New Report Warns Against “Bubble” Economic Recovery
Washington, DC, – A new report released today by Bread for the World Institute warns that unless the triple threats of hunger, unemployment, and climate change are addressed, any economic recovery will only lead to another bubble.
“To blunt the surge of hunger, unemployment, and the long-term effects of climate change, we need a just and sustainable economic recovery,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World Institute. “If we do not reshape our economy with jobs that allow low-income workers to feed their families and move out of poverty, our recovery will not be sustainable. Like a bubble, it will only collapse again.”
According to the new report, Hunger 2010: A Just and Sustainable Recovery, more than 1.02 billion people are hungry every day – an increase of more than 100 million from a year ago. In the United States, the number of people who struggle to put food on the table has surged to 49.1 million. “It’s deeply disturbing to think that nearly one in four children and African Americans live on the brink of hunger in this country,” said Rev. Beckmann. “It’s a scandal for us as the richest country in the world.”
Unemployment is also on the rise, with one in ten Americans out of a job. The unemployment rate among African Americans is 15.7 percent (as of Oct. 2009), compared to the national rate of 10.2 percent. The report stresses that for a sustainable economic recovery, we need to put people back to work. It argues that dollar for dollar, one of the best investments the United States can make is to create green jobs focused on lowering carbon emissions.
"The time has come that we must build a clean energy economy that is healthy for our pocketbook, and also healthy for our planet. A clean energy economy that will be inclusive, and will be strong enough to lift people out of poverty," said Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr, president and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus.
“Climate change is real and we have to deal with it,” said Rev. Beckmann. “Governments negotiating a new climate treaty must make concrete commitments at the climate change conference in Copenhagen in early December. The world’s economic recovery will remain fragile if we do not take steps to address climate change. Hungry and poor people are the most vulnerable.”
The report analyzes the issues that need to be addressed in order for the U.S. and global economies to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. It highlights the opportunity to put in place policies that reduce inequality, help low-income families to save and build assets for the future, and revitalize neglected communities throughout the country.
Hunger 2010: A Just and Sustainable Recovery also makes the case for U.S. leadership in reducing hunger and poverty around the world and in addressing climate change. “The economic crisis has given us an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild our economy and to put people and the planet at the center of our decisions,” said Rev. Beckmann. “It is important that the economic recovery be measured by how many of the world’s poorest people are able to lift themselves out of chronic hunger and poverty.”
Hunger 2010: A Just and Sustainable Recovery is available online at www.bread.org/hungerreport.
Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.