Monday, October 02, 2006

"The Rich Stay Healthy; the Sick Stay Poor"

by Ken Houghton

While I agree with Mark Thoma (and the economic world) in the abstract that "free trade is good," the risk and rewards of globalization don't exactly appear to be distributed optimally.
Safe disposal in Europe would have cost about $300,000, or perhaps twice that, counting the cost of delays. But because of decisions and actions made not only here but also in Europe, it was dumped on the doorstep of some of the world’s poorest people.

For once, I'm not talking about the details—such as Chapter 11 of NAFTA, the Uruguay round of GATT, or the recent CAFTA concessions to the U.S. pharmaceutical industry agreement—that belie the idea that "free trade" is practiced. The question is strictly one of risk and reward.

When we can legitimately describe an M. John Harrison novel as understated, perhaps it's time to consider power structures instead.
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