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Re: farmers' plight

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
Parameswer Komaragiri wrote:

> It is interresting and bewildering to see west also
> subsidises farmers where as WTO drive third worlers to
> cut'em  back . I dont say subsidies are good . But am
> trying to understand how they fundamentally exist at
> all in so called open market economies and what in
> their economy sustains subsidy ?
> http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/2126.htm

it is really not all that 'bewildering'.

governments subsidise food prices to prevent hunger-
hungry people will do desperate things, such as
topple governments- recalling my high school history,
the french and russian revolutions were both sparked by
bread riots.

besides, food is a strategic weaponjust as potent
as military force- if country
x supplies a major portion of the food requirements of
country y, x pretty much controls country y by virtue of
the credible threat of shutting off food supplies.
[i expect the free-marketeers will argue here about
multiple market alternatives, but the time and cost
required to reconfigure supply sources is enough to
leave millions in a state of hunger- hence dangerous
to the order of things.]
btw, this is not just ancient history- as an illustration
of how such power has been wielded in the past,
in the mid 60's the US witheld food aid to india because
india resisted devaluing its currency. eventually the
government had to buckle and devalue.

for leaders to allow their country to become completely
dependent on some other country for their food needs,
would not be all that different from contracting out
the running of their armed forces and police to another
country in terms of the power it gives away.

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