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Friday, November 14, 2003

Welcome to Two New Blogs

At least they're new to me. One of them - from Hans Suter - seems to have been going since September, but I only found it this morning when checking for something (using Google) on my own blog. I love the design Hans.

New networks of economic interconnection.

Wouldn't it be interesting to have a worldwide description ot the remittance thing, Mr. Sucher ?

Breadwinners Who Know No Borders

In Mexico, this research found, fully one-fifth of the adults are receiving remittances from relatives in the U.S., and in El Salvador it is nearly a third. The surveys also show that these funds are reaching every sector of society, not just the poor, and indeed the greatest effect may be in keeping working-class families from slipping into poverty. Though most of the money goes for food and rent, between a quarter and a third of remittance recipients report putting some of it into savings, educational expenses or small investments. Given the size of the flow, these funds far exceed the economic aid and development assistance that wealthy countries like the U.S. are putting into the region.

The second is the Weblog of flemish beerdrinker Ivan Janssens:

French farmer and leftwing nutcase (here i go again!) José Bové wrote:

"We reject the global trade model dictated by the multinationals. Let’s go back to agriculture; less than 5% of agricultural production goes on to the world market. Yet those responsible for that 5% of international trade dominate the other 95% of the production that is destined for national consumption (or neighbouring countries) and force this sector to submit to their logic. It’s a totalitarian exercise. Agriculture should not be reduced to mere trade. People have the right to be able to feed themselves and take precautionary measures on food as they see fit."(Via Frans Groenendijk)

Huh? Agriculture dominated by the logic of international trade? I thought that agriculture was dominated by subsidies, tariffs, outright importprohibitions and so on. It seems that European agriculture policy for instance (but also US and Japan agriculture policy) is dominated by the exact opposite of international trade, it’s dominated by the logic of protectionism. And the theme of precautionary measures is just another symbol of the logic of protectionisme: it’s comes in handy to keep our borders closed to foreign agricultural products. Of course, as Frans says, food is not like any other product. But, these days it seems any product is not like any other product. Bové uses the same logic as Bush. Bush says: steel is not like any other product so we need "safeguards". And Bové: food is not like any other product so we need "precautionary measures".

Welcome to the blogsphere boys. And to my readers: you might have guessed, on day or another they are likely to show up as 'guest arbeiters' (sorry, posters).

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