RE: ECONOMICS: Globalization and corporate power

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Wed Aug 22 2001 - 23:04:23 MDT

Robert started this fine thread with a number of very
interesting remarks, such as

> What happens is a country comes to the IMF for a loan. The
> IMF says ok, but the conditions are that you have to lower
> any barriers to imports (because free trade is a good thing).
> The country says ok. So what happens is in comes a flood
> of foreign goods, esp. U.S. food, produced by corporate
> agri-business.

While it is very important and vital to wonder (as some have)
whether the exporting countries are "dumping", i.e., selling
produce at below market prices for various kinds of evil
advantages, I am curious about the case that might obtain
even if there were no dumping.

> These come in at prices lower than foods can be produced
> domestically and as a result the Jamaican farmers are
> driven out of business.

Yes, they're driven out of business---perhaps even in the
case where some technologically advanced country simply
*can* produce the goods more cheaply. But someone in
Jamaica still has money to buy the foreign goods. How
is that money made? Why can't the farmers do whatever
those people are doing? If there is a reason that the
farmers can't do *that*, then what else can the farmers
productively do?

I seem to recall that even if country A can make X more
cheaply than country Y can, then (under some circumstance
that I can't recall), country Y should still produce X.

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