Saturday, January 8, 2011

World Bank to Manage Food Supplies?

Free markets can still feed the world ... Nicolas Sarkozy, France's president, has rightly identified food price volatility as a priority for his country as it chairs the Group of 20 leading economies this year ... With food accounting for a large and volatile share of tight family budgets in the poorest countries, rising prices are re-emerging as a threat to global growth and social stability. When prices of staples soar, the poor bear the brunt. Without global action, people in poor countries will be deprived of adequate and nutritious food, with tragic consequences for individuals and for the future prosperity of their countries. The G20 should agree to put food first – because food is the essence of life, and because practical action by the G20 could help make a real difference to hundreds of millions of people. – Financial Times
Dominant Social Theme: By empowering governments we accommodate freedom and provide as much food as necessary.
Free-Market Analysis: This editorial that just appeared in the Financial Times by World Bank president Robert Zoellick (above left) makes the case that the G20 ought to do more to ensure that people around the world do not suffer from food insecurity. It is actually a perfect example of an elite, fear-based mechanism at work. By creating nation-states, encouraging ethnic rivalries and generally stirring the pot, the Anglosphere has ensured a level of simmering chaos that makes it difficult if not impossible for certain societies to feed themselves on a regular basis. Africa's nation-states obviously come to mind.
Having helped trigger the food-crisis, the Anglosphere is now beginning to make fixing it a priority. But as with so many other endeavors (when it comes to the Anglo-American axis), one has to approach the concept of "fixing" with some trepidation. The axis deals in dominant social themes designed to frighten people into giving up wealth and power to internationalist institutions. Global warming was one-such meme – and we have long been on record as pointing out that global warming was logically supposed to trigger water and food scarcity memes. These elite promotions tend to work as narratives, leading to the observer logically from one point to another.
Right on schedule, then, the food-scarcity promotion is being rolled out. The only trouble is, as we have also pointed out, the global warming theme lies in ruins. Thus the elite is in a position of unveiling its food and water scarcity promotions without the justification of global warming. This is a big problem and we believe it has made it far more difficult to advertise these secondary messages.
Nonetheless, these promotions roll on. The idea is to continually centralize every human endeavor, and Zoellick's message certainly encourages the trend. We would not expect anything less from the head of the World Bank. This organization (like the IMF, the BIS and the UN itself) masquerades as a free-market entity but it is nothing of the sort.
We have analyzed the "tag team" of the World Bank and the IMF previously. The World Bank loans money to corrupt governments that loot or squander the funds and then the IMF comes in and insists on an "austerity program" of higher taxes and lower government spending to ensure the loans are paid back. We explained it this way in our article "Elite Eye on Africa."
The World Bank is obviously an important agency of the Anglo-American power elite; its headquarters are in Washington DC, and it was created about the same time as the International Monetary Fund in the mid-1940s. The two groups seemingly work in tandem. ... The World Bank has been constructed to make loans, and does so mostly to developing countries. These are countries that may need infrastructure and other large projects and the World Bank makes funds available, presumably at low interest rates [before the IMF steps forward with ruinous repayment terms.] ... The "tag-team" mechanism of the World Bank and IMF seems to work to the advantage of the Anglosphere.
In his article, Zoellick calls for many fairly bureaucratic remedies for food insecurity. Here is a list:
• Increase public access to information on the quality and quantity of grain stocks.
• Improve long-range weather forecasting and monitoring, especially in Africa.
• Deepen understanding of the relationship between international prices and local prices in poor countries.
• Establish small regional humanitarian reserves in disaster-prone, infrastructure-poor areas.
• Agree on a code of conduct to exempt humanitarian food aid from export bans.
• Ensure effective social safety nets.
• Give countries access to fast-disbursing support as an alternative to export bans or price fixing.
• Develop a robust menu of other risk management products.
• Help smallholder farmers become a bigger part of the solution to food security.
Each one of the above points seems to have a solution featuring some aspect of the World Bank or G20. While the article mentions the free-market in its title, Zoellick obviously distrusts its workings. Instead, he calls on the G20 to take steps to secure the world's food supply; then he mentions the World Bank and various associated elements. Apparently he sees the World Bank as expanding its brief into global food supplies.

No comments: