November 3, 2009
Are there too many people?
There is "a staggering fertility decline.
"In the 1970s only 24 countries had fertility rates of 2.1 or less, all of them rich.
"Now there are over 70 such countries, and in every continent, including Africa." (Fertility: Go forth and multiply a lot less)
People are starving?
"Experts estimate that corruption in India indirectly kills more than 8,000 people a day by diverting money from food programs into the pockets of crooked officials." (India's New Anti-Corruption Laws May Not Work )
We still have the feudal system.
Bangladeshis making cheap clothes for supermarkets are paid as little as 3p an hour.
(Stunning Photos: ZORIAH - PHOTOGRAPHER'S BLOG.)
The book World Hunger: Twelve Myths (12 Myths About Hunger.) tells us the following:
1. The world produces enough food.
But low incomes prevent many people from getting enough to eat.
The elite (A) prevent the poor from owning land (B) pay starvation wages.
2. Climate is a factor.
In America many homeless people die from the cold every winter.
Rich people in Kenya will not starve. Kenya exports food.
3. Birth rates are falling rapidly worldwide.
In countries like Nigeria, Brazil and Bolivia, lots of food is grown but many people are too poor to buy a decent meal.
The Netherlands has little land per person but manages to feed its people and export food.
Countries like Cuba and Sri lanka have managed to greatly reduce population growth rates.
They have done this by improving the lives of the poor, especially poor women.
4. Efforts to feed the hungry are not causing the environmental crisis.
Large corporations are mainly responsible for deforestation.
Most pesticides are applied to export crops.
Cuba overcame a food crisis through self-reliance and sustainable, virtually pesticide-free agriculture.
5. We must fight the prospect of a ‘New Green Revolution' based on biotechnology, which threatens to further accentuate inequality.
6. Large landowners often leave much land idle.
A World Bank study of northeast Brazil estimates that redistributing farmland into smaller holdings would raise output an astonishing 80 percent.
7. The market only works efficiently when everyone has a decent income.
8. As a result of 'Free Trade', Brazil exports soybean to feed Japanese and European livestock.
Export crop production squeezes out basic food production.
Since NAFTA there has been a net loss of jobs in the USDA and Mexico.
9. Poor people, such as the Zapatistas in Chiapas, seek change.
We should remove the obstacles often created by large corporations, U.S. government, World Bank and IMF policies.
10. Most U.S. aid works directly against the hungry.
US aid is used to keep repressive governments in power.
11. Low wages in the Third World may mean cheaper bananas, shirts, computers and fast food for Americans and Europeans.
But the system leads to greater poverty for the majority.
Corporations seek cheaper and cheaper labour.
12. The 'right to unlimited accumulation of wealth' is in conflict with 'ending hunger'.