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Author Topic: The left, the anti-globalizers and the subsidies
clockwork
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posted 09 November 2001 03:55 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Naomi Klein writes:
quote:
For rich countries like ours, the desire for this sign is desperate. It is more pressing than any possible problems with current WTO rules, problems mostly raised by poor countries, fed up with a system that has pushed them to drop their trade barriers while rich countries kept theirs up.
So it’s no surprise that poor countries are this round’s strongest opponents. Before they agree to drastically expand the reach of the WTO, many are asking rich countries to make good on their promises from the last round.
There are major disputes swirling around agricultural subsidies and dumping, about tariffs on garments, and the patenting of life forms. The most contentious issue is drug patents. India, Brazil, Thailand and a coalition of African countries want clear language stating that patents can be overridden to protect public health.

This is from the NDP “eletter”:
quote:
OTTAWA - The new round of World Trade Organization negotiations which begins
today in Qatar will continue to promote a definition of free trade which is far too narrow, New Democrat MP Dick Proctor told the House of Commons on Monday.
"WTO rulings have been forcing Canada to begin dismantling too many programs including the auto pact, domestic and export support programs for agriculture, and research and development assistance in the high tech sector," he said.

I detect a rift here over the anti-globalization left and the established left over agricultural subsidies. One attacks the WTO with one argument, the other attacks it with the opposite.

How do subsidies fit into each argument? Can the two sides be reconciled? What about subsidies in general? Would anyone care to comment?


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
agent007
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posted 09 November 2001 04:22 PM      Profile for agent007     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Rather than asking, "What about subsidies in general?" I, a Canadian -- citizen of the richest country in the world, bar none -- would want to repeat (M.I.T.) Prof. Lester Thurlow's question to his Canadian audience at the U.B.C. in September, 1992: "What would Canadians do if they were to wake up tomorrow to find that they are the only nation left on earth? Would they shiver? Would they starve?"
Dr. David Suzuki who, at that time (1992), was still writing a column for the Toronto Star based his (Sep. 29, 1992?!) column on that very question, arguing for Canadian economic sovereignty.
What the NDP/Left-wingers should be doing is NOT criticizing the WTO, but putting up a credible argument to dump the WTO and other such bodies.
We don't need them. We shouldn't participate in their chicanery.

From: Niagara Falls ON | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
JonnyHaggis
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posted 09 November 2001 06:54 PM      Profile for JonnyHaggis   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I detect a rift here over the anti-globalization left and the established left over agricultural subsidies. One attacks the WTO with one argument, the other attacks it with the opposite.

They're not necessarily opposing arguments. Those subsidies, and trade agreements in question tend to kill off small farmers in Canada as well as in the 3rd world, by bestowing ungodly powers and market share to the big producers in both 'worlds' (where there are preoducers mega enough to survive) and putting the small producers in a situation where they have to complete with the uber-subsidised mammoths.

What is desirable is a balanced subsidy, protection and assistance for small farmers in both worlds and let the agribusiness off the public nipple to sink of swim.

You want an environment where small producers are allowed and encouraged to stay alive, and they get protection if they're likely to be wiped out, and then the protections drop when they can fend for themselves.


From: Montreal | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
redshift
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posted 09 November 2001 07:53 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You know if we wait long enough, put our trust in george and stay the course , the need for agriculture and medicine, along with labour concessions and social aid in the third world becomes non-existent. like george says this is going to be a long war.
then we can mechanize production, use africa and the middle east as carbon sinks in the next round of Kyoto. We can manufacture perfect gm kibble, with a healthy dose of praxil for the domestic labor force.
relax, it'll all be fine.

From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 11 November 2001 09:45 AM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Farmers should watch Ottawa as a new round of WTO talks begin

Looks like a press release that summarizes JohnHaggis' comments.

I'm surprised the Canadian Wheat Board is still around. I can remember reading a lot of vitriol from people in the U.S. during the FTA negotiations directed at our communist wheat production conspiracy against the helpless, wholesome American family farmer.


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Liam McCarthy
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posted 11 November 2001 10:57 AM      Profile for Liam McCarthy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry to wreck the flow but here is a very interesting site on countering activism by a PR firm:

words form the beast


From: Windsor, Ont. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
redshift
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posted 11 November 2001 12:35 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The impact of adding another very big player ,China, to the WTO circus adds a a whole new dimension to these talks. already local softwood people are preaching salvation
they want to add 20 -25% to the amount of fibre harvested, sorry, that's trees cut, in anticipation of Gordo signing the REALLY BIG DEAL.
farming, especially livestock is gonna get bludgeoned, there are no controls in existence on size of facilites, pollution, health or worker rights.
Take economic fascism, add a healthy dose of political fundamentalism, join to capitalist imperialism. The world is theirs, and we are not them. The wto, gats and nafta are ,penultimately, the crack in the wall of Bush's Fortress North America.
Business is blindly and blithely pursuing a course to the bottom. National and provincial governments, far from mediating the effect of short-term, irresponsible economic policy, abrogates its responsibnility in favor of deniability, which in an age of 30 second sound-bite attention spans ,is a safe refuge.
The fault though is ours, social activists, labour activists, environmentalists, farmers and workers. business is a great dumb beast, guided by simple-minded plowmen. It moves to profit like the bulldozers of Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath", it can do no more.
we must provide that guidance, moderating the damage that capitalism and the pursuit of wealth inflicts on civil society. to do that we must form coalitions, moderating also our paths from single-minded pursuit of the unattainable, to coalesce around shorter term and reachable goals.
global economics will no doubt inflict tremendous damage, trying to enforce a set of rules increasingly divorced from either social or economic long-term efficiency.
With global communication and transparency, support for socially aberrent behavior, either domestic or foreign will evaporate more and more quickly. hopefully the new paradigm will evolve from this to a respect and valuation for human life both in quality and duration , beyond the out-moded market -driven commodification as labour.

From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
JonnyHaggis
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posted 11 November 2001 01:01 PM      Profile for JonnyHaggis   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
By the way, it is estimated that up to 100, 000, 000 Chinese peasant farmers will be driven off the land if China gets into the WTO. Driven where? Nowhere because it is illegal in china for a country person to enter a city without a permit! It's truly sick.
From: Montreal | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 12 November 2001 06:44 AM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I’m sure the government will set up the “Party Sub-Committee to Study Non-Displaced Peasant Comrade Situation” and it will deal with the matter in an expedient fashion.

Liam: blah, blah, blah, blah. I can’t believe people actually bought into the seminar.


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 12 November 2001 10:08 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
redshift: a virtuoso performance! Applause, applause!
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 12 November 2001 07:04 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Redshift wrote:

"With global communication and transparency, support for socially aberrent behavior, either domestic or foreign will evaporate more and more quickly. hopefully the new paradigm will evolve from this to a respect and valuation for human life both in quality and duration , beyond the out-moded market -driven commodification as labour."

That is one of the more farsighted things i have read recently. It goes in my special insights book!
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From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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