16 June 2012

Day 20: The Insanity of Economics - Food Aid Does Not Help the Poor

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to see and realise the insanity of how the economy works if a country wherein half the population is starving, exports 65% of its food produce to richer nations.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realise that the rules by which the game of economics is currently played is actually killing billions through hunger and starvation because it makes more 'economic sense' for local farmers in developing countries to sell their crops to other countries that can actually pay the higher price of their crops than to feed the local starving community.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realise that donating food to developing countries does not serve them and only serves to suppress my own guilt for accepting an economic system to create a situation where people starve in a world of plenty - because poor people will accept donated food or food that is sold at a very low price from donating countries rather than to buy food produced by local farmers, which completely destroys the local agricultural economy, leaving the developing countries dependent upon the rich to feed them, while there is sufficient and rich arable land to cultivate their own food and farmers with the know-how to do it.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realise that in my attempt to suppress my guilt through a quick-fix of donating food rather than looking for and supporting long-lasting sustainable solutions - I am actually killing people.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to believe that donating food to the poor starving children is a noble act because I believe that this is what starving people need - without looking at the actual implications and consequences of food aid and how it merely perpetuates dependency on rich countries and therefore perpetuates underdevelopment, including poverty and starvation.

"Some years back, a keynote speaker at the International Famine Centre at Cork, Ireland, detailed how maize was loaded on ships bound for Britain at the height of the great Irish potato famine that killed some 1.5 million people more than 150 years ago. He paused and then lamented: “I wonder what kind of people lived at that time who were not even remotely offended at the sight of millions dying of hunger in the same village where the ships were being loaded.”"
— Devinder Sharma, Africa’s Tragedy; Famine as Commerce, November 10, 2002

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to see and realise the insanity of the current economic system if a country where 1.5 million people are dying of hunger, loads ships filled with maize and exports them to Britain.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realise that the same kind of people live in our time under the same economic principles, where countries with starving populations export their food produce to other nations because the own starving population is too poor to pay for it.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to force poor countries to remove any import tarrifs and trade barriers in order to receive financial assistance in the form of loans to aid their economy and then dump excess food produce in those countries, destroying the local food markets and aiding only the donor and exporting countries.

"Of the 830 million hungry people worldwide, a third of them live in India. Yet in 1999, the Indian government had 10 million tons of surplus food grains: rice, wheat, and so on. In the year 2000, that surplus increased to almost 60 million tons — most of it left in the granaries to rot. Instead of giving the surplus food to the hungry, the Indian government was hoping to export the grain to make money. It also stopped buying grain from its own farmers, leaving them destitute. The farmers, who had gone into debt to purchase expensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides on the advice of the government, were now forced to burn their crops in their fields.

At the same time, the government of India was buying grain from Cargill and other American corporations, because the aid India receives from the World Bank stipulates that the government must do so. This means that today India is the largest importer of the same grain it exports. It doesn’t make sense — economic or otherwise
."
— Anuradha Mittal, True Cause of World Hunger, Institute for Food and Development Policy, February 2002

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realise and see that starvation and hunger is not a result of a lack of food, but a lack of money and a sly game of politics that serves the economic powers in the world.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realise that charity and food donations will never stop world hunger - only a new economic system wherein each one is provided for unconditionally as the starting-point for the distribution of resources will make an end to this atrocity.

I commit myself to show how charity and food donations to poor countries don't help poor countries get richer, but instead dooms them into a downward spiral of dependency and helplessness.

I commit myself to show the hypocrisy of rich nations for demanding of developing countries to remove all trade barriers as a way to stimulate economic growth, while those rich nations themselves used extreme protectionism to gain the wealth they have today.

I commit myself to show the insanity of the economic system where in order to survive, farmers sell their crops to nations who don't need them while allowing the local population to starve.

I commit myself to show how slavery is very much a contemporary problem where poor countries are literally economically enslaved to the rich to do their bidding.

I commit myself to supporting and establishing a new economic system where common sense replaces insanity through founding the economy on the principle of what's best for all rather than 'every man for themselves'.

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