Column #45: James Stanford, Free Trade and the Imaginary Worlds of Economic Modelers. Free traders commonly make extravagant claims for the numbers of new jobs that removal of trade barriers will generate. These are produced by computer simulation models of world's that exist only in economist's imaginations.
Column #46: Vandana Shiva, The Greening of Global Reach.The global projection of local interests is the primary cause of the global ecological crisis. Efforts to globalize environmental concerns seek to draw attention away from this reality, redefine the consequences of environmental destruction as causes, and place responsibility for corrective action in the hands of the very same rootless institutions that are intent on assuring their own roles in creating the crisis are overlooked.
Column #47: Paul Wangoola, We Are Africans.From the early slave trade, on through colonialism and structural adjustment, outsiders have been intent on linking Africa into a dependent relationship with the global economy. Africans are now rethinking these relationships and calling for a more independent relationship with the global economy that allows for the creation of an African family economy.
Column #48: Jorge G. Castañeda and Carlos Heredia, NAFTA: A Bad Agreement. There are good and bad trade agreements. The European nations have recognized that commercial integration cannot be addressed separately from social and political integration. Such recognition is essential to a good agreement. NAFTA deals only with commercial integration, neglecting a wide range of basic social and political issues. It is a bad agreement.
Column #49: Winifred Armstrong. "Sustainability Requires New Economic Concepts."#49: Winifred Armstrong. "Sustainability Requires New Economic Concepts." Concludes that both poverty and environmental destruction are a consequence of a failed economic framework. Cites the observation from her African tour that African countries could be providing their people with satisfactory and sustainable lifestyles, if they used an alternative economic framework to the one imposed by international agencies.
Column #50: Vadana Shiva, "Ecological Recovery and the Feminine Principle." Because of its denial of the feminine principle of regeneration, development has become a threat to life itself. There is a great deal to be learned from the survival expertise of the women of more traditional societies where a central concern for life in the
Column #51: Mary E. Clark, "The Backward Ones." Contrary to prevailing social theory, humans evolved to belong, not to compete. Violence is not inherent in human nature. To the contrary, it is a response to the absence of opportunities for social bonding that are
Column #52: Gar Alperovitz, "Economic Restructuring: Through Community and Employee Ownership." While world leaders discuss solutions to the global economic crisis at the level of the international economy, people all around the world are creating an alternative economy based on community based ownership. Thousands of examples are thriving in the
Column #53: Manus van Brakel and Maria Buitenkamp, "Northern Lifestyles: What is Equitable & Sustainable?" The main obstacle to sustainability is overproduction and overconsumption in wealthy countries. A Netherlands study has calculated per capita shares of the sustainable product of the ecosystem and suggested approaches to organizing societies
Column #54: William E. Rees and Mark Roseland, "From Urban Sprawl to Sustainable Human Communities." Urban sprawl based on unrestricted use of the automobile is a major contributor to unsustainability. Transportation planning has primarily involving responding to congestion. A new approach is needed in which transportation and spatial planning are integrated to reorganize urban space around
Column #55: Karen Christensen. Creating a Community Economy." A case study of a rural town in the United States provides examples of initiatives to create a community economy. These range from creating community currencies and a local fund for affordable housing to the
Column #56: Kristin Dawkins and Chirag Mehta, "Getting Prices Right: Only a Partial Answer." Advocates of market solutions have advocated full cost pricing as a way of using market forces rather than regulation to address environmental issues. While an important concept, it requires strong governmental intervention and can never be more than a partial
Column #57: Kristin Dawkins, "The Global Economy: A Bad Deal for Women." While the trends toward globalization of the economy have had devastating consequences for women, few women, especially in the North, are aware of the extent to which many of the conditions creating increasing hardship for them result from international trade and investment policies. Women's organizations need to address these policies.
Column #58: Stephen Viederman, Sustainability: Principles Behind the Vision. The environment is not just another special interest. It is the foundation of our existance. The need for a new vision cannot wait for our leaders. We must move head as citizens to create a new society.
Column #59: Robin Broad and John Cavanagh, Grassroots Environmentalists: the Poor Fight Back. Broad and Cavanagh report that in the Philippines it is often the poor who are putting their lives on the line to protect the environment from predatory assault by the wealthy.
Column #60: Mike Nickerson, Beyond Growth to Maturity. Once an individual reaches maturity further development centers not on physical growth, but rather on social, cultural, spiritual, and intellectual growth.
Column #61: David Morris, "Why Not Fair Trade Agreements?" Morris challenges the basic premise that more trade is necessarily better and sets forth a number of principles that would lead to trade agreements that would better serve the community interest.
Column #62: Helena Norberg-Hodge, "The Psychological Road to 'Development.'" Drawing on her long involvement with an ancient culture in Kashmir, Hodge illustrates how the integration of a self-reliant traditional economy into the modern market economy has actively impoverished a proud people psychologically, as well as economically. This story is more fully documented in a highly recommended book and videotape. For more information write ISEC c/o Green Books, Foxhole Dartington, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EB, Great Britain.
Column #63: A. V. Krebs, "Corporate Agribusiness: Monopolizing Sustenance." Massive agribusiness corporations have substantially monopolized the growing, processing and distribution of food in the United States and nearly eliminated the small farmer in the United States. Already well established globally, they are counting on trade agreements such as GATT and NAFTA to further extend their power over the food on which we all depend.
Column #64: People's Research Institute on Energy and Environment, "From Economic Growth to Quality of Life." A citizen policy research group in Japan concludes that slimming, not growth, is the key to moving the Japanese economy toward sustainability. Slimming would include a radical reduction in Japanese exports.
Column #65: William E. Rees and Mathis Wackernagel, "Cities, Trade and Ecological Deficits." Cities inevitably have an ecological footprint far larger than their political boundaries. Their often substantial ecological deficits are masked by exporting them to distant peoples through
Article #1: David C. Korten, Power, Poverty, Economic Integration & Bretton Woods.Policies advanced by official agencies place the interests of the powerful ahead of the interests of the poor. The fact that their decision making is secret is cause enough for concern. Deep democratic reform is needed in international rule making.
Art The Bretton Woods institutions were created to advance a commitment to an integrated global economy in the belief that this was the key to universal peace and prosperity in the modern world. The globalization agenda is moving into its final phase with the current round of GATT negotiations. Unfortunately, the actual consequence is growing poverty, social disintegration, and ecological destruction, as the final constraints to the ultimate concentration of unaccountable economic power in the institutions of transnational capital are removed. These agreements should be rejected out of hand pending a basic rethinking and extensive public debate.
Article #2: Walden Bello, Toward a People's Pacific. A Pacific region in which the United States is militarily dominant and Japan is economically dominant is inherently unstable. A vertical pattern of economic integration in which most participants serve mainly as markets and sources of cheap labor, materials, and technology for a Japanese economy that controls the capital and technology and reaps the bulk of the profits does not serve the interests of the Pacific peoples. Three proposals are put forward: demilitarization; the creation of a new economic block based on preferential reciprocal relationships not extended to the United States and Japan; and formation of a Regional Congress of NGOs.
Article #3: Eknath Easwaran, The Compassionate and Thrifty Universe. Traditional village life lacked many of the material advantages of modern life, but it also had less poverty and provided greater social and spiritual rewards.
Article #4: David C. Korten, Free Trade and the American Dream. The world is being told that free trade is the key to achieving the American dream. Ravi Batra, in his recent book The Myth of Free Trade, notes that America's industrial success was a function of vigorous competition within well-protected domestic markets. So long as the United States was protectionist and enforced anti-trust regulations to keep domestic markets competitive, wages and living standards grew steadily for the average American. Since it became an open economy in 1973 and weakened anti-trust enforcement, wages and living standards have fallen steadily for 80 percent of American families. The world is being told that free trade is the key to achieving the American dream. Ravi Batra, in his recent book The Myth of Free Trade, notes that America's industrial success was a function of vigorous competition within well-protected domestic markets. So long as the United States was protectionist and enforced anti-trust regulations to keep domestic markets competitive, wages and living standards grew steadily for the average American. Since it became an open economy in 1973 and weakened anti-trust enforcement, wages and living standards have fallen steadily for 80 percent of American families.
ANGOC, IRED Asia and the PCDForum, Economy, Ecology & Spirituality: Toward a Theory and Practice of Sustainability.This piece was the collective product of the reflections of Asian NGO leaders affiliated with the PCDForum who gathered in Baguio, Philippines in October 1992 for a ten day retreat to reflect on Asia's development experience and its implications for future NGO strategies in the region. It's conclusions became the foundation of the Forum's subsequent analysis and the subsequent book When Corporations Rule the World. It concluded that conventional development theory is based on a false premise regarding the nature of progress. The need is not for an alternative theory of development, but rather a theory of a just and sustainable society that embraces the spiritual dimension of life and community.
Wilson Campos as Interviewed by Alicia Korten. "A Seat at the Table: Central American Small Farmers Challenge Structural Adjustment and Free Trade."ASOCODE is an alliance of 4 million small farm households from throughout Central America. These household find their very existence is being directly threatened by structural adjustment programs imposed by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Convinced that they cannot fight these forces successfully, Central American farmers are trying to adapt to export agriculture, while doing their best to preserve the region's food self-reliance in the face of policies intended to render their countries import dependent for food. They find they need time, however, to develop the new skills and organizational capacities required both to grow new crops, and to capture the value added in processing and marketing through farmer run cooperative enterprises. They call on the people of Northern countries to support their cause against the policies being imposed by Northern governments.
Anonymous. "WHAT IF.....?"This unattributed piece was passed to me recently with the suggestion I share it with the network as a contribution to the lighter side of the trade debate. It raises the hypothetical question, "What if there were a conspiracy of the world's business elites? What strategy might they pursue to gain total power?" It then suggests an answer in the diabolical scheme outlined in a hypothetical memo by the fictitious, but brilliant Harry Winters, Staff Economist for the fictional International Business Roundtable. Its all good fun—except that current history conforms in every consequential detail to the Winters' plan. I didn't find that part very humorous. This piece is in the public domain and may be freely reprinted and distributed without attribution.
Bishan Singh, "Economic Colonialism." For Southern countries, globalization of the market advances a modern form economic colonialism.
Bishan Singh, "Development and the Youth Culture." A dysfunctional youth culture is one indicator of the social disintegration advanced by the growth-centered development model.