Many of the solutions such as "end oil dependency" "stop eating" and "just pay people more" aren't realistic.
1. Solar is hot right now, and that can help in the future for energy needs. There are a lot of companies and money pouring into this industry now.
2. High global demand for grains + Low US Dollar + high oil prices = high food costs.
Everything that is transported by vehicle, ship or plane takes oil (fuel), and those costs will be passed down to consumers in the form of higher costs.
3. A low US Dollar (USD) vs foreign currency makes imported goods more expensive. We are net importers. We hardly make anything here any more due to high US wages compared to China, Latin America, Mexico, etc. The positive is that a low USD helps lower the US National Debt expense as we devaluate our currency. The USD has risen a little over the last couple of days which is sending commodity prices down at least for now.
4. The one thing the US Gov could do to help slow the oil price increase or have it fall $10-15 instantly for the moment anyway: Tell FEMA and the DOE to stop buying oil at these levels for the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The SPR is nearly full now, but we are buying in case of some oil shortage or other emergency where we can't get oil from the middle east.
5. High Demand & How Diet Influences Food Prices:
Demand from the especially the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China are growing at very fast rates. China and India are growing about 10? year. The fast economic growth in these countries mean that people have money, and people need to eat. China and India can't grow enough food to feed their own people.
6. The demand for this food has skyrocketed. Corn, Wheat, Soy, and other farm foods have climbed 100-300?n price in less than a year. No one is going to be able to stop people form eating, so that problem won't fix very well. if you want a solution? Change our diet, and that will change demand.
A) 70-95?f corn, wheat, oats and soy are fed to live stock, not people. It takes a tremendous amount of gains to raise live stock for the low yield of meat you get (see data below). The result - higher food prices for everyone.
See the rest of my prev post for more:
7. As for jobs? Under programs such as NAFTA and GATT passed by the Clinton Administration made it easy for US companies to move their business outside the USA for cheap labor, then import goods with no tariffs. As people in the US demand higher wages, more people will be laid off and companies will send their worker needs to other counties where labor is cheap.
8. The "food shortage" is not a big issues. The recent actions by Costco and Sam's Club limiting rice has created the illusion that their is a shortage. According to reports on CNBC-TV (04-23 and 04-24-08) the US has tons of rice silos and they are full. The US exports 50?f our rice to other countries. Today many commodities have dropped sharply, just 1 day after the retail rice "panic."