Friday, December 09, 2005

Capitalismo = - Pobreza

African Trade Liberalization Should Begin at Home

In "Trade Liberalization and Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa," Marian Tupy, assistant director of the Cato Institute’s Project on Global Economic Freedom, argues that trade liberalization and domestic reforms within Africa are more important than trade liberalization in rich countries. Average African tariffs are four and half times higher than those of rich countries. Moreover, African tariffs on African exports are much higher than rich countries’ tariffs on African exports. According to the study, trade liberalization within Africa could increase intra-African trade by 54 percent and account for over 36 percent of all the welfare gains that Africa stands to receive as a result of global trade liberalization.

Private Schools are Reaching the World’s Poor

Independent private schools in the world's poorest villages and slums are providing students with higher quality education than their public-sector counterparts. A groundbreaking study released today by the Cato Institute documents the reach and quality of low-cost private schools in low-income areas around the developing world.

In "Private Education is Good for the Poor: A Study of Private Schools Serving the Poor in Low-Income Countries," James Tooley, professor of education policy at the University of Newcastle and director of the University's E. G. West Centre, and Pauline Dixon, the Centre's international research coordinator, argue that the private sector is meeting the educational needs of the poor far more effectively than the state.

E o mais "chocante" de todos, embora seja totalmente verdade:

It's ok to buy goods made with child labour

As we begin thinking about shopping for Christmas presents for our children, it will not have escaped our notice that many of the toys we buy are made in China, Pakistan or India. For even the most ardent believers in free trade, this can lead to pangs of guilt as we think about poor children who are frequently working in appalling conditions to make Christmas presents for our own much more fortunate children. This issue is discussed in Catholic Social Teaching but for both theologians and economists agree that the issues are far from straightforward.


But it is a mistake to think that the development of trade and commercialisation are at the heart of the problem of people working in very poor conditions. China has lifted 300 million people out of dollar-a-day poverty through opening its markets. Economic growth in India has dramatically reduced child labour in recent years.

The conditions of workers who move to the newly industrialised cities and towns when underdeveloped countries start to grow are poor but invariably better than those associated with the subsistence-level agriculture to which such people had been tied in the countryside. Conditions will improve further only when workers have more alternative economic opportunities. Openness to trade and a free economy are necessary, if not always sufficient, conditions to creating greater opportunity.

This is highly relevant to our thinking about child labour. Child labour is often believed to be a problem of exploitation. In fact, it is a problem whose root cause is poverty and a lack of alternative economic opportunities. Deciding not to buy footballs made in Pakistan because they are made by children working in poor conditions will not solve a problem of exploitation, but it will exacerbate a problem of poverty. This is certainly the conclusion of research recently published by the Institute of Economic Affairs undertaken by two German economists Krisztina Kis-Katos and Gunther G. Schulze.

There have been various ways at different times by which a ban on children’s employment has been implemented: countries have passed laws of their own volition; international pressure has been brought to bear in some cases for a ban on child labour; and trade boycotts have been organised so that developed country governments or consumers in a developed country refuse to buy imports made with child labour.

The problem with the view that passing laws is the solution to the problem of child labour is that it assumes that, when parents send their children to work, they are abusing them rather than pursuing the best interests of their families. It is not lack of interest in the wellbeing of their children that leads parents to send children to work rather than to school, it is a lack of money. As a result, attempts to deal with the problem of child labour by passing laws and regulations, either in developed countries or in developing countries, can be massively counterproductive.


Trade is important. The evidence is pretty clear that the extent of child labour reduces when countries trade more. More trade leads to greater economic opportunities and helps to alleviate the poverty that is the driving force behind child labour.


If you do not buy products made with child labour you may make a bad situation worse. Rather than saving a child from exploitation you could be condemning a family to malnutrition. But, if you can, help an organisation that will promote educational opportunities amongst those who, without such opportunities, may have no option but to work.

Da próxima vez que ouvir alguém a revoltar-se contra a "exploração infantil" (como produto do capitalismo e da globalização) feita nos países do terceiro mundo, lembre-se deste estudo e das suas conclusões, que até são bastante lógicas.
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