Regimes in the Middle East change because people are fed up with the same old politicians with their same old ideas of stability and making themselves rich while the rest of the people cannot find jobs or are in jobs with steady but low pay while food prices have skyrocketed.
Of course, the chief cause of very high food prices is the natural disasters and crop failures. There is a shortfall in the supply of food and prices rise to ration the supply to those who have the purchasing power to access the food. In other words, the supply of food in the world is now distributed more among the rich and away from the poor. (The poor even with their pooled resources would have have a limited access while the rest falls on the tables of the well-to-do.)
Does it help to restrain demand growth? If slower demand growth will create less jobs or less to higher unemployment, then the poor with continue to suffer. So long as there is a shorter of food supply, the rich will bid up the prices until they get the quantity they need. By slowing demand growth, if the slowdown is marginal, its impact will be much more severe on the poor (who have no cushion) than on the rich (who do not have a cushion problem).
The only way that prices can really adjust downwards is through a severe depression whereby not only the poor will be jobless with no cash but the so-called rich will be in trouble with their cashflows and their investments. Banks will also be in trouble again. This is a shock scenario which is unwarranted. The problem is a shortage in food supply and the solution is to replant the acres lost to the floods or weather. Time is the cure.
How ironic then that it is the weather and the floods that bring about the downfall of old regimes, as if it is the straw that broke the camel's back. It is as if the almighty has decided that the old regimes have stayed too long and decided to give the poor masses a helping hand. Would there be a new regime or an old regime in a new bag.
But didn't sustained rapid growth in the money supply of the reserve currency awakened the sleeping dragon which had slept for half a century, and decided that it will not go hungry any more. Surely China is big enough to absorb all the money that Greenspan could print at high speed for a decade or so - and China grew just as fast and as long. Along the way, short-term money flowed through all the financial markets around the world, awaking stockbrokers and the real estate markets, and everybody suddenly became rich and corrupt without much effort. No, of course, the growth of asset prices are consistent with so much percentage point growth per annum, while wages among manufacturers remained low thanks to the newcomers from China. Global wages threatened to adjust downward to Chinese levels - at least this was what MNCs threatened their workers outside China while Chinese workers apparently gladly suffered in silence of their newfound economic opportunities.
So much water had flowed under the bridge. The global economic depression that promised to surface didn't happen as Bernanke cleverly staved off the threat with extra cash. All nominal values stayed about the same, except for some unfortunate real estate but temporary. The world is saved from a horrible adjustment which had been sorely needed to readjust global and local economic power. Everything stayed the same more or less, except for the food prices, housing rentals, transport charges - all the things that a poor man and his family needs everyday.