Thursday, December 14, 2006

Economist: Love it and hate it

I love it because it pushes me to think. I hate it, sometimes, because it is overly simplistic and condescending. Why can't it push one to think without its tone?

Good Food? the leader this week encourages us to get off our socially responsible high horses and consider the unexpected externalities of additional land used in growing organic crops, trade imbalances from fixed fair trade prices and the overall impact of "food miles," not just how close a product was produced. Thank you, we should investigate Rainforest Alliance's efforts to look beyond the guarantee of price.

But...(I am in a bad mood) read the full special report and you realize that the claim of New Zealand lamb, apples and onions being produced with less energy than the same British goods even after the flight to the UK was conducted by...Lincoln University in New Zealand. Wonder how many UK universities cooperated on that research?

And this article on organic cotton might make one think that digging into the issue of organic cotton is only for trend-conscious Prius-owners. OK, economists out there, organic cotton may be hard to certify and difficult to produce, but take a trip to Uzbekistan before you encourage us all to forget about regulating and improving the way global cotton demand is met.

"Ethics, after all, are all the rage."

Stop pissing on everything, you condescending economist jerks.


Alberto said...

YEAH! I haven't had time to review the article yet - I am clearly a slow blogger - but I had very similar comments to yours. Plus, I remember feeling a little enraged by their dismissing of several important arguments in favour of fair-trade.

Oh, well. If it can be of any consolation, I am watching the 3rd Italian channel, which had promised me a rich programme about the impact of globalisation on developing countries. Instead, I have been watching for 1 hour the plights of poor Senegalese who explain how many ideas and projects they can't realize because of lack of funds.

"The vitality and inventiveness of Dakar is a miracle hidden beneath the African tragedy" - the talented script informs us.

Meantime, an artist (Italy, unlike the UK, still sees art as a constituent part of a nation's development, and devotes half of the programme to Dakar's art scene) warns about the hypocricy of the aid industry.

Total suggestions given about HOW to help Senegal in practice? None. Just lots of guilt fuel, perfect for a Catholic conscience. Maybe the Economist has a role to play after all...

Pavlusha34 said...

Well, I do love it sometimes too. But that doesn't mean I can't yell at her when she insults my sense of justice.