Thursday, September 23, 2004

Christian Aid's misguided campaign

From their campaign
So called Free Trade. Our government claims Free Trade is the solution to the world's problems. But that's exactly what you'd expect them to say. Why? Because it allows the world's richest countries and their fat cat companies to profit. It's the cruellest rip-off in history. Millions of farmers in poorer nations are being gradually ruined by free trade. Take the case of the onion farmers of Senegal. With Free Trade forced on them, they're unable to sell their produce because their local markets are flooded with onions imported from Europe. The farmers are helpless to do anything but stand by and watch their crops rot and their livelihoods disappear. Want to do something about it? Help us get Tony Blair to listen by voting for ‘Trade Justice' - here and now.

Comments here and here

Note the way free trade is forced upon farmers. Either this is deceitful or ignorant. The latter because perhaps they do not understand that forced trade is not free trade, by definition. Or the former, because it sounds like Marxist type abuse of the English language: free trade is really forced trade because the workers are not working towards their best interests.... That the campaign is basically Marxist can be seen in the following zero-sum policy suggestion:

Make laws to stop big business profiting at the expense of people and the environment.

The real problem here is that the campaign is partly right yet the solution is woeful. The proper solution is to get rid of subsidies in Europe that harm people in the 3rd world. If this is trade justice, let's have it.

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