comments by editor
Most of the world's people are essentially slaves to the rich nations, and/or have seen their farming and fishing destroyed by unfair competition from corporations. The rich world can change this without appreciable sacrifice, but the "Greed is our salvation" ethic prevails. I saw a statement issued at an international business summit a few years ago that said it was a good thing to respect third world cultures and show some respect for the environment. (It might have even said it was acceptable to pay a little more than the lowest conceivable wage, although that probably would have been going to far.) But the summit statement went on to say this was not an endorsement of some kind of humanitarian sentiment, it was just that such measures could increase profit by reducing local political friction. These corporate people believe that any kind of non-greed thinking can be a danger for the world's prosperity because it is against the free market, which is the source of all prosperity. That the "free market" is not really fre. It consists, domestically, of price fixing and other forms of racketeering, killing competition by buying feisty small companies, monopolies and anti-competitive mergers, collusion with government agencies that are supposed to be regulating business, enabled by the "revolving door" between business and government, etc. Internationally the "free market" consists of bribing third world governments, raping natural resources, polluting in ways not allowed in the U.S., and exploiting workers without a shred of mercy. Government security forces make sure there is no chance of unions forming. (Read about Abramoff in Saipan in a book called "The Wrecking Crew") The rich countries send trawlers to poor countries around the world, paying off local governments so they can steal the fish stocks that used to provide a living for small local fishermen, and food for the people. And then there is the World Bank, which straps small nations to debt from loans stolen by the corrupt local rich, and then, having the government under the thumb of this debt, tells them not to subsidize their farmers, (or spend on health and education) while the rich countries dump their subsidized crops on these poor nations. For an article about how well Malawian farmers did after Malawi ignored World Bank provisos, click here.