Monday, December 12

The Gains Outweigh the Losses

With reference to the poll mentioned below, the LA time editorializes,
...some people invariably lose when free-trade pacts are signed. And the farmer forced out of business by competitors from South America is more visible than the 10 other businesses created by a rising economy. Few economists or international development experts, however, doubt that the gains outweigh the losses. Reliable estimates show that the removal of tariffs, subsidies and other domestic supports would raise global economic output and income by hundreds of billions of dollars a year over the next decade or so. Most of that increase would occur in developed nations such as the United States.
Korean farmers...say the liberalisation of the rice market has driven several farmers to suicide, including Lee Kyung-hae, who killed himself at the height of the demonstration in CancĂșn.

"We want to protest peacefully," said Seo Pil-Sang of the Korean Agricultural Federation Trade Union. "But we are desperate. Lee died in CancĂșn. And unless the WTO listens to the voice of Korean farmers, I'm worried that someone else may kill themselves."
So to help Korean farmers keep making money, the world has to keep tariffs high and third-world farmers poor.

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