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Scotland, at the Doorway to Economic Change

Touch the Soil News #552

The most frustrating thing people experience is the lack of correlation between work and a path out of poverty – i.e. adequate access to food. Ensuring that work is a reliable route out of poverty is not what the world’s economic systems are focused upon – hence folks have looked to government and politics for answers.

Given that the world’s economics are simply a surface expression of the financial realms; can politicians really do anything about eliminating hunger and poverty? It seems the financial realms are what control politics – not politics controlling the financial realms.

In a stunning bravery to face the truth, the nation of Scotland wants to eliminate the scary trends towards food banking. Food banking is an emergency source of food that leaves people little dignity and doesn’t solve the core problem. In the U.S., we have become accustomed to the steady growth of food banking as a permanent source of food – rather than focusing on work and work ethic as the route to escape poverty. Today, some 50 million Americans are mired in food-bank lines – when most would rather work.

The Scottish Government created and commissioned what it calls “The Independent Working Group on Food Poverty. Recently the group came out with its report called “DIGNITY – ENDING HUNGER TOGETHER IN SCOTLAND.”

Not surprising, the Scottish report finds that food insecurity is linked to low-paid work, insecure work and inadequate benefit levels. This is what Americans have been thinking for decades. Now Scotland, a small nation of 5.4 million people, wants to end food banking. Their goal is to replace food banking with people working at adequate wages and government intervention into the affordability of food.

Nicola Sturgeon, a lawyer from Glasgow, is the first woman to serve as the First Minister of Scotland. She is facing a political hot potato as the nation wants to go to the core of hunger – insufficient employment.

This is a big thing, if Scotland has the political will to end hunger at the core, Scotland will have to enter uncharted economic and financial frontiers. If Scotland is to end hunger with work and wages, it will have to re-invent finance and economics.

The DIGNITY – ENDING HUNGER TOGETHER IN SCOTLAND” report calls on the Scottish government to prevent hunger by ensuring work is a reliable route out of poverty. Unfortunately, the battle cry here at home is to donate more food for the hungry – affirming that in modern economics, the correlation between working and eating has eroded to an all-time low.

Following is a video clip on the hunger situation in Scotland:

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