So while the U.S. Farm Bill is out to pasture until 2008, it looks like most commodity subsidies will remain untouched. Agricultural price supports may be the law of the land here, but it's certainly not what we've been advocating abroad. A bittersweet story on page one of today's NY Times documents how Malawians are pulling back from the brink, largely because -- going against the wishes of the World Bank -- they've begun to reinstitute government crop subsidies:
"Ending famine simply by ignoring the experts" heads the encouraging story of Malawi's turnaround on hunger ...
What's strange is that the "experts" in the piece are U.S. and British economists who advocated the standard imperial liberal solution (grow cash crops for export to us, and buy your food from us). Thankfully, the people of Malawi ignored such expertise and concentrated instead of the physical reality before them.
There is very little time for us to stop seeing our manifest crises in the physical and biological world through the lenses of "experts" who are themselves totally untrained in those fields of study.
Bob ("Prisoner of Trebekistan") Harris notices how often U.S. media aids and abets counterproductive U.S. foreign "aid" policies.
The same people whose worship of the so-called free market allows them to demolish countries are the ones leading the Bush Administration's efforts to ensure that the global response to global heating doesn't adopt any heresies. Which is why our policy response to global heating has been zilch.
A great story via Inhabitat: With all the sobering news lately about global warming and war, it’s important to remember all the positive things that are also going on in the world at any given time. Case in point: the story of intrepid Malawi youth William Kamkwamba who, despite having no education or training, recently […]