May 25th, 2010

Trade Justice.

Jobs - the next challenge in the developing countries.

Ok - I think I have pretty much covered the Green position on one other issue.
We care about the planet, we care about the people, and we care about the community.

These three issues, we believe are interlinked and one will affect the others. Of course, we advocate healthcare - we want to see kids growing up in decent homes instead of dying young of typhoid and malaria. So, I have posted about IMR, about WaterAid and stuff like that, here in the past..

But, you may say - if all these kids grow up, how are we going to find work for them all? They need jobs, and we don't have enough jobs in this country to go round as it is. We don't want to see more starving adults any more than we want to see starving kids on the news, thanks.

Point taken . As a member of the Green Party, I would like to point out that several initiatives have been going on for years, they do work and I want to see them grow. Here is one.

In a nutshell, we in the west buy coffee cheap , and we sell it dear. The same is true of tea, coffee , sugar and much else , too.
Traidcraft went into the developing world in 1979, and set up workers co operatives. Local people went and grew tea, coffee and lots of other stuff, and Traidcraft bought the goods at a fair price, not a low price. They then sold it on the open market in Britain.

This has meant that they were able to pay the growers more money. The growers used the cash as they wanted, to expand the business, or open a village clinic or school. Traidcraft has opened up  more lines of business - it now offers Fair Trade (FT) clothing , as well as food items. there are also Fair trade organisations like it operating around the world, including the USA.
At first, it was only possible to buy FT coffee at my local charity shop or church hall. But dedicated volunteers campaigned to make FT coffee a mainstream item. You can now buy FT coffee in Starbucks, and hopefully, if the trend continues, FT goods in many other places, like department stores.

This is taking us out of the era when people in developing nations lived in mud huts and were dependent on Foriegn Aid whenever the harvest of subsistence farming failed. Another big initiative is this one -

Again , in a nutshell, instead of shipping out food which will be eaten and needs replacing , this group is shipping out tools that will enable local people in the developing world to be more self reliant. it will enable them to start up businesses.
Black smiths and clothing factories will emerge in little villages. instead of everyone growing their own food, labour will be able to become more specialised, incomes will increase and people will be able to adopt a better way of life - hopefully without going through all the hardships that we did in the 18th and 19th centuries, because they will be able to go straight to using solar power and other renewable  energy sources where we went for coal and oil.

And once we achieve that, we can talk about the Greens position on Trade and Industry, crime, policing, schools, health services, electoral reform and all the other issues we talk about in the Western world. We do not want to see the developing world lag behind forever, we want to see the developing world actually develop.

I think it could be done in my lifetime , and I think this is the way to go. Workers co operatives leading an industrial revolution in the 3rd world; NGOs providing the start up technology and expertise. India and china are already going to become major exporters on the world market in the 21st century. Together, we need to re write the rules on world trade and shift the advantages heavily weighted towards the developed nations.

Get of my lawn!

This deserves attention...

In my mind this protest sets a dangerous precedent. In essence the SEIU has declared banker's homes, and families to be fair game. Do they not see how this could go wrong?

What would have happened if a neighbor, or worse a member of the banker's family, had decided to confront the protesters a la Gran Torino

In my previous post I bemoaned the "militarization" of civil authority. Now I'm going to go the other way and ask, where was the damn calvary?

There is a line in Slaughterhouse 5 that I have used in my posts about Iraq that goes "Those who have seen the elephant rarely go looking for it."

"Seeing the elephant" is a euphimism for combat, the idea being that any veteran "worth his salt" will be anti-war.

That's all well and good for physical warfare but what about class warfare?

Do we really want to find out?

Profiling, Deportation, and IDs -- Still not enough

So apparently a US citizen was held for 3 days on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant, even *after* he showed his ID and birth certificate.

Apparently the police thought his papers were fake because they thought he looked Mexican, not Puerto Rican and they were getting ready
to deport him. (This was Chicago, not Arizona fyi...but the concern is the same)

Rep. Gutierrez from Illinois, who has been in support the Immigration Reform, states

"In Arizona, they want everybody to be able to prove they're legally in the country. They want everybody to prove that they're an American citizen. Here we had an American citizen, that the federal government... could not determine, for more than three days, his status as an American citizen. It's very, very, very dangerous ground to tread."

In another article, Gutierrez says

It gets worse," Gutierrez said in an interview. "We know of instances in which young people in his same situation are actually taken to the border and deported from the United States.”

[chessdev]  To me, this just highlights the dangers of profiling and deportation being mixed together...   Thoughts?