ENDS aren't meeting. Life was never peachy for the nation's poor but things are getting from bad to worse in the wake of the national - and global - food crisis. Granted, everybody, rich or poor, has got to eat, but the food inflation hits the poor hardest. To state the obvious, the lower one goes on the income scale, the higher the proportion of one's income is spent on food. This increasing fiscal pressure makes it tougher to spend on, say healthcare, education, skill acquisition or entrepreneurial investment, ensuring that an impoverished person, regardless of how enterprising, stays at the very same rung of the ladder. But things are getting a little too tight for the better off as well; a look at last week's Sensitive Price Index testifies to that. Though the SPI has been registering historic highs for the poorest income group (under Rs 3,000 per month), the last SPI registered a pretty high jump for the apex income group (Rs 12,000 and above per month) as well. In fact, this group was hit the hardest this time, probably due to the hike in fuel prices. Soon the lower groups are going to be hit harder. The reason that the rich got a beating was that out of these groups, they are the only ones who actually personally purchase fuel for their own means of transportation. When this increase in fuel prices translates into a general price hike, which it inevitably will, feeding a family is going to become even tougher. There is much resentment amongst the great unwashed. Though there haven't been food riots around here as yet (as there have been most famously in Haiti) the statistical correlation between the inflation and crime waves is known to all. Is there going to be a tipping point here? Is there a razor's edge, a particular price of food staples, which, once crossed, can lead to a Rwanda-like collapse? Prior to current times, allegations of becoming a failed state were hyperbolic. Now they are chilling.