Friday, December 18, 2009

Free Market Famines



One of the problems that occurs during discussions of global poverty (on the rare occassion they take place at all), is the seeming cognitive dissonance between the way our global economy works and the direct result it has on the crisis of developing countries. Nothing speaks to this as well as malnutrition, where market liberalization and forced structural adjustments have wreaked havoc with food availability throughout the poor nations of the global south. Whether it's Haiti, who 30 years ago grew its own rice but has been today forced to beg for food aid, or the very man-made 2005 famine in Niger, the pattern remains constant. Then, as now, the stewards of the global economy are willfully blind to their hands in these crises, and often--fantasically--actually insist on even more of the free market's hand to fix the disasters: as if trying to douse a fire by pouring more gasoline.


Laurent Pinsolle at the french magazine Marriane2 tackles this circular logic, deconstructing a recent article in the conservative magazine The Economist that attempts to tout how market liberalization can save the starving masses of the world it helped to create. Read it all here.

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