed. The more “hungry” people there are, and the more people government programs “feed,” the more money that program receives. By creating the myth that a large group of Americans are going hungry, despite the government’s already “feeding” over 100 million, it also enforces the idea that government is necessary for the survival of these people and thus “justifies” its confiscation, done in the name of freedom and helping the poor of course, of taxpayers money.
The worst part of such programs is that they can create dependency, continuing a cycle in the long run that helps no one. The solution to real poverty issues is the free market—it benefits everyone, and, when allowed to operate free of government interventions, coercions, and confiscations, the people prosper. Through the immense prosperity and production created, even those who are unable to take advantage of all the free market has to offer will be benefited. The resulting surplus production of goods could be given or sold at a deep discount to the less fortunate or donated via charity—as much already is.
In a wealthy country like the United States, there is no reason anyone should go hungry. Inflating numbers does not help those who really are in need, it only confuses the issue while more people fall through the cracks.