I am one of the most fortunate and do not personally know what it means or how it feels like to be hungry. I also do not know what my feelings regarding the more fortunate might be, especially if I had children and/or other family members needing food or me to feed?
I do know that there are those in our population who are both hungry and who feel a need to feed others in their family and who are at a point of not knowing what to do to satisfy their need.
I presume that they have been somehow fed and provided with life sustaining benefits by social and government programs. Unfortunately, many of these programs have run out of funding and will have to be terminated. Those who have received the benefits of the programs must be scared, in pain, frustrated and hateful of those who they know to be better off. It matters not their age, race, gender, locality, health, ability or other circumstance. The vast majority of those reading this essay cannot know the feelings of desperation of the hungry. These people do not know what to do and will naturally do anything to survive and address their pain and need.
The people in the described plight will be in contact with others of similar need. They will be easily led by anyone promising a solution to their need.
These people in need will not be able to strike as they will be unemployed and perhaps not employable. They are not able to complain to anyone as they have no rights and are not currently the legal responsibility of any group.
Some will give up and accept the embrace of dying and others will put up some sort of fight. What can those not ready to die do? We, the fortunate need to know as we will ultimately be targets of their desperation.
The desperate will attempt to acquire food and other sultanates by first begging and then demanding, as either individuals or in groups. Group looting and other forms of sealing will be a natural result of individual and mass desperation. Those owning the substances which are believed to be needed by the desperate, who will feel that their need entitles their taking actions, will be forced to take actions to protect their property. Many will be hurt, and none will win.
Locks, gates and fences will only be successful at the outset of the conflict. Guards, private and public police forces and the military will at first attempt to use their power humanely. As the conflict continues and increases in intensity the means of combat will become less humane.
Ok, the above may appear to some to be extreme and not a condition which will be allowed to occur. I fervently hope they are correct, and solutions will be found.
What are the possible solutions? Is there really going to be a growing segment of the population unable to fend for themselves? Will we, the fortunate, have to support indefinitely more and more people in deep need and without an ability to support themselves? I believe the answer to be yes, and that continuing public support will be necessary.
If the need is as feared, then one of the immediate decisions which must be made is where to locate the supported segment of the population? Should communities of publicly provided needs be created and if so, should these pockets of provided need be within cities or in newly created remote areas? Is there a role for our many abandoned military bases? If in isolated areas would there be the possibility of local employment of residents? There would be stores or distribution points and these need people. There would be maintenance functions, etc. Where there are communities there are jobs. All of this is going to be paid for by governments, many of which are currently insolvent and in need of financial restructuring and improvement.
The necessary government investment and spending to care for the segment of the population requiring significant levels of support will be inflationary, even though it will create jobs.
Could areas of wealth be required to provide residential areas for those of need?
Whatever the solution, solutions must be found as the lack of solution will be so highly negative for the society as a whole, that it is unthinkable.
The allocation of medicines and healthcare services will be one of the more important issues as the healthcare needs of the wholly supported population will be disproportionately greater than that of the better cared for population.
There should be a public review and discussion of the projected life span and voting rights of those requiring a to be agreed level of support.
The above highlights the need for awareness of terribly difficult societal issues. Solutions must be found, as in the absence of solutions social chaos will be upon us.
Arthur Lipper, Chairman
British Far East Holdings Ltd.
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