Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Help Africa: Trade With Them!

Publius has an enlightening piece on how the real way to help African Poverty is not through debt relief, but through trade. What has pouring billions into Africa in the past gotten us?

You see, for twenty years the West has made the disastrous mistake of attempting to correct the genocides, famines, and poverty of Africa by fueling unchecked billions of dollars into the very root of the problem. These strongmen maxed out their Visas, shot the political opposition with their gleaming AK-47s, and then cruised around in their brand new Hummers with some hoes in the back. It’s enough to make the mad mullahs bounce for some bling.

Now, we with hard-earned productive and democratic countries are supposed to roll over, play dead, and forget all about it. “Sure,” the dictators will say, “we’ll do better this time! Just forget the billions wasted and the millions dead and we’ll single-handedly bring democracy to Africa!” Just, of course, as they single-handedly trashed decades of progress in a matter of years. The problem is not a lack of support for leaders in Africa; it is our support for them within systems of government that guarantee their corruption.

So how exactly would the US be able to help free trade with Africa, you ask?

In order to make free trade with Africa work, therefore ensuring its prosperity and democratization, the United States and Europe need to deal blows to a more covert enemy: agricultural subsidies. Artificially lowered prices in the West prevent their produce from entering the market, trapping them in a fake poverty with very real effects. When the G8 met in Scotland, they promised to cut deep into these subsidies; however, no timeline has been set and Africans are doubtful that one ever will be... With Africans steadily losing hope in the promises made to them, it’s time for the Unites States and Europe to put up or shut up.

Hmmm... cutting government spending on subsidies while helping Africa's impoverished. Sounds good to me, and a heck of a lot more useful than the Live8 concert a little while ago. Maybe next time it should be a Liber8 concert.


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