Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Inequities of Fair Trade and Why Free Trade is the Answer

An important political and economic differerence in highlighted by the The
"Free trade used to be seen as a progressive, liberalising force. By spreading economic freedom across the world, it enhanced prosperity, raised living standards and improved international relations. Yet in recent decades it has been transmuted by the propagandists of the Left into one of the darker elements of Western capitalism, portrayed as a brutal weapon used by governments and multinational corporations to exploit the impoverished of the Third World. "

"As so many intervention schemes — such as the scandalous oil-for-food programme in Iraq — have proved, regulation and subsidy only benefit corrupt politicians and bureaucrats in the long term. The bigger the fair trade sector becomes, the more it will be prone to waste and mismanagement. The only real way of improving the lot of Third World economies is through free trade, opening up markets rather than distorting them — and that includes the abolition in Western economies of iniquitous subsidies like the CAP in Europe or steel tariffs in the US. The developing countries which have enjoyed the greatest leaps in prosperity in the last half century are those that have embraced international competitive trade. "

Wonder why many UK publications cover issues with more depth and thought than US ones; I suspect it has to do with the patience and understanding of their respect readers and the goals of the publications themselves.

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