Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The World Bank - Champion of the Poor???

The poor people of the world have a new champion. The World Bank!! The World Bank has suddenly taken an interest in its primary product - poverty. It has joined forces with faith communities to call for an end to poverty. Laughable!!! Laughable in that the World Bank is calling for an end to that which supports its existence and laughable because the blind faith communities fail to see that they are getting into bed with one of the primary institutions responsible for the poverty that they seek to alleviate. This is the same World Bank whose projects forced many people from their homes, whose austerity programs make countries poor, and whose associates (the 1%) own more than half of the world's liquid wealth. Has the World Bank suddenly found religion? Has the World Bank suddenly become compassionate? Far from it! What is even more laughable is the strategy it puts forward to combat poverty. The strategy is nothing more than more of the same strategy used make countries poorer. In order to "combat" poverty here is what the World Bank chief believes must happen:

1. Agricultural productivity must increase.
This means:
a) corporate take over of small farmers' lands
a) migration of small farmers to already overpopulated urban centers
b) increased use of GMOs in large scale food production
c) increased health issues
d) more poverty

2. Infrastructure providing access energy, irrigation, and markets must be built
This means: 
a) more displacement of people from their lands
b) extraction deals favoring multinational corporations
c) damage to the environment
d) increased health issues
e) more poverty

3. Greater and freer trade must be promoted
This means:
1. loss of jobs and industry in developed countries
2. use of cheap labor in underdeveloped countries
3. agreements circumventing the laws of underdeveloped countries
4. loss of sovereignty of underdeveloped countries
5. more damage to the environment
6. more poverty

4. Investment in health and education must be increased
This means: 
a) more expensive health care
b) more expensive education
c) more poverty

[photo art by Ric Couchman]