Business: For the Poor: More Hunger

For middle-class families, food-price inflation means discomfort; for the American poor, it can mean outright hunger. Spending up to 60% of their income on food, the poor consume the most basic of diets and cannot "spend down" by substituting cheaper items when the cost of their regular diet goes up. Worse, the foodstuffs that they eat much of, such as rice, flour and dried beans, have risen even faster in price than meat and butter, which the middle class eats more of. The price of dried beans, for example, has leaped an astounding 256% since December 1970, while rice has jumped...

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