Trade or Aid?
Anita Sharpe on Business
What's the best way to help impoverished Third-World countries -- give them money or help make it easier for them to sell their products competitively?
'People think more aid will help, but it won't,' actor Minnie Driver told the New York Times. 'Trade is the surest way of decreasing the savage amount of poverty in our world. These countries have got to be able to trade fairly.'
That's why Driver, along with a group of other celebs, including Antonio Banderas and musicians Bono, Michael Stipe and Alanis Morrissette, are lending their names to an Oxfam America ad campaign that rails against farm subsidies paid by U.S., European Union and Japanese governments. These subsidies, the critics argue, flood the planet with artificially cheap crops and the poorer, unsubsidized countries can't compete.
Nevermind the actors and rockers, how can any true capitalist make a case for subsidies?