March 27, 2006

Third-World Aid and Farm Subsidies

The technological, financial, and intellectual changes in the world all seem to be moving us toward a more global culture. The Internet, globalization, and the changing attitude toward the War on Terror are all pushing Western values onto the developing world.

These changes have some very negative effects, including the loss of indigenous culture and the all-too-often empowerment of dictators or religious zealots. However, there have been, and will be, some benefits to our changing global attitudes. We have begun to see ourselves as part of one global family, and to take the problems of other nations more and more seriously. International aid to the victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia, for example, was unprecedented. The United States alone, according to one blog ( donated over $1 billion dollars from non-governmental organizations.

In addition, the plight of the world's poor has become in international concern, unlike ever before. There are non-profits and corporations doing much to try to alleviate the hunger and destitute poverty in third-world countries. Governments are donating hundreds of millions of dollars a year to this cause. There is, however, an avenue which we should be using in order to help the poor, and which political silliness is causing us to ignore.

Most of the industry in developing countries is agrarian. Many of the world's poor are sharecroppers or resident farmers. By maintaining farm subsidies and agricultural tarriffs in America we are not allowing the world's poor access into our produce market. We should let our free market work to enrich the world's poor in a way that will be economically beneficial to us and them.

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