TALKBACK 2000: May

 

May 04/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Democracy and capitalism

From: "Roger Bowen" <BOWENR@lan.newpaltz.edu>

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

I am president of the State University of New York at New Paltz, a small university of 8000 located 90 miles north of NYC.

I am enjoying this conversation, so thank you to all who are participating.

I recall robert Heilbroner's The Nature and Logic of Capitalism making the point that capital is simply a process where capital is forever being transformed from capital-as-money into capital-as-commodities, and then retransformed into capital-as-more-money. This is the M-C-M' formula made famous by Marx. The process acts independently of values or social goals, let along social justice. It is, in fact, amoral. How, then, can an amoral force be harnessed to do good? This question, in my view, is the central one to be asked about "globalization." The strongest proponents of globalization happen to be the nations having the greatest wealth which have benefitted disproportionately from the process described by Heilbroner. Yet they also happen to be democracies, in many cases, ones that are continuously trying to effect greater social justice. Government is used to reappropriate wealth in order to effect greater social equality even as it enforces the sometimes contrary value of preserving individual freedoms.

I would think that the aim of globalization should resemble this dynamic within capitalist democracies. If so, that requires the empowerment of a United Nations (or the creation of a golbal government) to moderate the least attractive outcomes of globalization according to the values spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).

In brief, political will is required to effect social justice from what is otherwise an amoral process called M-C-M', i.e., globalization.

Roger W. Bowen

May 09/2000/RESECON: Rationality ala Tolstoy

To: Lucio Munoz <munoz@INTERCHANGE.UBC.CA>

From: Jim Roumasset < >

Subject: Rationality ala Tolstoy

Cc: RESECON@LSV.UKY.EDU, katyas@

Lucio et. al.,

Clearly the challenge is to expand the definition/model of

rationality to include Tolstoy's description of "most men." There has been considerable work expanding economic rationality to include choices that are inconsistent with von Neumann-Morgenstern expected utility theory and also to deal with information complexities. The problem that Tolstoy refers to falls in the same class of problems that Diamond and Hausman discuss in connection to contingent valuation (cognitive dissonance, warm-glow etc.) One would imagine that someone has worked on generalizing rationality to account for these well-known psychological tendencies, but I don't know of any such work. Anybody else know of something?

Jim

>Dear Friends, which type of men is Tolstoy refering in this quotation sent by Dr. Goddard? Is Tolstoy refering to the rational man or the irrational man?. It appears that it can not be both as we can not have two absolute majorities in the same sample of men. What do you think?.

>Greetings;

> Lucio

>

>> I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the

>greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have reached perhaps with great difficulty, conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.

>>

>> --Leo Tolstoy

 May 09/2000/RESECON: Which type of man was Tolstoy defining?

From: Juan Aguirre <jaguirre@SOL.RACSA.CO.CR>

Subject: Re: Which type of man was Tosltoy defining?

To: RESECON@LSV.UKY.EDU

Amigos:

I was wondering how can realities be separate from the type of man Tolstoy was describing. Once you understand the human beign and its motivations and boundries the line between the rational and the irrational at least for this poor soul becomes "fuzzy" . I am so happy that you all are so sure of everything,because I am not any more.

Juan Aguirre

----- Original Message -----

From: Robin Connor < >

To: <RESECON@LSV.UKY.EDU>

Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2000 6:29 PM

Subject: Re: Which type of man was Tosltoy defining?

 

> Lucio

> Fallacy of misplaced correctness: don't get the models of rationality confused with reality! Leo, of course, was talking about actual people, not an ideal type defined by a model of rationality. If anything, he was referring to human psychological rationality, and savouring the contrast with conventional notions of rational behaviour. I imagine it gets posted to this list in a spirit of irony.

> For some reading on multiple conceptions of rationality, see Paul Diesing 1962: Reason in Society, Herbert Simon - many titles (and follwers), John Dryzek 1987: Rational Ecology, Environment and Political Economy.

>

> Robin

>

> > From: Lucio Munoz <munoz@INTERCHANGE.UBC.CA>

> > Reply-To: Lucio Munoz <munoz@INTERCHANGE.UBC.CA>

> > Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 11:01:24 -0700

> > To: RESECON@LSV.UKY.EDU

> > Subject: Which type of man was Tosltoy defining?

> >

> > Dear Friends, which type of men is Tolstoy refering in this quotation sent by Dr. Goddard? Is Tolstoy refering to the rational man or the irrational man?. It appears that it can not be both as we can not have two absolute majorities in the same sample of men. What do you think?.

> > Greetings;

> > Lucio

> > http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz/caee/eng/people/impacts/deforest/index.html

> >

> > ----- Original Message -----

> > From: Haynes Goddard < >

> > To: <RESECON@LSV.UKY.EDU>

> > Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2000 8:08 AM

> >

> > I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the

> > greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have reached perhaps with great difficulty, conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.

> >>

> >> --Leo Tolstoy

 

May 09/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Thanks

From: "Desta Mebratu" < >

To: munoz1@sprint.ca

Subject: 'thanks'

Dear Lucio,

Glad to hear from you through the globalization forum and thanks for taking my arguement one or two steps further. I hope it will make some contribution towards the goal of reorienting the dominant way of thinking.

Regards,

Desta

 

May 10/2000/RESECON: Which type of man was Tolstoy defining?

From: Bob < >

To: munoz@INTERCHANGE.UBC.CA

Subject: Re: Which type of man was Tosltoy defining?

Lucio,

Unfortunately, the categorization into rational and irrational doesn't create two exclusive groups. Each of us has "blind spots" where our reason is overidden by a belief. This belief tends to distort our view of the world so that we bend the interpretation of "facts" to fit our model. It isn't impossible to overcome this belief fixity, but, as Tolstoy points out, people do cling very tenaciously to their preconceived notions-- nobody likes to have to say, "I was wrong".

BOB

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 11:17:35 -0700 (PDT)

From: Toledo/Lucio Munoz <munoz@interchange.ubc.ca>

To: Bob MacGregor

Cc: Multiple recipients of list RESECON <RESECON@LSV.UKY.EDU>

Subject: Re: Which type of man was Tosltoy defining?

Dear Bob, I agree with what you said. Which means that you must agree

with me that irrational behaviour also has or may have its preconsive

side, its "enlighting spots" and could be right, and therefore, it would not like to be ruled out as "being wrong". This is one of the aspects that points out the need to bring irrational behaviour into our theories even though we know that when looking for average values, the rational man is likely to prevail more. We test our theories only of the rational portion of men, which accounts for unknow variation that is left out. As other participants have stated we have to either adjust/expand our rational models or devised higher level models that fully incorporate existing rational theories. The need to do this will increase still more as the need to incorporate fully environmental and social concerns increases, as some forms of environmental and social behaviour are usually portrait as falling into the irrational side.

Thank you for your comments, and I think that your message and my

repply is of interest of the list, I will send copy to them this time, and I hope this is fine with you.

Please recieve my warm greetings from Vancouver;

Sincerely;

Lucio Munoz

munoz@interchange.ubc.ca

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

On Wed, 10 May 2000, Bob MacGregor wrote:

> Lucio,

> Unfortunately, the categorization into rational and irrational doesn't create two exclusive groups. Each of us has "blind spots" where our reason is overidden by a belief. This belief tends to distort our view of the world so that we bend the interpretation of "facts" to fit our model.

> It isn't impossible to overcome this belief fixity, but, as Tolstoy

> points out, people do cling very tenaciously to their preconceived

> notions-- nobody likes to have to say, "I was wrong".

> BOB

 

May 09/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Local efforts

From: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

I agree with Luis that globalization provides alternatives

that could be used to reduce poverty. And this leads to the question, how can this be done? The way the globalization structure is set right now can not be expected to deliver acceptable poverty reduction targets plus the monitoring structure of globalization is not in place yet. For example, under localization (national or local development) the positive and negative internal impacts on the marginalized or the poor can fairly easily be detected and monitored as they take within specific bounderies. In the case of globalization, there are no bounderies which will complicate the fair allocation of rights(benefits) and responsibilities (cost) as the sources are

as now moving targets.

The complaint that local efforts is not effective because local

goverments have weak institutions is thought to be one of the main

limitations on implementation and monitoring of national development

policies. As things are right now, it can be seen easily that the

institutional limitations of globalization are still worse. Hence, we have to move with our globalization thoughts with a full book of the

precautionary principle in hand.

Sincerely yours,

Lucio Munoz

Vancouver, Canada

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

 

May 10/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: The poor already streched to the limit

From: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

To: <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

Cc: <rmwj@ com>, "Toledo/Lucio Munoz" <munoz@interchange.ubc.ca>

Dear Robert, when looking at the internal structure of globalization, it can be shown that it reflects only economic and environmental goals as it is being apparently pushed by internationl economic and environmental stateholders, social goals are being left out because unsystematic processes need weak components in the system on which to feed. As the pressure on the social agents(the poor) increased over the coming decades, they will be forced to move more and more into the irrational domain(eg. consuming remaining critical capital). This will lead to a crashed between the eco-economic man and the social man, as I called them. And a global crash between global economic and environmental agents and social agents will breakdown the now sustained system in the years to come. Unless we incorporate social concerns into our models of localization and globalization, this clash has a real posibility, and may come sooner than we think. I raised these concerns in an article called " An Overview of Some of the Policy Implications of the Eco-Economic Development Market" published

by the Journal of Environmental Management and Health, January/2000.

Thank you for listing all these statistics and sources of information;

Sincerely;

Lucio

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

 

----- Original Message -----

From: <rmwj@et.com>

To: Globalization E-Conference <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2000 9:17 AM

Subject: [globalization] The Poor are already stretched to the limit

 

> My name is Robert Waldrop, I am a member of the Oscar Romero

> Catholic Worker House community, which offers assistance to and

> solidarity with the poor.

>

> 1. The already thin margins of the poor everywhere are being

> stretched to the breaking point.

> The world's poor are hard workers and creative in meeting the

> challenges of their lives. But as fast as they can create wealth,

> it is transferred via politicized marketplaces (in which they

> have no voice) into the pockets of transnational corporations and

> the international finance system. This isn't an accident of

> history, it's the way a system that politically exalts Capital

> over Labor and imposes "development" from the "top down" is

> designed to work. Nobel economist Amartya Sen says, "The battle

> against the unfreedom of bound labor is important in many third

> world countries today for some of the same reasons the American

> Civil War was momentous." (Development as Freedom) As long as we

> are stealing interest payments from the rice bowls of the poorest

> of the poor, the situation will continue to deteriorate. It's

> time to declare peace in the "war on the poor" before its too

> late.

>

> Robert Waldrop

>

May 10/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Week 1 Summary

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

From: moderator1@worldbank.org

SUMMARY OF WEEK 1:

Globalization, Poverty and Development: What do we know?

Week one featured a lively and complex debate on the definition, scope

And implications of globalization, the extent of our knowledge of its effects, and its underlying causes and motive forces. The goal of Week 1 was not to debate and resolve all the issues and controversies surrounding globalization, but to assess what we know and where the major areas of disagreement are. It was noteworthy that a substantial majority of the messages submitted by participants during Week 1 were critical of current trends in globalization and of the role of international institutions in fostering globalization, and focused heavily on the negative effects of globalization on developing countries. There was a strong thread of perceiving globalisation as a process that "includes" some and "excludes" others from its benefits; differences in whether this is a systemic and inevitable division, resulting from the very nature of liberalised capitalism, or whether with political will and support the so-far excluded could be enabled to join in.

Also noteworthy ? arguments and indeed evidence in favour of globalisation as currently practised were almost invisible; nor much from people/institutions who might be actually already implementing, or

contemplating, some of the policy changes called for by the majority of

contributors.

Discussion centered on a number of key issues, including:

1. What is globalization?

Several participants suggested a distinction between trade and market

liberalization and the broader economic, political, social and cultural

process of globalization accelerated by new information and communication technologies. Participants argued that international development institutions and developed country governments were excessively focused on trade and market liberalization as a panacea for the challenges facing developing countries, without an adequately differentiated and contextual attention to the specific needs and circumstances of developing countries and the broader impacts of globalization on those countries and particularly on the poor. Several participants criticized what they saw as a "one size fits all" approach to liberalization on the part of the donor community, insensitive both to local conditions and to issues of sustainability.

Some contributors pointed out that Globalisation of trade is presented

As part of neo-liberal economic theory, but as currently experienced it does not in fact fulfil some basic criteria of neoliberalism - rich countries are inconsistent, maintaining protection and controlling mobility of labour. In which case, they pointed out, how could the results of neoliberalism be expected to follow?

2. Is Globalization a new process?

Several participants pointed out that globalization in some form has

existed as long as there has been international trade and communication

What is new about the process is its speed, its seemingly uncontrolled

nature, and the increasing inability of national governments, and local

communities, to make their own choices and control their own destinies

within the context of this globalization. The seemingly limitless mobility of information and capital made possible by information technology was repeatedly cited as a key element of the "new" globalization. A distinction was also drawn between the longer historical process of increased international trade and communication and the "socially and politically constructed process" of globalization in its current form, with an emphasis on unfettered free trade, privatization, and rapid, unrestricted mobility of capital.

Some participants argued for a distinction between the general process

Of globalization, which can be either good or bad (or both) depending on circumstances, and the specific terms and conditions of globalization as witnessed currently, which they contend largely favors the North, and particularly the rich within the North.

3. What are the impacts (positive or negative) of globalization on poverty and development?

Participants pointed to the underlying -- and disputed -- assumptions in pro-globalization arguments that "trade equals growth" and that "growth is good for all" -- though no one attempted a detailed rebuttal of the position presented in the WB's opening paper, that growth does in practice entail improvement for the poor; nor did either WB or its critics attempt to explain how different analyses can arrive at such different conclusions.

A substantial majority of messages in Week 1 argued that globalization

Has had largely negative effects on poorer communities and countries -- not just the poorest countries, but also large sectors of middle-income

countries such as India and Brazil. A few participants argued that the

evidence for positive effects of globalization on the poor depended on

misleading or insufficiently differentiated metrics of national growth.

The detailed and passionately-argued cases presented were not matched by any "case study" evidence demonstrating positive effects of globalisation.

There was a division between those who believe that globalisation is

necessarily bad for the poor and should be opposed; and others who believe that while it is apparently bad for the poor at the moment,

government/agency policies and priorities could be modified to counter

these negative effects. Is globalisation a "manageable" phenomenon, or

not? If it is manageable, an important element needs to be brought in to policy-making morality, a sense that human values are more important than economic arithmetic.

4. Who benefits from globalization, and who shapes its progress?

Several participants raised concerns about a lack of transparency,

accountability, and democratic participation in the institutions and

processes that largely shape trade and market liberalization, including

the international financial institutions and the WTO. Many argued that the primary beneficiaries from globalization, and the forces driving decisions about trade and market liberalization, are multinational/transnational corporations from the North seeking cheaper labor markets and global outlets for their goods. There was division, underlying but not really articulated by any contributors, between a view that globalisation is an inevitable process driven by technological developments, in which case developing countries should try to harness it for their benefit; and another view that globalisation is a deliberate process led by international capitalist elites for their own benefit, in which case resistance is a better response. From either point of view, it is important to building the capacity of developing country institutions and groups (government policy makers, NGOs and others) to participate actively and

vocally in international debate and decision-making about globalization

(and see my insert below).;

5. The Role of Government

There was considerable debate over the role of government: whether the

classic neo-liberal view still holds, that government role in economic

management should be minimum, (a lonely voice); or whether globalisation is a juggernaut of some sort over which governments can have no influence; or whether governments have a very important role (which they are not at present playing) in managing the pace of globalisation and preparing their countries to benefit from it,

5. Are there forces other than globalization that explain some of the

effects associated with globalization?

Some participants argued that globalization has become a catch-all

explanation (one participant even called it a scapegoat) for phenomena

that have broader and more complex causes. For example, several participants argued that incompetence and corruption, or simply lack of adequate human capacity, in national governments in developing countries explain at least part of the problems of persistent or worsening poverty faced by some developing countries.

6. Does globalization imply, or impose, homogenization and loss of

diversity?

Some participants argued that one of the most distinctive negative aspects of globalization is homogenization and loss of diversity ? in products, in culture, in ideas, in the ways that individuals, communities and nations organize their economic and social lives.

7. Are alternative models of globalization possible?

Many contributors proposed modified rather than alternative models -- with a basic assumption that increased trade is likely to lead to improvement in the end, they propose that various actors especially governments and development agencies should be more active in enabling people to gain from globalisation and protecting them from the worst impacts, instead of accepting passively all the damage it does. Measures such as investment in education, training, communications infrastructure etc. Again, contributors had experience of the lack of these things, and no examples of successful "adaptation to globalisation" through training, for instance.

Several contributors pointed to the "fair trade" movement and other models of promoting global trade and open markets that were both truly open and fair to workers, farmers and other principal providers of goods.

 

May 10/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Educating Children

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

From: "Buarque" <cbuarque@.br>

First of all I am sorry to write in poor English. I thought it would be

more productive than writing in a good Portuguese. I am a teacher at the University of Brasilia, where I was the Rector, from 1985-89. Now,

besides keeping my teacher position, I am in charge of a NGO called

Child Mission, to fight for universal education for children.

I have been following our debate about globalization and decided to

recommend for discussion an idea we introduced in Brasilia, during the

time I was the governor of Federal District of Brazil/Brasilia, from

1995-1999.

The idea is based on a project we implemented in Brasilia, in

January 1995, with the name of BOLSA ESCOLA. Now it is already

implemented in many Brazilian cities with a very well developed project

in all Mexico and began in Ecuador.

The idea is quite simple: if poor children do not study, because they

have to work, let's pay their family to put them at school, instead of

working. As a matter of fact we are doing with children what we do to

posgraduate studants: paying scholarships do keep them studying on

PHD, instead to go to the labor market. The family has to have all its

children at school and none of them can miss more than 2 days classes

per month. The Mexican model put another condition, the family have

to take their children to a doctor once a month. If one of them fails

three days classes, the family would not receive the money on

that month.

This project is doing an educational revolution every where it is

implemented. And was evalutated by Unesco, Unicef, IDB, BIRD. But its

range is bigger than education. It is a good approach to abolish poverty.

First of all because it takes on account a new kind of poverty cycle

instead the economic cycle, a generation cycle: a poor child will be a

poor adult whose children will be poor again. If we stop the cycle,

through education, we are abolishing poverty on the long term. But, the

project has immediate impact on poverty relief. On paying an income to

poor familyes everything begins to change around them. We already

measured 28 immediate impacts inhealth, women empowerment, drug

reduction, economic growth, etc...

But, the idea I want to discuss is a proposition I have been done for

the last five years, to swap external debt for Bolsa Escola.

If we consider US$40 per family per month, worldwide, as the

opportunity cost of its children, and the 250 million working children

in the world, according to UNICEF, and three children per family, it

means 83 millions families to be beneficiaries, the global cost to a

worldly Bolsa Escola program would be US$40 billion, it means 13% of the external debt service paid in 1997, or around 0.1% of the world GNP, or 5% of the global cost on weapons. Not so much. But the cost could be shared, half by the international financial system and rich countries governements, and half by each poor country. The total cost will be around 3% of the public costs budget of these countries. Sure, each country has its own data and situation. But the global accountability afford to see the feasibility of the project.I have been taking the idea on international forum, and it begins to be acepted. During his speech on the last Dakar meeting on Education for All, Mr. Kofi Annan did a specific comment recommending the Bolsa Escola project. Many people talked about the idea of a debt for education swap program, and the Bolsa Escola could be a good way to do it: easy to manage and with imediate and long term impacts.

I would like to hear from you about the idea and I am ready to send

data, informantion and even book about the idea.

With great expectation with our debate,

Cristovam Buarque

 

May 10/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: The poor are already streched to the limit

From: "Robert Waldrop" <rmwj@.com>

To: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

Subject: Re: [globalization] The Poor are already stretched to the

Lucio,

Thank you for a very interesting analysis. I'm still thinking

about its ramifications, and expect to think more on it over the

next few days. I hope to get some time to get to a nearby

university library to see if I can find your article, I would

very much like to read it.

Reading the discussion in this forum has provided much food for

thought. It's almost overwhelming, however, to have so much data

presented so fast. I find myself hoping that things aren't as

bad as they are appearing to be, but then I am afraid that they

are worse than the most complete verbal descriptions we have to

date. It seems to me that it wouldn't take a whole lot to knock

the entire system on its rear end. "Alas, Babylon the great has

fallen. . . and great was the fall of it." But then I also

remember that maybe the crash of great empires will be way to

regain or rebuild what has been lost. (Getting caught in the

actual crash, however, can be a nightmare. E.g., the sack of

Constantinople, the Conquista of the Americas.)

Robert Waldrop

-----Original Message-----

From: Lucio Munoz <munoz1@sprint.ca>

To: globalization@lists.worldbank.org

<globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

Cc: rmwj@net.com <rmwj@set.com>; Toledo/Lucio Munoz

<munoz@interchange.ubc.ca>

Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2000 4:43 PM

Subject: Re: [globalization] The Poor are already stretched to

the limit

 

>Dear Robert, when looking at the internal structure of

globalization, it can be shown that it reflects only economic and environmental goals as it is being apparently pushed by internationl economic and environmental stateholders, social goals are being left out because unsystematic processes need weak components in the system on which to feed. As the pressure on the social agents(the poor) increased over the coming decades, they will be forced to move more and more into the irrational domain(eg.consuming remaining critical capital). This will lead to a crashed between the eco-economic man and the social man, as I called them. And a global crash between global economic and environmental agents and social agents will breakdown the now sustained system in the years to come. Unless we incorporate social concerns into our models of localization and globalization, this clash has a real posibility, and may come sooner than we think. I raised these concerns in an article called " An Overview of Some

>of the Policy Implications of the Eco-Economic Development

Market" published by the Journal of Environmental Management and Health, January/2000.

>Thank you for listing all these statistics and sources of

information;

>Sincerely;

> Lucio

> http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

>

>----- Original Message -----

>From: <rmwj@sonet.com>

>To: Globalization E-Conference

<globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

>Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2000 9:17 AM

>Subject: [globalization] The Poor are already stretched to the

limit

>

>> My name is Robert Waldrop, I am a member of the Oscar Romero

>> Catholic Worker House community, which offers assistance to

and >> solidarity with the poor.

>>

>> 1. The already thin margins of the poor everywhere are being

>> stretched to the breaking point.

>> The world's poor are hard workers and creative in meeting the

>> challenges of their lives. But as fast as they can create

wealth,>> it is transferred via politicized marketplaces (in which they

>> have no voice) into the pockets of transnational corporations

and>> the international finance system. This isn't an accident of

>> history, it's the way a system that politically exalts Capital

>> over Labor and imposes "development" from the "top down" is

>> designed to work. Nobel economist Amartya Sen says, "The

battle>> against the unfreedom of bound labor is important in many

third>> world countries today for some of the same reasons the

American>> Civil War was momentous." (Development as Freedom) As long as we>> are stealing interest payments from the rice bowls of the

poorest>> of the poor, the situation will continue to deteriorate. It's

>> time to declare peace in the "war on the poor" before its too

>> late.

>>

>> Robert Waldrop

>

May 11/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Week 1 summary

From: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

To: <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

Dear Friends, I read the summary you sent, I think it reflects in general terms the key points of the issues raised.

However, a few aspects are missing, which I think should be highligted, at least for reference or future discussion.

1) What is globalization?

Globalization is not just about economics, otherwise we should call it plaintly economic globalization; Not other views or concepts of globalization were either posted or presented to the conference, and they exist.

2) Is globalization a new process?

Partial globalization is not a new process, but full globalization is. Full globalization feeds mainly on the desintegration of external links between countries. Just a partial globalization processes were unconected to poverty reduction goals, full globalization as of now is also unconnected to poverty reduction goals.

3) What are the impacts of globalization on poverty and development?

Most of the impacts on poverty and development posted were on the negative side. If there are positive impacts documented, where are they?. From what was posted, no positive impacts are recorded yet. Or these cases were not posted?.

4) Who benefits from globalization, and who shape it progress?

Based on the messages posted, it is clear that there is a feeling out there that the poor and developing countries are not the beneficiary nor the ones shaping the globalization structure.

5) The role of government?

The role of governments seems minimal as the aim of globalization is to by pass government regulations, and this can be done better when the government has no role at all.

6) Are there forces other than globalization that explain some of the

effects associated with globalization?

The commens about corruption and incompetence posted applied to specific country conditions in my view, not to globalization as a whole. However, if corruption and incompetence takes place at the national level, what can we expect at the global level where the sense of accountability without proper institutions is desipated still more.

I wish to congratulate you for opening such an opportunity to at least exchange ideas on issues that can not be solved the first time around, but that must solve sooner or later.

Greetings;

Lucio Munoz

Vancouver, Canada

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

 

----- Original Message -----

From: <moderator1@worldbank.org>

To: Globalization E-Conference <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2000 3:45 PM

Subject: [globalization] Week 1 Summary

 

Please note that the French, Spanish and Portuguese translations of this summary will be posted shortly.

SUMMARY OF WEEK 1:

Globalization, Poverty and Development: What do we know?

Week one featured a lively and complex debate on the definition, scope and implications of globalization, the extent of our knowledge of its effects, and its underlying causes and motive forces. The goal of Week 1 was not to debate and resolve all the issues and controversies surrounding globalization, but to assess what we know and where the major areas of disagreement are. It was noteworthy that a substantial majority of the messages submitted by participants during Week 1 were critical of current trends in globalization and of the role of international institutions in fostering globalization, and focused heavily on the negative effects of globalization on developing countries. There was a strong thread of perceiving globalisation as a process that "includes" some and "excludes" others from its benefits; differences in whether this is a systemic and inevitable division, resulting from the very nature of liberalised capitalism, or whether with political will and support the so-far excluded could be enabled to join in.

 

May 11/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Local efforts

From: "Christopher N. Ridings " <tutu@atu.com.au>

To: <munoz1@sprint.ca>

Greetings Lucio

I agree with local initiatives.

In this the community is preserved.

But how do we protect the local community from being swallowed up by the plutocrats?

Shalom,

Rev. Christopher N. Ridings

tutu@atu.

http://www

----- Original Message -----

From: Lucio Munoz <munoz1@sprint.ca>

To: Globalization E-Conference <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2000 3:49 AM

Subject: [globalization] Local efforts

> I agree with Luis that globalization provides alternatives

> that could be used to reduce poverty. And this leads to the question, how can this be done? The way the globalization structure is set right now can not be expected to deliber acceptable poverty reduction targets plus the monitoring structure of globalization is not in place yet. For example, under localization (national or local development) the positive and negative internal impacts on the marginalized or the poor can fairly easily be detected and monitored as they take within specific bounderies. In the case of globalization, there are no bounderies which will complicate the fair allocation of rights(benefits) and responsibilities (cost) as the sources are

> as now moving targets.

> The complaint that local efforts is not effective because local

> goverments have weak institutions is thought to be one of the main

> limitations on implementation and monitoring of national development

> policies. As things are right now, it can be seen easily that the

> institutional limitations of globalization are still worse. Hence, we have to move with our globalization thoughts with a full book of the

> precautionary principle in hand.

>

> Sincerely yours,

>

> Lucio Munoz

> Vancouver, Canada

> http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

>

May 12/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Local efforts

From: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

To: "Christopher N. Ridings " <tutu@.au>

Dear Rev. Ridings, a quick answer to your questions is that the solution to keep the local as much preserved as possible is for local stateholders, social, economic, and environmental stakeholders to get a common voice to make globalization efforts consistent with sustainability goals. In a paper published in the International Journal in Environmental Management and Health called "An Overview of the Policy Implications of the Eco-Economic Development Market", I point out that we are livind in a different world where there can be more than one invisible hand in the same market, but academics still keep entaitaing all development thought and tools to deal with today's market. I am affraied that this paper provides theoretical and

possible scenarios that contradicts most of the world bank views. For

example, they are looking at problems from an economic point of view to a globalization process where both economic agents and environmental agents are becomings almost equally strong, but social agents are becoming weaker and weaker and weaker. People interested in local goals must find a common way to stress that the way better for all is sustainability, not economic or ecoeconomic globalization. I think the world bank will adjust their globalization policy sooner than expected, however, social stateholders may have by that time taken up some of the scarce critical capital to meet their basic needs.

If you have your own thoughts, please let me know. You may find my webpage called TRUE SUSTAINABILITY interesting at

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

Greetings and god bless you;

Sincerely yours;

Lucio

----- Original Message -----

From: Christopher N. Ridings <tutu@

To: <munoz1@sprint.ca>

Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2000 6:19 AM

Subject: Re: [globalization] Local efforts

 

> Greetings Lucio

>

> I agree with local initiatives.

> In this the community is preserved.

> But how do we protect the local community from being swallowed up by the > plutocrats?

>

> Shalom,

> Rev. Christopher N. Ridings

> tutu@atu.com.au

> http://www.atu.com.au/~tutu

>

May 12/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Globalization, the WB and structural adjustments

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

From: wfengler@worldbank.org

Given that there has been some reaction to my position, I am happy to come back to the critics of globalization, the World Bank, and many other features and institutions related to both of them. However, I can not address all the issues. There are also other with more competence that can explain Stilglitz's position, etc.

On the state vs. the market:

History has demonstrated, that economies often failed when their states

play a dominant role in the mangement of economic activities. This is

broadly why so-called socialist systems collapsed and market economies

survived. There is one model which clearly failed, but there are many which have survived. Alone in the western hemisphere there are so many different types of market economie - just compare the economic systems in the USA, France, Germany, Sweden, and many others. In broad terms all of these models have been successful in increasing the wealth of its citizens. What these very different countries and successful developing countries have in common, is a rule-based legal system, the predictability of the macroeconomic framework and the possibility open up a private business relatively easily (and many other important factors). Hence, they created environments to make them benefit from globalization.

This brings us to the issue of the role of the state. There is broad

recognition that successful development needs a strong state, for instance in executing its laws, and not a soft state. With its Development Report of 1997 "The State in a changing World" the World Bank has been contributing to this debate.

On Africa:

So why were most of African countries not able to improve the lives of many of its people since independence? It is because most government resisted pro-poor reforms. A predictable macroeconomic framework, social sector spending favoring rural areas, introducing a rule-based legal system are among the components that need to be addressed in most of the countries concerned. So why did most governments not do it? Because in environment of neo-patrimonial clientelism (Jean-Francois Bayart) it is the (political) elites that benefit from economic inefficiency. They have lived so nicely (see Mobuto) that they were follish to change their economic systems. This is one element of the weak winners vs. strong losers concept, I introduced in my earlier contribution. Therefore, it is correct that the World Bank

and many others (e.g. USA, France) helped to sustain an inefficient

economic system to the detriment of the poor in these countries. In poor policy environments Structural Adjustment Program often helped governments not to adjust, because huge amounts of resources were granted without applying the conditionality the credits were made available. It is not structural adjustment which is the problem but the failure to adjust. Abdulghany, just one word on Mauritius: I can reassure you, it still belongs to Africa. Fortunately there are few African countries (Botswana, Eritrea are two other examples) resisting the overall trend of economic mismanagement, corruption and social injustice, that is a familiar feature in Africa - despite all the variations among Sub-Saharan Africa's almost fifty states.

To sum up: My analysis states that Africa relatively low indicators of

human development derive from the fact, that it has not adjusted (in many ways) and integrated in the World economy. It is also not because private investors are "exploiting" these countries, but because they did not engage and 40 percent and African private capital been invested outside the continent - compared to a rate of three percent in Asia. Economic ineffiency does not make countries develop successfully, but economic efficiency is only ONE factor for successful development.

Wolfgang Fengler

 

May 11/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERNCE: The role of wealth, money, and debt

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

From: versluysen <versluysen@ >

I am Eugene Versluysen, a former World Bank economist.

I find the postings on this electronic conference most interesting, and

would like to thank my former employer for hosting it. I was particularly struck by John Vandeberg's insightful comments on money and wealth with great interest. John V. raises an interesting point about mortgaging wealth in return for debt. The most striking example of the potentially ruinous consquences this can have is the splurge of international commercial bank lendind to developing countries during the 1970s, which culminated in the debt crisis of the 1980s. Lured by "cheap money" from major banks, oil-rich countries such as Mexico and Venezuela literally mortgaged the future income stream from their oil exports (i.e., their wealth) to obtain more debt than they could reasonably cope with, and, among other things, squandered much of that debt on investments of little social use.

When the debt crisis broke out in August 1982, after Mexico could no longer afford to pay its creditors, the ensuing austerity measures (mainly cuts in public expenditure, including social programs) principally hurt the already poor and pushed a burgeoning "middle class" into poverty. The impact of austerity in Mexico and other major debtor countries in Latin America was so harsh -- and the rise in poverty so great -- that the 1980s became Latin America's "lost decade. Meanwhile, thanks to the intervention of multilateral organizations, the stability of the international financial system was preserved, and the banks unharmed. But, at what cost for the poor...

Eugene Versluysen

 

May 11/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Trade, poverty and inequality: Comments on WB paper

From: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

Dear Friends, I have a few comments on this paper.

a) all information provided about poverty is average information, and we know that average values may not have anything to do with specific country values: people complaining about globalization in the postings are from a particular country which may be far away from the average, how are we going to determine how to best help them?, average policies won't do it. How can we devise ways of getting both average and specific information in a holistic and consistent manner so that globalization is consistent with localization?;

b) no reference is made to the social and environmental externalities

associated with growth all this time;

c) economic based GDP is used for the analysis and it appear that a

consensus is being reach that unless adjusted for social and environmental cost, this could lead to unreliable analysis, do not you think so? Does green GDP leads to similar conclusions even thouth it still does not account for social costs?;

d) in theory, trade under perfect competition would work under equality

rules and therefore, it can have a positive impact on poverty reduction; in practice the dichotomies landconcentration/landlessness and powerful/marginalized is the dominant in most countries, and therefore trade is operating on already rooted inequalities that continue to increase poverty even when there is growth because of what I called the CONE EFFECT, where the percapita income(and increases) of the landlords and powerful are greater than the percapita income(and increases) of the landless and the marginalized as the top get more than the bottom during the income filtration process from top to bottom;

e) since globalization is implemented on the top of the above mentioned

inequalities and a CONED WORLD, I suspect that globalization will strenthen and increase the gap between unequal conditions simply because globalization is not designed to by pass those inequalities. Based on this, if globalization has a positive impact on per capitat income, again the rich get more than the poor, and so the rich is a winner in a program that you are expecting the benefit the poor the most. Can globalization be targeted to benefit the poor? If yes, it could ever get the backing of internaltional stakeholders?. If the poor could be seen as potential customers may be, but in this case the huge demand created would have a huge environmental impact associated with the economic boom, would this be acceptable to environmentalists?.

f) I believe we are going into a situation where environmental concerns will prevent globalization from benefiting the poor, and as long as this allows for economic growth, eco-economic partnerships will take over, but if social concerns are not incorporated into the globalization process, critical capital will be the food of the poor, perhaps in our life time or one later.

Greetings;

Sincerely yours;

Lucio Munoz

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

 

May 12/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: On poverty reduction

From: "Desta Mebratu" <dmebratu@ >

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

Greetings,

This is Desta Mebratu from Ethiopia. Allow me to start my input to Week 2 discussion by commenting on Briefing papers 2 and 3. I do share the

reservations aired by Lucio regarding the utility of average values as a basis for analysis on poverty reduction. Even if we accept these average values, I do not think the level of income on its own can determine the level of poverty reduction without relating it to the availability/ scarcity function of products and services for quality of life. I think the producers of these briefing papers also realize this limitation. This is reflected by a major qualifying statement they made in paragraph 2 of Briefing paper No. 2, which say: "we concentrate on the income dimension of poverty." In this context, it will be misleading to relate the rise in average income with poverty reduction. Just to cite one example, whatever marginal gain that has been claimed to be made by the rise in average income could be cancelled out with the rise in price of basic necessities such as water (the article on

Bolivia) and electricity due to SAP. One can imagine the deterioration in quality of life and the pressure on the natural habitat when poor families who have access to electricity go back to being dependent on biomass for cooking due to the hike in price of electricity. This has happened in Ethiopia. I believe that making an effort to relate income with availability/scarcity function will also be instrumental to localize the average figures, thereby making them more useful. Again, it is not simple but it is possible.

Moving on to the issue of poverty reduction, it is good to hear that poverty reduction has become a high priority of international development partners. Again this effort has to be directed as transformational process that enhances communities' capacities to overcome poverty. In view of the impact of globalization/liberalization over the last decades, I believe that the following are some of the issues that have to be given prime importance (at least from sub-Saharan Africa perspective) to promote poverty reduction and

development.

On institutional poverty

Decades of external influence in different forms have destroyed and

undermined the traditional institutional mechanisms while creating islands of modern institutions that are inefficient and alienated from the society at large. Most of the inefficiencies of existing modern institutions in Africa is the lack of an organic link with traditional form of institutions that are still functional and surprisingly effective at the community level.

A case in point could be the conflict resolution and social safety-net

mechanisms at the community level. And yet, the tendency is to continuously attempt to transplant new generation of institutions with little recognition to such wealth of knowledge. I believe that poverty reduction will require the effective utilization of the institutional knowledge base by fostering an effective organic link between traditional and modern institutional practices and knowledge systems. Such an approach will provide a room for diversity as an essential element of stability.

On education

As much as it is encouraging to see education gaining its importance in

recent poverty reduction and development initiative it is disturbing to see the overemphasis given to the goal of increasing the enrollment percentage. To most African countries, the principal problem with education is RELEVANCE of current education systems. Even the problem of enrollment is related to the issue of relevance. Why would a poor family send its kids if they do neither add any value to the family’s bread-wining activities nor be self-supporting by being employed after finishing the available level of school? This is what is happening in Africa and I do not think paying the families to send their children to school will have any significant development impact under such a situation except being good for statistical consumption. The problem of relevance goes up to the higher level of education acting as a significant push factor for the 'brain-drain' process.

In this context, I believe that addressing the issue of relevance of

education is of fundamental importance for poverty reduction and development in SSA.

On the informal sector

One of the major weaknesses of development policies over the last decades was their inability to foster synergies between complementary sectors. The informal sector is one of the largest sector that provides means of meeting basic needs for millions in sub-Saharan Africa. In a way, it has served as a space of refugee from the impact of disoriented national and international policies and strategies. Through years of practices, the informal sector has developed its own way of dealing with and adjusting to national and international market signals. Unfortunately, this sector has not been given its due attention. To a large extent, operators in the informal sector have been tagged as ‘illegal’ and have become targets of discriminatory measures.

One can site the state of artisanal miners in most African countries. I

believe that the informal sector can serve as a fertile seed-bed for the development of entrepreneurial skill that is so much desired in Africa. In this context, there is an urgent need of fostering formal-informal sector synergy that is aimed at the dynamic integration of the informal sector into the national economy.

I believe that, the above three measures have direct relevance to the

promotion of development that is aimed at poverty reduction within Africa.

Regards,

Desta Mebratu (Dr.)

 

May 12/2000/REDECO: Novedades bibliograficas

From: CIAT Redeco <CIAT-REDECO@CGIAR.ORG>

Subject: Novedades Bibliograficas

To: "'CIAT REDECO L'" <CIAT-REDECO-L@CGIAR.ORG>

Estimados Amigos:

Hemos recibido NOVEDADES BIBLIOGRAFICAS con solicitud de

divulgacion:

-Jardin Botanico de Bogota Celestino Mutis Flora Capital numero 1y 2

[jardin@gaitana.interred.net.co]

- WWF Centroamerica VOLUMEN 2 No.2 1999 [rios@catie.ac.cr]

-Revista de ECOLOGIA LATINOAMERICANA [www.ciens.ula.ve/~cires]

-Luis Furlan CAPAS informes nuevos [www.capas.org] /

[capas@guate.net]

-Luis Castello [lcastello@kolla.net] Documento: "TERMINOLOGIA

FORESTAL PRACTICA

-MekongInfo [www.mekonginfo.org <http://www.mekonginfo.org> ] The

Participatory Process for

Supporting Collaborative Management of Natural Resources:

An Overview.

-Lucio Munoz [www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz] articulo: Understanding

Sustainability versus Sustained Development by Means of a WIN

Development Model

-Helen Raij (IDRC), Ada Ocampo (Preval) y Eric Holt Gimenez

[www.agroecology.org/people/eric/resist.htm] estudio: "Midiendo la

Resistencia Agroecologica Campesiana ante el Huracan Mitch"

-I N F O A N D I N A [infoandina@cgiar.org]: boletin electronico del

Consorcio para el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Ecorregion Andina -

Codesan Nodo Regional del Foro de Montanias en America Latina.

-Revistas CATIE [www.catie.ac.cr/catie] Revista Forestal

Centroamerica, Revista Manejo Integrado de Plagas y Revista

Agroforesteria en las Americas

 

May 14/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Trade, Poverty and Inequalities: Comments on WB paper

From: Abbas Ali <aaali@grov

Subject: Re: [globalization] trade, poverty and inequality: comments on WB paper

To: globalization@lists.worldbank.org, Lucio Munoz <munoz1@sprint.ca>

I am Abbas Ali, an Arab _American , I write on the globalization of business and on management and development in the Arab world. I would like to comment on part three of the briefing papers.

Trade openness in general and under perfect conditions has a positive impact on the state of the economy and income distribution. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the Arab world ( I am totally in agreement with the comments that were provided by Lucio Munoz). In the Arab world, we have two political systems: the presidential and

the sheikdom regimes. Before trade liberalization (just before 1990), the presidential regimes claimed to advance socialism (State –Capitalism). The government owned most of means of production. The majority of the people, therefore, worked for the State and had an easy access for employment. The political elites because of their public pronouncements of justice and equity used to steel the public wealth but were shy about their action. After trade liberalization, the elites steered the political and economic opportunities to accumulate their wealth. For example, they made sure that in privatizing the state enterprises, they were the only people to become the owners of these privatized companies. In addition, because of their

political influence, licenses to engage in trade (export –import) are given to themselves and their relatives. In fact, the political elites have used the new economic openness to strengthen their hold on the political and economic affairs. In Iraq , for example, the regime overnight managed to replace the old social merchant and industrial classes. They were either expelled from the country or were bared from

activity in a particular economic sector. In both cases, their properties were given to the favored members of the ruling tribe. Likewise, when members of the ruling tribe find out that some entrepreneurs were successful in their business, they either

force them to have partnership with them or taking over their business without compensations. After the economic sanctions , against the Iraqi people, the ruling elites completed their monopoly on all economic sectors and vital enterprises leaving the majority living in very poor conditions. The result is increasing poverty and a huge income inequality.

In the sheikdom regimes, the situation is different but the result is the same. Before trade liberalization, the ruling elites (e.g., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, etc.) used to have agents to publicly own and run the business for them. In addition, many of them did not have the political or management sophistication to rob the public wealth.

Therefore, opportunities existed for many individuals and families to prosper.

Nevertheless, the fate and economic future of these people were and have always been contingent upon the wish of the ruling elite.

Trade liberalization allows the ruling elite in the sheikdom regimes to involve in trade and to own companies directly. Unlike their counterparts in the presidential regimes, they give opportunities to other to participate in economic activities. Nevertheless, equity and justice are sacrificed.

The sad part is that due to geopolitical situation and priorities, the political elites in the Western world find it in their advantage to overlook the political and economic abuses in the Arab world. It is for this reason, the Arab people mistrust globalization.

 

May 12/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Resumen de la primera semana

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

From: moderator1@worldbank.org

X-UIDL: a80d2c6b9922f9bd844c74cadf7ab0d8

RESUMEN DE LA PRIMERA SEMANA: globalizaci=F3n, pobreza y desarrollo:

Que sabemos al respecto?

Durante la primera semana se desarroll=F3 un debate activo y complejo a=cerca de la definici=F3n, el alcance y las repercusiones de la globalizaci=F3=n, el alcance de nuestros conocimientos acerca de sus efectos y sus causas b=E1sicas y fuerzas impulsoras. El objetivo de la primera semana no era=discutir y solucionar todos los problemas y controversias en torno a la=globalizaci=F3n, sino evaluar lo que sabemos y cu=E1les son las princip=ales=E1reas de desacuerdo. Cabe notar que una gran mayor=EDa de los mensaje=s presentados por los participantes durante la primera semana eran cr=EDt=icos de las tendencias actuales de la globalizaci=F3n y de la funci=F3n que =

cab=EDa a las instituciones internacionales en la promoci=F3n de este fen=F3meno,= y se centraban mucho en los efectos negativos de la globalizaci=F3n en los p=a=Edses en desarrollo. Se observ=F3 una fuerte tendencia a percibir a la globalizaci=F3n como un proceso que "incluye" a algunos y "excluye" a o=tros de sus beneficios, as=ED como discrepancia acerca de si =E9sta es una d=ivisi=F3n sist=E9mica e inevitable, resultante de la naturaleza misma del capital=

ismo liberalizado, o si con voluntad y apoyo pol=EDticos se podr=EDa llegar =a la integraci=F3n de los que hasta ahora se han visto excluidos.

Tambi=E9n cabe notar que pr=E1cticamente no se presentaron argumentos n=i, en verdad, pruebas a favor de la globalizaci=F3n que actualmente se est=E1= dando; tampoco se escucharon mucho de las personas e instituciones que ya podr==Edan estar aplicando efectivamente los cambios de pol=EDtica exigidos por la=mayor=EDa de los contribuyentes, o contemplando su aplicaci=F3n.

 

May 15/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Globalization, the WB and structural adjustments

From: wfengler@worldbank.org

Subject: Re: [globalization] Globalization, the WB and structural adjustment (12-20)

To: Lucio Munoz <munoz1@sprint.ca>

Lucio,

thanks for all of your thoughful comments. Unfortunately, I have just

returned from a mission from Sudan and are a liitle under pressure. I will come back to your comments on Thursday.

Thanks for your patience

Wolfgang

 

May 12/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Trade, Poverty, and Inequality: A Response to Lucio Munoz

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

From: Mbrahmbhatt@worldbank.org

Lucio Munoz has provided some thoughtful comments on our World Bank

Briefing Notes on trade, poverty and inequality. Let me note where I agree and disagree with him. (Obviously, these are personal views, not

necessarily those of the WB.)

(1) The results of the broad cross-country studies are - by their nature -average ones, and do not focus on the countries that have had a harder time, below the average. Athough Lucio doesn't mention this, they also don't focus on the equal number that have had a better time, above the average. Correct. But the result DOES refute the anti-globalist claim that IN GENERAL, or ON AVERAGE, globalization hurts the poor and increases inequality. It does not. On the contrary, the key result is that on average it raises incomes, and it raises the incomes of the poor at the same percentage rate as the incomes of other groups. Another way of stating the latter point is that, on average, it has no systematic effect on income distribution.

OK, once we have got that basic result under our belt, we can focus on

Lucio's main point, which is that we need to also develop complementary

policies and approaches that help countries reduce the potential costs of opening up, while increasing the upside payoffs. That is absolutely right. Both the briefing notes present some of the experience we have learnt in this regard, for example that large-scale macroeconomic instability reduces the success probability of trade opening, the need for appropriate social-safety net measures, etc., and these lessons are increasingly incorporated in Bank programs. And we definitely need to carry on learning more about this subject, which is an active area of research at the Bank and elsewhere in the development community.

(2) The results focus on per-capita GDP and do not take into account

various externalities. True. But before we shift the ground of the

argument, let's all absorb, fully digest and appreciate that the results DO hold at the level of per-capita GDP, a widely used though imperfect short-hand index for welfare. That is an important and powerful conclusion. Then we should certainly expand the analysis to account for various externalities, but without any bias or prejudice that the conclusions would be either pro or anti-globalization. That would be something that needs to be investigated empirically rather than just assumed. We have in fact prepared a fourth Briefing Note on some aspects of the links between globalization and the environment, and I hope the moderators will issue this in due course.

(3) If I understand him correctly, Lucio argues that because in general

incomes are unequally distributed to start with, then the equal percent

growth in incomes brought about by globalization will tend to make the rich richer in absolute dollar terms. That is right, but it is not a unique consequence of globalization. Rather it is the arithmetical consequence of any kind of growth that leads to the incomes of all income-groups rising at the same percent rate. i.e. if the poorest fifth of the population receive 10% of national income, and the richest fifth receives 40%, then an equal 10% rise in all incomes still leaves the poorest fifth receiving 10%, and the richest fifth receiving 40%. However, the increase in the absolute number of dollars received by a rich person will be larger than the absolute increase for a poor person. This is just arithmetic and therefore relatively uninteresting.

The important question is what policy consequences we should draw from

this? Should we stop all kinds of technological progress that delivers

equal percent increases in incomes? (And globalization can be properly

viewed as a type of technological progress.) In other words leave the poor in poverty in order to prevent the rich from getting absolutely richer? This may satisfy the enviousness and class-hatred of extremist ideologues, but it does nothing for the poor, would be an extremely ANTI-POOR policy. This may seem too crazy an idea to contemplate, but I think it is sadly the case that a part of the anti-globalist mindset is precisely rooted in an extraordinarily primitive and reactionary hatred for technological change and advance of all sorts. But that's a debate for another day. However, we certainly can, do and should further study ways in which the benefits of growth could be better distributed towards the poor, without bringing a halt to the technological progress which has always been the long run mainspring of widely shared improvements in human material welfare.

 

May 16/2000/ GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Trade, Development and Poverty

From: "Charles Mather" <.wits.ac.za>

To: <munoz@interchange.ubc.ca>

Dear Lucio Munoz

I thought your exchange with xxxxx on trade, poverty and inequality was

very stimulating and I would like to use it for a class I am currently

teaching on the globalisation of food. Would this be OK? Also, could you please direct me to the Briefing Notes you refer to - I haven't been able to find it on the World Bank site.

best wishes and thanks

Charles Mather

PS, great web site!

 

May 15/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Modes of development

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

From: "Rodney Shakespeare" <rshakes@globalnet.co.uk>

This posting is from Rodney Shakespeare, binary economist.

    The Week Three debate is focussed on the subjects of growth,

consumption and sustainability.  The debate, however, is unlikely to come up with much new thinking on these subjects because it will be based upon the assumptions of the conventional economic paradigm.  One of those assumptions is particularly relevant -- that the poor have, and will always have, only their labor by which they can be economically productive.

    That assumption, which is embodied in today's reality for the poor, has huge negative implications for growth, consumption and sustainability.  Thus, at present, with only access to jobs (and remember that jobs are not always available; that jobs often pay little; and that many people, e.g. carers, the young, the old and the sick, cannot labor) the poor are certain to be inadequately productive.  Consequently, growth is suppressed and will remain suppressed until the poor are allowed to produce more and so be in a

position to consume more. 

    But how can the poor come to produce more?  The answer is -- by

allowing them to come to own capital assets which, with full payout of

earnings, would give a much greater income.  The capital part of the income of the poor, moreover, if it represented a basket of shares, would be as stable, if not more stable, than the labor part of the poor's income. 

    However, best of all, this capital income would be in the hands of

those who, with unfulfilled needs, would have a propensity to spend and

businesspeople would see the potential for increased consumer spending and so they would invest more.  The ensuing economic growth would be a new type of growth --  binary growth -- which is not comprehended by conventional economics because  binary growth is based upon widespread capital ownership. Widespread individual capital ownership, therefore, will result in a new, and very considerable, economic growth allowing the poor to consume more. 

Yet all references to growth rightly raise questions as to sustainability and conservation of the environment.  Indeed, those references may stimulate fear as to a headlong rush to disaster. However -- strange as it may seem -- economic growth and sustainablity are NOT incompatible IF the growth is a binary growth, based on binary principles.  Those principles are set out in Binary Economics -- the new paradigm, by Robert Ashford and Rodney Shakespeare, published by the University Press of America.  Very briefly, binary economics:- 

a)    results in the voluntary control of population levels.  Questions of sustainability and the environment, cannot be considered independently of the subject of population.  It is fairly well known that when there are certain factors -- a reasonable standard of living, reasonable education and health, and a degree of status for women -- then population levels tend to stabilize.  That stabilization can be observed in parts of some societies in the world; and could be seen in all societies if binary economics is implemented.  This is because binary economics provides those factors (with more that just a degree of status for women). 

b)     enables a society to stop a destructive activity by providing an

alternative way for individuals to be economically productive. 

c)    creates new attitudes to excessive consumption.  This is a big and very important subject but, briefly, at present, the conventional paradigm assumes that people are limitlessly greedy (and so the destruction of the world's resources is inevitable).  But binary economics does not make that assumption.  It notices that greed may be caused by an experience of poverty, or fear of poverty.  However,  if the experience, and so the fear, of poverty are removed (as in a binary economy) then there is hope that people will come to take a more sensible attitude to consumption. 

d)     results in people earning at least part of their income in the same way -- through capital ownership.  So, with people earning in the same way, having security of income, and no fear of poverty, it seems possibile that people will come to place much less emphasis on consumption and the flaunting of wealth and, instead, will come to value other people for what they are and do -- for the service they give to others; and for their personal development.

 

Rodney Shakespeare.

 

May 16/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Trade, development and poverty

From: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

To: "Charles Mather" <017chm@cosmos.wits.ac.za>

Dear Charles, thank you for contacting me. Most of my postings have not been passed to the list, and two or three that did have been well

received. Please, feel free to use those thoughts in your class. I

will post all my posting sent and the feedback received in the section

MY VIEWS in my personal webpage at http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz.

Here you will find thoughts that have made some of my friends in

specific discussion groups to rethink things. One of my papers

published in MBC/Environmental Management and Health would make things a little more difficult for traditionally thinking professional where I

introduce the notion of the possibility of having more than one

invisible hand in the same market, and how these markets differf from

the economic market, and the implications of these for development

policy. If you are interested in deforestation issues, you can check my other site at http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz/caee/people/impacts/deforest/index.html There I introduce my views on how deforestation assessment and

planning can be done by means of Rapid Qualiative Comparative Means, and use Central America as a practical case.

Greetings;

Lucio

----- Original Message -----

From: Charles Mather

To: munoz@interchange.ubc.ca

Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2000 4:47 AM

Subject: Re: trade, development and poverty

Dear Lucio Munoz

I thought your exchange with xxxxx on trade, poverty and inequality

was very stimulating and I would like to use it for a class I am

currently teaching on the globalisation of food. Would this be OK? Also, could you please direct me to the Briefing Notes you refer to - I haven't been able to find it on the World Bank site.

best wishes and thanks

Charles Mather

PS, great web site!

 

May 17/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Trade, development and poverty

From: "Charles Mather" <017chm@cosmos.wits.ac.za>

To: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

Dear Lucio

Thanks for your quick response and for giving me permission to use the

exchange. It should make for an interesting tutorial/lecture session. To make it complete, however, I would need a copy of the Briefing Notes

that you referred to in your exchange with the World Banker. It was on

trade, development and poverty. Could you please direct me to a digital

copy of the briefing notes, if they are available.

Thanks and best wishes

Charles

----- Original Message -----

From: Lucio Munoz

To: Charles Mather

Cc: Toledo/Lucio Munoz

Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2000 0:55 AM

Subject: Re: trade, development and poverty

Dear Charles, thank you for contacting me. Most of my postings have

not been passed to the list, and two or three that did have been well

received. Please, feel free to use those thoughts in your class. I

will post all my posting sent and the feedback received in the section

MY VIEWS in my personal webpage at http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz.

Here you will find thoughts that have made some of my friends in

specific discussion groups to rethink things. One of my papers

published in MBC/Environmental Management and Health would make things a little more difficult for traditionally thinking professional where I

introduce the notion of the possibility of having more than one

invisible hand in the same market, and how these markets differf from

the economic market, and the implications of these for development

policy. If you are interested in deforestation issues, you can check my other site at

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz/caee/people/impacts/deforest/index.html There I introduce my views on how deforestation assessment and =

planning can be done by means of Rapid Qualiative Comparative Means, and use Central America as a practical case.

Greetings;

Lucio

 

May 17/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Incentives, regulations, markets, and sustainability: simplying the issues

From: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

Dear Moderators please if you decide to post this contribution, please

post my comments on the BINARY ECONOMIC proposal I sent to you previosly so that people can follow this part of the discussion in a consistent manner. If you decide not to pass to the list my comments on the BINARY ECONOMIC proposal, please do not, DO NOT, post this contribution to the list. I will wait for another opportunity to present my ideas.

Greetings;

To the Global E-Conference:

Dear Friends, so far all my comments have been a reaction to the views of others on the same issues. Here is my view so I can take the heat as just criticizing is not enough, alternative views are required for fruitful discourse:

Terminology used

I = there are clear incentives i = there are no incentives

R = binding regulation r = non-binding regulation

S = full sustainability s = full unsustainability

A simple market model

Based on the presence or absence of regulations and incentives,

all possible types of markets can be derived easily by the following

market model:

M = I + R

Market variability

The above formula leads to four different types of markets:

a) incentives dominated markets(M1 = Ir)

When there is no-binding regulation, and there are only incentives, we have an incentive dominated market. We know that under these conditions there will be an incentive induced market failure.

b) regulation dominated market(M2 = iR )

When there are no incentives, and there is only binding regulation, we have a regulation dominated market. We know that under too much

regulation there will be a regulation induced market failure.

c) the sustainability market(M3 = IR )

When there are clear incentives and binding regulations at the same

time, we have a sustainability market. We know or should expect that

under sustainability conditions there are not market failures as the

conjuctural interaction of incentives and regulations is optimal.

d) the fully unsustainable market(M4 = ir)

When there are no clear incentives and there are no binding

regulations, full unsustainability exist.

Extending the sustainability market

Since incentives can be divided into social(I1), economic(I2), and

environmental(I3) and regulation can be divided into social

regulation(R1), economic regulation(R2), and environmental

regulation(R3), then the sustainability market(M3) can be extended as

follows:

M3 = IR

M3 = I1.I2.I3.R1.R2.R3

The above sustainability model can be used to derive known market

models to us:

a) The traditional economic model(TEM)

Before 1987 our common future, there were no binding social incentives and regulations and no binding environmental incentives and regulations, so the traditional economic model was of the form:

TEM = i1.I2.i3.r1.R2.r3

After eliminating irrelevant social and environmental components, we

get TEM = I2.R2 only economic incentives and regulations matter

b) The Eco-Economic model(EEM)

When the environmental concerns were formally accepted as binding by

the bruntland commission, then environmental incentives and regulations

were added to the traditional economic model, and the eco-economic model was borned, expressed as follows(social incentives and regulations added are assumed non-binding):

EEM = I2.R2.I3.R3 only economic and environmental incentives

and regulation matter

Expressing the eco-economic development model in additive thinking

terms we get:

EEM = I2 + R2 + I3 + R3

If we take the derivative(X) to the above expression to determine the

drivers of the eco-economic market, we have the following:

X(EEM) = X(I2 + R2 + I3 + R3)

X(EEM) = X(I2) + X(R2) + X(I3) + X(R3) Since X(R2) =3D X(R3) = 0 as R = constant

X(EEM) = X(I2) + X(I3)

Therefore, changes in the eco-economic market come from chages in

either economic incentives or environmental incentives or both at the

same time. This implies that there are TWO INVISIBLE HANDS IN THE

ECO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MARKET. Notice also that both the traditional

economic market and the eco-economic market are different from the

sustainability market, and they both can be viewed out processes coming

from specific types of sustainability failures. These are my views. A

detailed presentation is in my article "An Overview of Some of the

Policy Implications of the Eco-Economic Development Market". Also, I

have written a paper which is being reviewed for publication called "The Traditional Market and the Sustainability Market: Is the Perfect Market Sustainable?, where other views consistent with the above comments are presented in detail.

Your feedback is going to be very welcome.

Sincerely yours;

Lucio

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

 

May 17/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Trade, Growth, and Inequality: Assertations vrs Evidence

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

From: Akraay@worldbank.org

I am Aart Kraay, an economist at the World Bank. As a contributor to the World Bank briefing papers on globalization provided as background for this discussion forum http://www.worldbank.org/html/extdr/pb/globalization/),

and as coauthor of one of the papers on which these are based (Dollar and Kraay "Growth Is Good for the Poor",

http://www.worldbank.org/research/growth/absddolakray.htm) I would like to respond to some of the criticisms raised over the course of the past week.

Of course, these views are my own and are not necessarily those of the

World Bank. But they are also fairly simple observations based on fairly simple evidence, which I hope speak for themselves.

Some of the recent contributions in my view contain strong assertions that do not appear to be consistent with the available empirical evidence. It may be helpful to the discussion to highlight the discrepancies between such assertions and the evidence, so that subsequent discussions can more usefully focus on (a) the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence, and (b) a reconsideration the assertions in light of the evidence.

On Lucio Munoz's contribution of May 11:

Lucio advances a "CONE" view of globalization, which predicts that

globalization should raise income inequality. Lucio elaborates at length on this view, but does not subject it to the litmus test that should be applied to all hypotheses - is it consistent with the facts? On this, it is useful to consider the evidence in Figure 4 of briefing paper 3, which graphs changes in openness to international trade against changes in income inequality. Each data point in the graph corresponds to an observation on changes in income inequality and changes in trade over a period of at least five years for a country. The graph contains over 200 such points, reflecting the diverse experiences of 80 developing and industrial countries from all regions of the world. This graph shows a striking absence of any correlation between changes in trade and changes in income inequality. As countries trade more, the evidence in this graph suggests

that the distribution of income is as likely to improve as to worsen. A careful discussion of the merits and shortcomings of this type of empirical evidence (and of course there are many) may be more useful to the discussion than a mere reiteration of assertions that globalization raises inequality.

On Rafael Arias' contribution of May 11:

Rafael argues that poverty and inequality have worsened despite economic growth in the majority of developing countries, and so it is "apologetic" to refer to economic growth as development. If this assertion were true, Rafael would have a very compelling point. But it is not at all clear that this is the case. Consider for example Figure 2 in briefing paper 2, which shows a graph of economic growth on the horizontal axis, and changes in income inequality on the vertical axis. As with the previous figure on trade and income inequality, each data point corresponds to an observation on economic growth and changes in income inequality over a period of at least five years, reflecting the diverse experience of 80 developing and industrial countries from all regions of the world. Once again, there is a striking absence of any systematic correlation between growth and changes in income distribution. As countries grow, income inequality is as likely

to decrease as it is to increase: in some countries growth has come with rising inequality, so that the poor are left behind, while in others economic growth comes with declining inequality so that the poor narrow the gap between themselves and the rich. The wide variety of country experiences suggest that there is much to be learned about growth and inequality. But to assert that growth throughout the developing world has generally been accompanied by widening inequality is simply not consistent with the available evidence.

On Jeremy Fox's contribution of May 14:

Jeremy correctly points out that estimates of global poverty (in briefing paper 2) are subject to large margins of error. However, the sources of error that Jeremy identifies are in fact not reflected in the reported poverty estimates. "Dollar-a-day" poverty lines have been adjusted to take into account inflation - the term "Dollar-a-day" is merely a convenient shorthand. They have also been adjusted to take into account cost-of-living differences across countries (known as "purchasing power parity adjustments").

Jeremy contests the argument that growth does not raise inequality with the following misleading example: if A's income is $10 and B's income is $1000, and both A and B's incomes increase by 10 percent, then growth raises inequality since A receives only $1 more income while B receives $100 more income. However, from Jeremy's example it is clear that B's income relative to A is unchanged as a result of growth ($1000/$10= $1100/$11 = 100). Changes in inequality are generally understood to mean changes in individuals' relative incomes - unlike in Jeremy's example where they are constant. So there is no meaningful sense in which this example illustrates growth with rising inequality as he claims.

Jeremy is unconvinced by the evidence in Figure 3 of briefing paper 2,

which shows the relationship between trade openness and per capita incomes. He is correctly puzzled by the relative positions of some countries along the horizontal axis in this figure, which shows countries such as China and India as more open than Argentina, and he suggests that countries' relative positions reflect the theoretical prejudices of those who produced the graph. Since I produced the graph it would be helpful for me to elaborate. In this analysis, trade openness is measured as the ratio of exports plus imports to GDP. However, one cannot naively graph this ratio (or changes

in it) against per capita GDP (or growth in per capita GDP) in order to

understand the effect of openness on growth. Consider for example the

following simple observation which illustrates why this might be

misleading. Countries that are small in terms of population or geographic size tend to trade more out of necessity, since they cannot produce inside their borders the full range of goods and services that their citizens would like to consume. Small countries also tend to be richer than large countries. And so, a positive relationship between the amount countries trade and their income levels might simply reflect the fact that small countries are richer and also trade more. So, a more sophisticated approach is required to take this into account. This is what is done in the figure that aroused Jeremy's ire. The measure of trade openness on the horizontal axis has been adjusted for country size (as noted in the text of the briefing paper). This may lead to some confusion in interpreting countries' relative positions on the horizontal axis - the fact that China and India are shown to the right of Argentina simply reflects the fact that the former two countries trade more than would be expected given their large size, while Argentina trades relatively less than expected given its

small size. However, this adjustment is important if one wishes to

correctly determine the effects of trade on economic development. I would refer Jeremy and other readers to the paper on which this figure is based (J. Frankel and D. Romer "Does Trade Cause Growth". American Economic Review. 1999), which is cited in the references of the briefing paper, for details.

Participants in this forum may be interested to know that data on trade, growth, and income inequality that can help to inform the discussion are publicly available through the economic growth research website at the World Bank (http://www.worldbank.org/research/growth). Cross-country and time series data on trade, growth, and many other variables can be found at:

http://www.worldbank.org/research/growth/GDNdata.htm

Cross-country data on income distribution can be found at:

http://www.worldbank.org/research/growth/absineq.htm

 

May 18/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Trade, poverty and inequality

From: "Keith Winston" <keith@freedomsong.com>

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

This is a brief response to Milan Brahmbhatt. I

don't have time to do justice to all the points he raises.

> inequality. It does not. On the contrary, the key result is that on

> average it (globalization) raises incomes, and it raises the incomes >of the poor at the> same percentage rate as the incomes of other >groups. Another way ofstating> the latter point is that, on average, >it has no systematic effect on> income distribution.

Well, Lucio pointed out with simple math that such an increase DOES have a systematic effect on income distribution. To tell the truth, I think this misses the point anyway, because I'm highly suspicious of the initial numbers (that is, the rising economic tide lifting all boats): they certainly don't seem visible in terms of hunger, maternal health, and other significant measures of "economic progress". And I think there are a thousand subtleties (i.e. a shift towards a money-making activities will make an economy in transition look like it's doing better by the day, even as previously non-monetarily-valued goods and activities are diminishing) that are lost by the wayside. Meanwhile, Milan suggests that the increasing disparity revealed by Lucio's analysis is "just arithmetic and therefore> relatively uninteresting." He goes on to argue:

> The important question is what policy consequences we should draw >from> this? Should we stop all kinds of technological progress that >delivers> equal percent increases in incomes? (And globalization can >be properly> viewed as a type of technological progress.) In other >words leave the poor> in poverty in order to prevent the rich from >getting absolutely richer?> This may satisfy the enviousness and >class-hatred of extremist ideologues,> but it does nothing for the >poor, would be an extremely ANTI-POOR policy.> This may seem too crazy >an idea to contemplate, but I think it is sadly the> case that a part >of the anti-globalist mindset is precisely rooted in an> >extraordinarily primitive and reactionary hatred for technological >change> and advance of all sorts. But that's a debate for another >day. However,> we certainly can, do and should further study ways in >which the benefits

>of> growth could be better distributed towards the poor, without >bringing a> halt to the technological progress which has always been >the long run> mainspring of widely shared improvements in human >material welfare.

I think Milan should consider carefully the meaning of idealogue: "an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology". If the globalization/neoclassical economic idealogues want to push an agenda that facilitates increasing disparity in wealth, well, that's predictable. But if we're talking about the World Bank, and its specific charter to respond to poverty alleviation, then I think it's completely legitimate to believe that it should confine it's activities to those that _disproportionately_alleviate poverty, as opposed to presumably doing so as an adjunct to "economic development": otherwise, the Bank becomes just a flunky for globalization on the terms of multinationals and international capital(gasp!).

Jeremy Fox made some interesting observations about Mexico: "All the income gains made by the poor over the previous fifty years have been comprehensively wiped out. Entry into the NAFTA followed by devaluation of the currency, "structural adjustment", and the US-led rescue package have impoverished millions of Mexicans and enriched a few hundred. Mexico's signal economic achievement since 1992 has been to emerge as Latin America's top producer of billionaires."

Many contributors to this list point to similar experiences. But Milan (and other WB posts to date) seem to write off all these comments, as if their own neoclassical analysis is the only one worth attending to. Milan suggests for example that we should appreciate the value of GDP as an analytical tool, and improve upon it rather than dismiss it. It's unclear to me that it is a salvageable metric for sustainable development. The fact that neoclassical analysis and metrics indicate proceeding in the same predetermined direction does not surprise me.

Milan, I don't mean to be merely confrontive. But it seems to me that the mainstream neoclassical approach says "growth first, then prove how that takes care of everything else". The Bank is potentially an opportunity to act on poverty alleviation and to respond to environmental degradation without the same blinders that industry (and financially-beholden governments) generally wear. Alas, the record is not admirable yet.

Will the Bank really attend to the many insightful comments that have been submitted to this list in considering its path forward?

Keith

 

May 18/2000/FAIR WEALTH DISTRIBUTION FORUM

From: "Al Andersen"

To: <munoz1@sprint.ca>

Subject: List on FAIR wealth distribution

Greetings, Lucio Munoz.

This is to alert you to emails you will be receiving in response to your offering on the World Bank list on poverty and globalization, and your reference to "rooted inequalities." At Tom Paine Institute our focus is on economic *justice* at the structural level. We contend that under true economic justice the complete *elimination* of poverty, not just its reduction, would be one of many favorable results. The emails we will be sending you shortly were rejected by the World Bank moderators -- because, we presume, they were too threatening to existing *structures*. Therefore, we will be sending them out ourselves, to people like yourself whose messages *have* been posted. We do so in the hope that we can generate a non-WB list of persons who will seriously address the issue of truly *fair* wealth distribution, so that everyone can benefit in truly fair ways the financial and other benefits from what we call "Our Common-Heritage Wealth."

When you receive these emails we will be hoping for your response, either to the entire list of those receiving them or to us at Tom Paine Institute only. Incidentally, between now and the time you begin receiving the promised emails you can get a strong hint regarding their content by clicking on links on our Web Site (given below) beginning

with "Natural Capital, Key to Economic Justice" and then moving to the link called "Envisioning Just/Fair/Humane/Liberating Political/Economic Structures, Local to Global"

If you do not want to receive these emails please let us know as soon as possible

Warm greetings,

Alfred F. Andersen

 

May 1/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Trade, growth and inequality: Assertions versus evidence

From: "Rafael Arias" <aria0004@maroon.tc.umn.edu>

To: <foxjones@compuserve.com>

Cc: <munoz1@sprint.ca>

From: Rafael Arias [mailto:aria0004@maroon.tc.umn.edu]

Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2000 5:00 PM

To: globalization@lists.worldbank.org

Subject: RE: [globalization] Trade, Growth, and Inequality: Assertions

versus Evidence

I am Rafael Arias, a Ph.D. candidate from the Geography Department at the University of Minnesota. This is my third participation in this conference (I hope) in which I wanted to focus on an alternative framework of development. But first, I would like to response to Aart Kraay's reference to my second contribution on poverty, inequality and development.

According to Aart my argument about the increase of poverty and inequality in developing countries, during the last two decades, contains "strong assertions that do not appear to be consistent with the available empirical evidence." Then he provides the sites of some World Bank briefing papers where we can find the necessary evidence to support any "valid" assertion on these issues.

As an economist I am familiar with different methodologies to measure

poverty and inequality that may result in different indicators. When I

compare the World Bank's indicators on poverty and inequality with those from other international institutions (Organization of American States, United Nations, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) I realize how different the results and conclusions on a particular issue can be when different methodologies and interests are applied. Fortunately, the World Bank is not the only source of quantitative information regarding economic and social performance of countries around the world. The variety of reliable informational sources gives us the opportunity to be cautious and critical when we manage and analyze data for any purpose.

In direct reference to one of my statements, Aart says:

Rafael argues that poverty and inequality have worsened despite economic growth in the majority of developing countries, and so it is "apologetic" to refer to economic growth as development. If this assertion were true, Rafael would have a very compelling point. But it is not at all clear that this is the case.

I would like to inform Aart that the above "strong assertion" is based on strong and reliable empirical evidence. For instance, in a recent study on poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Organization of American States (OAS:1995)points out that in spite of the economic achievements of the structural adjustment process, however, progress on the social front has been advancing at a notably slower pace. In effect, at the mid-point of the present decade, some 39% of all Latin American and Caribbean households were living in poverty - a figure that was higher than the 35% that prevailed at the beginning of the 1980s. In absolute terms, it is calculated that 210 million people within the region are poor, and this is a record high figure.

The poverty phenomenon in the Americas has a number of special features, among which are its increasingly urban nature - 65% of the poor are city dwellers - and its close relationship to unequal income distribution. In fact, it has been noted that a significant proportion of poverty in the region is the consequence of the uneven distribution of wealth: in some countries, the richest 10% of the population receives more than 50% of national income, while the poorest 40% receive less than 10%. By the same token, in a recent publication the ECLAC (1999)points out that in the period 1998-1999 poverty in Latin America increased from 200 million to 224 million of people.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP:1997) provides a very

interesting and informative (qualitatively and quantitatively) document on global poverty and inequality that support my assertions regarding poverty and inequality in poor countries. Furthermore, in this document the UNDP advocates for an inclusive approach of development that promotes a process of building local capacity for poverty reduction and pro-poor local governance. The UNPD calls these aspects the "neglected reforms" in the conventional approach of economic development.

References:

Organization of American States (1995) THE OAS AND OVERCOMING POVERTY.

(http://www.oas.org/Udse/poverty.htm).

CEPAL (1999) LA BRECHA DE LA EQUIDAD. ONU, Santiago de Chile.

UNDP (1997)OVERCOMING HUMAN POVERTY. World Summit for Social Development,

Washington, D.C. (http://www.undp.org/povertyreport/html).

UNESCO (1997) INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION. San

Jose, Costa Rica. (http://www.unesco.org1most/pobreza.htm).

Kambur,R. and Lustig, N. WHY IS INEQUALITY BACK ON THE AGENDA.

Inter-American Development Bank, April 1999, Washington, D.C.

-----Original Message-----

From: Akraay@worldbank.org [mailto:Akraay@worldbank.org]

Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2000 7:49 AM

To: Globalization E-Conference

Subject: [globalization] Trade, Growth, and Inequality: Assertions

versus Evidence

 

I am Aart Kraay, an economist at the World Bank. As a contributor to the World Bank briefing papers on globalization provided as background for this discussion forum (http://www.worldbank.org/html/extdr/pb/globalization/),

and as coauthor of one of the papers on which these are based (Dollar and Kraay "Growth Is Good for the Poor",

http://www.worldbank.org/research/growth/absddolakray.htm) I would like to respond to some of the criticisms raised over the course of the past week.

Of course, these views are my own and are not necessarily those of the

World Bank. But they are also fairly simple observations based on fairly simple evidence, which I hope speak for themselves.

Some of the recent contributions in my view contain strong assertions that do not appear to be consistent with the available empirical evidence. It may be helpful to the discussion to highlight the discrepancies between such assertions and the evidence, so that subsequent discussions can more usefully focus on (a) the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence, and (b) a reconsideration the assertions in light of the evidence.

On Rafael Arias' contribution of May 11:

Rafael argues that poverty and inequality have worsened despite economic growth in the majority of developing countries, and so it is "apologetic" to refer to economic growth as development. If this assertion were true, Rafael would have a very compelling point. But it is not at all clear that this is the case. Consider for example Figure 2 in briefing paper 2, which shows a graph of economic growth on the horizontal axis, and changes inincome inequality on the vertical axis. As with the previous figure on trade and income inequality, each data point corresponds to an observation on economic growth and changes in income inequality over a period of at least five years, reflecting the diverse experience of 80 developing and industrial countries from all regions of the world. Once again, there is a striking absence of any systematic correlation between growth and changes in income distribution. As countries grow, income inequality is as likely

to decrease as it is to increase: in some countries growth has come with rising inequality, so that the poor are left behind, while in others economic growth comes with declining inequality so that the poor narrow the gap between themselves and the rich. The wide variety of country experiences suggest that there is much to be learned about growth and inequality. But to assert that growth throughout the developing world has generally been accompanied by widening inequality is simply not consistent with the available evidence.

 

May 19/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Summary of topic 2

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

From: Moderator1@worldbank.org

Summary of the Discussion on Topic 2

(Moderators' note: Since the discussion of the second theme,

"Poverty, Basic Needs, and Development" has extended into the

third week, we have prepared a summary of the discussion of the topic

rather than a summary of Week 2.)

Discussion of the second topic, "Poverty, Basic Needs and Development",

revealed considerable disagreement about what we know of the

dimensions of poverty and inequality in developing countries, the trends in recent years, and the linkages between these trends and globalization.

A number of participants gave concrete examples of worsening conditions among the poor in developing countries, citing inter alia the plight of cocoa farmers in Cameroon, the worsening economic, social and security climate in Colombia, and the differential (and increasingly severe) impact of poverty on women in developing countries. One participant highlighted the rural/urban split in poverty in developing countries, and suggested that it was exacerbated by donor and government preference for large capital projects and projects in major urban areas. Several high school students from a school in Mexico spoke eloquently of the poverty and disorienting change faced by their country.

Some gave examples of how globalized capital is "enclosing" / alienating resources that provide basic needs for the poor, such as water. There were also several brief mentions of privatization of genetic resources.

Many suggested that analysis of poverty trends based on monetary income might mask other indicators of poverty -- particularly the increasing cost or inaccessibility of welfare services and other needs. Participants also stressed the importance of the informal and non-monetary economy as a tool of sustenance for the poor, cautioning that globalization tended to impose a monetary model of wealth and a heavily privatized approach to the basis resources on which the poor (particularly the rural poor) rely, depriving them of traditional and collective means of sustenance without helping them transition to sustainable livelihoods in the new economy.

Most of these participants argued for a direct connection between the Worsening condition of the poor and globalization. Yet significant disagreement emerged during the discussion not only about this purported connection, but also about what precisely we know about the trends in poverty and inequality in developing countries in recent years.

Much of this disagreement came to light in reactions to and criticisms Of the two World Bank research papers posted for this week's discussion, and the response of several World Bank staff to these criticisms. The first of these two papers, "Does More International Trade Openness Increase World Poverty?", began by acknowledging that progress in the fight against poverty world wide has been very uneven in recent years. It then suggested, and offered evidence supporting, a positive correlation between economic growth and poverty reduction, and a related correlation between openness to trade and growing per capita income. Yet it acknowledged that the links between increased trade, inequality and poverty is complex and difficult to measure, and requires further research and analysis.

The second paper, "Does More International Trade Openness Worsen Inequality?", argued that there is some suggestive evidence that increased trade openness improves the lot of the poor in developing countries, but it acknowledged that other factors come into play. It further acknowledged that, as of now, what we know about the impact of trade openness on inequality within countries is incomplete and contradictory, with some evidence of positive effects and some of negative effects. It stressed the importance of policies and resources to help the poor adapt to and take advantage of economic changes wrought by globalization, including the importance of training/lifelong learning and of efficient capital markets that permit workers to build financial assets and independence. The second paper this week also focused on whether globalization increases inequality between nations. While acknowledging that there are signs that the distribution of per-capita income between countries has become more unequal in recent decades, the paper argued that factors other than increased trade openness are likely to explain this shift.

Several participants criticized the analysis and argument of the papers. Criticism focused in particular on the ambiguities of making determinations about trends in poverty on the basis of aggregate data and averaging, and on the difficulty of accurate measurement of the trends described in the papers.

In response, several research economists from the Bank offered explanation of the analysis of the papers, cited further research of positive correlation between trade and growth, while acknowledging that much more research and analysis is needed to understand these trends and effects.

Some participants also pointed out that the argument about the impact of globalization on the poor has to be based on a broader and more complex set of measures and a more differentiated analysis of the life situation of the poor.

As one participant commented: "Assessing the winners and losers in Economic globalization requires taking a broader approach than simply comparing economic statistics. It requires us to think about the dynamics of vulnerability,and how economic changes interact with environmental changes to create new challenges to food security".

Many contributors argued, as in the first week, that to accept the consequences of globalization as inevitable is an ideological, political and moral choice.

If it is agreed that the global market tends to increase or perpetuate poverty, the nation's rulers do not have to accept this but can adopt various redistributive policies, as they often have in the past.

Several participants suggested that there are other causes of persistent and mounting poverty in developing countries, and that attributing this poverty to globalization was perhaps simplistic. Several participants cited in particular the role of corrupt or incompetent local and national elites and governments, and more broadly the importance (and frequent lack) of clear and consistent policy environments, capable administrators and policy makers, and transparent, participatory governance processes in developing countries. At the same time, one participant cautioned that, while poverty reduction and redistributive strategies and tools are essentially country-specific, national governments in the context of globalization have progressively less control over many of the factors that shape the economic life of their country.

When the discussion turned to strategies and measures for responding to The plight of the poor in the context of globalization, participants focused in particular on the importance of proactive, competent and accountable governments; of participation by the poor in developing the strategies and programs for improving their life chances; and of the importance of giving the poor opportunities for capital ownership. There was some discussion of the role of skills and training as Determinants of success in a globalized economy, with some contributors stressing their fundamental importance, while others felt -- as some had in the first week -- that the exclusion of some sectors of the population is inherent in a global capitalist system and education cannot change this. At the same time, a participant cautioned that giving too much emphasis to education/training and to high-tech delivery mechanisms for that training diminished the value of traditional forms of knowledge and information-sharing in developing countries, and also tended to obscure the core issues of poverty and inequality.

 

May 20/2000/FAIR WEALTH DISTRIBUTION FORUM

From: "Al Andersen"

To: "Grant, Walter" ……

…..

"Munoz, Lucio" <munoz1@sprint.ca>, "Afele, John"

…..

…..

This is the first message of those promised in announcing this Forum on

dealing at the *structural* level with the problem of achieving truly

fair distribution of wealth. As promised, it includes a message rejected by the monitors of the World-Bank-sponsored online "Conference on Globalization, Poverty, and Development." It is being sent out to the roughly 150 persons who have not rejected our initial invitation (we have received 4 rejections). Roughly 100 of these have had their messages posted by the World-Bank monitors. The other 50 are persons estimated to be interested, based on previous contacts, and who have been somewhat informed about what these monitors are reporting.

The rejected message, which appears below, speaks for itself. It is offered for your comments. Your comments may be sent to the entire list, to individuals, or to me at Tom Paine Institute. Any sent to me will be shared with the entire list, unless for some reason it would be inappropriate to do so or they are off the subject of this Forum. You will see that said rejected message sets forth a vision of what would constitute a fair distribution of wealth and the financial and other benefits from it. More complete and more detailed statements can be found on various links on our URL, given below.

Here, then, with my warm greetings, is the first of the messages which were rejected by the World-Bank monitors:

Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2000 6:00 PM

Subject: What I "know" about Globalization, Development, and Poverty

My name is Alfred F. Andersen. I have been "retired" for several years.

But my mind is more active than ever! I am co-director of Tom Paine Institute, committed to "sustainable justice for all in both current and future generations." For more, visit us at http://csf.colorado.edu/sustainable-justice.

As for what "we know" about "Globalization, Development, and Poverty, I know, personally, that the major lack in the lives of poor people is the lack of *wealth*. I experienced the Great Depression in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA as a child -- having to sell cookies my mother baked, and seeing my childhood home taken over in a bank foreclosure. If my parents had had sufficient wealth they could have not only paid off the mortgage but invested in other property, and thus could have built wealth upon wealth as the wealthy elite do all over the world, today greatly aided by travel in cyberspace.

I also know that the absolutely essential ingredient in all wealth is *natural* wealth: some combination of land surface; land fertility; water, minerals, fossil fuels; physical space; cyberspace. Of increasing importance is high-tech *knowledge* of natural patterns and of how, thereby, *natural* wealth can be modified into wealth which is not only more useful in itself but more productive of ever greater wealth -- in the form of homes, factories, machines, computers, robots, and countless "consumer goods."

I also know that the justice to which I am committed requires two things regarding wealth distribution: (1) that the financial and other benefits from our common-heritage *natural* wealth should be distributed in some fair way among all the earth's conscious beings; and (2) that the financial and other benefits from any *improvement* on natural wealth (in the form of home, tools, or factory) should go to persons to the extent that each has contributed to that improvement. I conclude from this that natural wealth should *not* be privately owned, and that all improvements on it definitely *should* be privately owned.

Since there is no practical way to divide up natural wealth (especially today's all-important cyberspace) for general distribution, natural wealth should all be held in local-to-global Trusts, leased out at market value, *though for socially and environmentally responsible use only*, and the financial and other benefits from such leasing distributed among human and other conscious beings, extending into future generations. This would not just *reduce* poverty, but put an end to it! Also, given a basic common-heritage income everyone would have leverage for bargaining for truly fair wages. Indeed, such economic justice would inspire fairness in all aspects of life -- crime would become rare, and family and community life would reach an unprecedented level of physical, psychological, and spiritual health. Granted, if such a vision of economic justice is to come about in a just/fair way those who presently have private ownership of our natural wealth must be fairly compensated. Also, time for adjustment to any new arrangement must be permitted. In short, it will take many years to bring about such a just economic structure in ways which themselves are truly just.

But, since the elite-few existing owners of the bulk of our natural wealth are right now, every day, benefiting from it to an unjust extent (and thus billions are getting "ripped off") it is only just-fair that today's victims of this structural injustice be compensated immediately!

One way would be to *increase* safety-net programs rather than decrease them (i.e., as David Korten suggests, as reported in Barry Coates' posting). Such programs should be paid for by taxing persons and corporate bodies to the extent that they have benefited, and continue to benefit, from their private ownership of, and income from, our *common-heritage* natural wealth. And I predict that the wealthy will gladly cooperate when they experience even a taste of what it is like to live in a truly just world order. Again, for details, visit our URL, given below.

Warm greetings, Alfred F. Andersen

 

May 21/2000/FAIR WEALTH DISTRIBUTION CONFERENCE: Openning message

From: "Buarque" <cbuarque@brnet.com.br>

To: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

Dear Lucio Munoz:

I do not know if you receive this mesage. After reading your last =

mesage, I thought to send it to you.

Best Regards

Cristovam Buarque

Dear friends:

First of all I am sorry to write in poor english. I thought it would be more productive than writing in a good portuguese. I am a teacher at the University of Bras=EDlia, where I was the Rector, from 1985-89. Now, beside to keep my teacher position, I am in charge of a NGO called Child Mission, to fight for universal educational for children.

I have been following our debate about globalization and decidds to recommend for discussion an idea we introduced in Bras=EDlia, during the time I was the governor of Federal District of Brazil/Bras=EDlia, from 1995-1999.

The idea is based on a project we implemented in Brasilia, begin in January 1995, with the name of BOLSA ESCOLA. Now it is already implemented in many brazilian cities with a very well developed project in all Mexico and begin in Ecuador.

The idea is quite simple: if poor children do not study, because they have to work, let' s pay their family to put them at school, instead of working. As a matter of fact we are doing with children what we do to posgraduated studants: paying schollarships do keep them studying its PHD, instead to go to the labor market. The family has to have all its children at school and no one of them can miss more than to days classes per month. The Mexican put another condition, the family have to take their children to a doctor once a month.If one of them fails three days classes, the family would not receive the money on that month.

This project is doing an educational revolution every where it is implemented. And was evalutated by Unesco, Unicef, IDB, BIRD. But its range is bigger than education. It is a good aproach to abolish poverty. First of all because it takes on account a new kind of poverty cicle, instead the economic cycle, a generation cycle: a poor child will be a poor adult whose children will be poor again. If we stop the cycle, through education, we are abolishing poverty on the long term. But, the project has imediate impact on poverty relief. On paying an income to poor familyes everything begins to change around them. We already measured 28 imediate impacts such health, women empowerment, drug reduction, economic growth, etc...

But, the idea I want to discuss is a proposition I have been done for the last five years, to swap external debt for Bolsa Escola.

If we consider US$40,00 per family per month, world wide, as the opportunity cost of its children, and the 250 million working children in the world, according to UNICEF, and three children per family, it means 83 millions families to be beneficiaries, the global cost to a worldly Bolsa Escola program would be US$40 billion, it means 13% of the external debt service paid in 1997, or around 0,1% of the world GNP, or 5% of the global cost on weapons. Not so much. But the cost could be shared, half by the international financial system and rich countries governements, and half by each poor country. The total cost will be around 3% of the public costs budget of these countries. Sure, each country has its own data and situation. But the global accountability afford to see the feasibility of the project.I have been taking the idea on international forum, and it begins to be acepted. During his speach on the last Dakar meeting on Education for All, Mr. Kofi Annan did a specific commment recomending the Bolsa Escola project. Many people talked about the idea of a debt for education swap program, and the Bolsa Escola could be a good way to do it: easy to manage and with imediate and long term impacts.

I would like to hear from you about the idea and I am ready to send data, informantion and even book about the idea. With great expectation with our debate,

Cristovam Buarque

 

May 21/2000/FAIR WEALTH DISTRIBUTION FORUM: Purpose of forum

From: "Al Andersen" <Tom.Paine.Inst@worldnet.att.net>

To: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

The purpose of this list, Lucio Munoz, is not to exchange on how to reduce poverty. If that is your main concern I suggest you get off this list and stay with the World Bank list. The focus here is how to achieve the fair-sharing of wealth, and its benefits, especially our common-heritage wealth, by means of basic "structural" change. In future submissions to this list please make that the focus.

 

May 23/2000/FAIR WEALTH DISTRIBUTION FORUM

From: MarthaET@aol.com

To: versluysen@ids.com,

wgrant@wg.c.com,

CammaT@aol.com,

…..

…..

Actually, negative population growth is the norm in Europe today - it means that there are fewer people than the previous generation, and this is achieved by having smaller families - three generations of having smaller families is a fairly well accepted prescription for a serious worldwide negative population growth policy.

I deplore the NRA, but wealth is the ability to defend your land from Occidental Petroleum, if you are the U'Wa; the ability to defend your land from coca growers, if you are an Ecuadorean peasant; the ability to defend your land from the right wing if you are a Guatemalan; the ability to defend your land from hoteliers if you are a small farmer on Hawaii, and et cetera.

People I know from different lands want to restore their ways of life. This includes ibetans, Akha, U'Wa, Lakota. . .they don't want to qualify their lives in terms of dollars.

Martha E. Ture

In a message dated 05/22/2000 9:50:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time,

versluysen@idsonline.com writes:

<<

The second is from Martha Ture: "there is no endless supply of water or food or land; right now the basis of wealth is a place to stand and in our lives it has gotten so much more crowded. .wealth is negative population growth. ..

Wealth is the ability to fend off those who want to take your land, or who want to force you to trade when you do not wish to trade. Wealth is power to direct one's life."

So, Ms. Ture advocates NEGATIVE population growth! How? perhaps by letting the AIDS epidemic unchecked in Africa; hoping for more wars, or is she thinking about California, of whom there are perhaps too many (herself excluded of course)? Has Ms,. Ture taken even a nanosecond to look at the implications of negative population growth say, on social security.

Moreover, statements such as "Wealth is the ability to fend off those who want to take your land, and so on" are off the wall. They belong to the NRA, not in reasoned discussion among concerned adults. >>

 May 21/2000/FAIR WEALTH DISTRIBUTION FORUM: Openning message

Subject: Re: Message opening Forum on Fair Wealth Distribution

To: Tom.Paine.

Cc: wgrant@wg.

…..

…….

From: wgathenya@oise.)

TThanks for opening up this forum, I believe not just tp post what was rejected by the World Bank forum but more positively as a continuation of the globalization discourse that addresses contemporary issues that affect humankind. On the posted article I agree with the following:ha the "But, since the elite-few existing owners of the bulk of our natural wealth are right now, every day, benefiting from it to an unjust extent (and thus billions are getting "ripped off") it is only just-fair that today's victims of this structural injustice be compensated immediately!"

According to the author of 'Power Shift' (Author's name slips my mind but I will check it out later), most of the wealth base in the North was gotten through all sorts of non-ethical means from the rest of the unsuspecting world. Thus he traces the accumulation of wealth through history- the sea pirates (China tea, world tresures etc). colonial era (when they plundered gold, diamonds, humans) and continuing to date (the oil, the minerals, the cash crops and brain drain). The elite and the powerful have forged a partnership that knows no national/state borders and their loyalty is to no particular country or governement. Apparently in the course of these growing partnerships structures that depended on States/public goodwill are slowly being replaced or overlooked. Thus you have electronic banking that cuts on the bureaucracy red tape. you have private armies repalcing regular police/army, you have companies like Ford or Toyota with royalties split between several countries. In this emerging arrangement it becomes extremeely difficult for the "outsider" to break in. The "Club" is becoming more and more exclusive-more like the Aristocracy-you can only be born in it, you can't buy your way in. That is the Club that will continue to benefit most from the from global natural resources. The rest will fit in in the advocated "Trickle Down" development framework-you work hard and wait hoping that something will trickle down to you from those who own the wealth.

Wambui.OISE/University of Toronto,

 

May 21/2000/FAIR WEALTH DISTRIBUTION FORUM

From: "Al Andersen" <Tom.Paine.Inst@worldnet.att.net>

To: "Oldham, Linda

……..

……..

This a reminder that this forum is limited to envisioning what would

constitute truly just distribution of *wealth* and income from wealth

globally and into future generations, with special emphasis on fair

distribution of the financial and other benefits from our

common-heritage natural wealth. The assumption is that this will

eliminate poverty. If you don't want to limit yourself in this way

perhaps you should go with the World Bank list. To register for the

World Bank list send a message to moderator1@worldbank.org .

As an example of a way to address this "structural" issue I am

forwarding (below) my (rejected)submission to the second week of the

World Bank conference. I hope for comments or alternative proposals.

Important: Please edit your submissions carefully, and be as succinct as

possible, so that there will be no misunderstandings and a minimum of confusion.

If you want to be taken off this list just let me know. C. Fisk of the

World Bank has asked to be removed, and has been. Please remove his name from

any of your submissions. Previously, Brian Jenkins, John Lankford, and Errol

Mendes were removed at each one's request; if any of them are on your list

please remove them also.

Again, for details of the Tom Paine Institute position see the links on

our URL (given below).

Here, then, is the other of my submissions not posted by the World Bank

monitors:

Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2000 6:05 PM

Subject: Answering Rodney Shakespeare about capital ownership

.Rodney Shakespeare asks whether we on this list "have considered wide

capital ownership as a possible solution" to poverty and its related

problems. My answer is that we at Tom Paine Institute have addressed

that challenge for several decades, and have a proposed solution. The

solution comes to mind as soon as we explore deeply enough the answer to

the following question: "What would be a truly *fair* way to distribute

wealth (capital) and the income from it?"

Clearly, the major lack in the lives of poor people is the lack of

*wealth*. I experienced the Great Depression in Bridgeport, Connecticut,

USA as a child -- having to sell cookies my mother baked, and seeing my

childhood home taken over in a bank foreclosure. If my parents had had

sufficient wealth they could have not only paid off the mortgage but

invested in other property, and thus could have built wealth upon wealth

as the wealthy elite do all over the world, today greatly aided by travel

in cyberspace.

Clearly, also, the absolutely essential ingredient in all wealth is

*natural* wealth: some combination of land surface; land fertility;

water, minerals, fossil fuels; physical space; cyberspace. Of increasing

importance is high-tech *knowledge* of *natural* patterns and of how, thereby,

*natural* wealth can be modified into wealth which is not only more useful in

itself but more productive of ever greater wealth -- in the form of homes,

factories, machines, computers, robots, and countless "consumer goods."

Clearly, also, simple fairness requires two things regarding wealth

distribution: (1) that the financial and other benefits from our

common-heritage *natural* wealth should be distributed in some fair way

among all the earth's conscious beings; and (2) that the financial and

other benefits from any *improvement* on natural wealth (in the form of

home, tools, or factory) should go to persons to the extent that each

has contributed to that improvement. Therefore, it logically follows

that natural wealth should *not* be privately owned, and that all

improvements on it definitely *should* be privately owned.

A major reason such fair distribution has not taken place is that there

is no practical way to divide up the most valuable parts of natural

wealth (especially today's all-important cyberspace). Granted, many

attempts at a fair division of agricultural land have been made down

globalization), and therefore increasingly are forced to sell, and then

move to urban areas, where they tend to swell the ranks of "the urban

poor."

I hope others on this list will suggest how, considering these

difficulties, "fair" distribution of *natural* wealth (capital) might be

achieved. Our suggestion (proposed in its essentials in Tom Paine's

*Agrarian Justice* over two centuries ago, and then ignored) is that all

of our common-heritage natural wealth should be held in local-to-global Trusts,

leased out at market value, *though for socially and

environmentally responsible use only*, and the financial and other

benefits from such leasing distributed among human and other conscious

beings, extending into future generations. This would not just *reduce*

poverty, but put an end to it! Also, given a basic common-heritage

income everyone would have leverage for bargaining for truly fair wages.

Indeed, such economic justice would inspire fairness in all aspects of life

Granted, if such a vision of economic justice is to come about in a

just/fair way those who presently have private ownership of our natural

wealth must be fairly compensated. Also, time for adjustment to any new

arrangement must be permitted. In short, it will take many years to

bring about such a just economic structure in ways which themselves are

truly just.

But, since the elite-few existing owners of the bulk of our natural

wealth are right now, every day, benefiting from it to an unjust extent

(and thus billions are getting "ripped off") isn't it "only fair" that

today's victims of this structural injustice be compensated immediately!

One way would be to *increase* safety-net programs rather than decrease

them (i.e., as David Korten suggests, as reported in Barry Coates' posting).

Clearly, such programs should be paid for by taxing persons and corporate

bodies to the extent that they have benefited, and continue to benefit,

from their near-monopoly, private ownership of, and income from, our

*common-heritage* natural wealth. And I predict that the wealthy will

gladly cooperate when they experience even a taste of what it is like to

live in a truly just world order. Again, for details, visit our URL, given

below. I welcome any other suggestions about how we might bring about a fair

distribution of our common-heritage *natural* wealth and the financial and

other benefits from it, and thereby not only reduce poverty, but eliminate it,

and not only achieve *economic* justice but lay the foundation for a just

civilization in all respects, and for the kind of healthy family and community

life we so desperately long for in these ominous times?

Warm greetings, Alfred F. Andersen

 

May 22/2000/FAIR WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION FORUM

From: Eugene Versluysen

To: "Al Andersen

"Oldham, Linda

…….

…….

Greetings to all.

For the past three weeks I much enjoyed the messages posted on the World

Bank's E conference on globalization. The discussion was reasoned, most

people expressed themselves clearly and there was much to-ing and fro-ing

among the contributors, myself included. The conference also offered

opportunities to have one-on-one email conversations with contributors.

One of the clear messages of the conference is something we all know, namely

that the world bank has failed abysmally in its proclaimed mission to alleviate

poverty, and that its most significant failure has been in Africa where misery

is actually increasing. I know this well, firts hand, having spent many years

as an economist in that very institution. That being said, I believe that, under

the stewarship of James Wolfensohn, the bank is changing for the better. It is

becoming more open to criticism, becoming more accountable to people (not

governments and elites) in developing countries. It is also making a genuine

effort to learn from past mistakes. Openness is obvious from initiatives such

as launching world-wide debate on the effects of globalization in this recent

E conference.

>From my days in the bank, I also know that it has many dedicated

professionals who work hard to make a tangible contribution to development.

The institution is so vast and complex that one can find "niches" for

particular projects, such as supporting microcredit for poor village womenin

Asia, or funding small productive activities in rural communities in Nicaragua.

Returning to teh globalization E conference, clearly, many messages sent to

the forum were not posted because, as the moderators stated, they wished to

give priority to contributions from developing countries, keep the discussion

focussed and avoid a plethora of messages that would swamp readers. I agree

with this and do not believe that there was censorship. In that sense, I

found the moderators justified in NOT including, for instance, Alfred

Andersen's posting which he repeated on this forum.

As regards the Tom Paine e-mail "forum", I had hoped that it would carry

the debates of the bank's e conference a step futher, with more time to

reflect in an group discussion that is not bounded by a rigid number of

weeks. So far I am not impressed (pardon my bluntness). The messages

posted to date are confused, lack rigor in their definitions and seem

to meander into uncharted territories such as "natural wealth".

Let me cite two examples.

First Al Andersen's "Clearly, also, the absolutely essential ingredient in all wealth is *natural* wealth: some combination of land surface; land fertility; water, minerals, fossil fuels; physical space; cyberspace. Of increasing importance is high-tech *knowledge* of *natural* patterns and of how, thereby, *natural* wealth can be modified into wealth which is not only more useful in itself but more productive of ever greater wealth -- in the form of homes, factories, machines, computers, robots, and countless "consumer goods." What is NATURAL about cyberspace??? What is the wealth effect of space? Please enlighten me.

The second is from Martha: "there is no endless supply of water or food or land; right now the basis of wealth is a place to stand and in our lives it has gotten so much more crowded. .wealth is negative population growth. ..

Wealth is the ability to fend off those who want to take your land, or who want to force you to trade when you do not wish to trade. Wealth is power to direct one's life."

So, that lady wishes NEGATIVE population growth! How? perhaps letting the AIDS epidemic unchecked in Africa; hoping for more wars, or is she thinking about California? Has Martha taken even a nanosecond to look at the implications of negative population growth say, on social security. Clearly ravings such as "Wealth is the ability to fend off those who want to take your land, and so on" are more approriate for the NRA that for reasoned discussion among concrened adults.

To the point, statements like Al Andersen's and Martha's do no futher

rational discussion, and their confusion only leads up blind alleys. For the time being, I shall continue reading the postings to this forum. But, until the discussion gains a sense of direction and rationality, I shall refrain from making contributions, other than this one.

Eugene Versluysen

 

May 22/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Welcome to week 4

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

From: moderator1@worldbank.org

Week 4: Whose Development? Globalization, Empowerment and the Poor

Today (Monday, May 22) we will post the final messages on Topic 3

(Modes of Development) from among those messages that arrived during the weekend. We invite you now to submit your contributions on Topic 4. We will distribute a summary of the discussion of Topic 3 shortly.

We apologize to those of you who may have received a virus-infected attachment in one of the messages posted to the list. We are currently researching how the attachment made it past our virus detection software, and we will be especially vigilant about possible viruses in messages to the list in the coming week.

The fourth week will focus on how globalization shapes and constrains the choices available to nations and communities (and particularly the poor) about the shape and direction of their development. We hope to focus on:

1) concrete examples of how globalization has affected or constrained the choices available to nations and communities (particularly the poor);

2) concrete examples of strategies that increase the ability of nations and communities (particularly the poor) to shape their own development.

Once again, a few reminders:

1) please do not attach the text of the previous message to which you are replying;

2) if you wish to respond personally to another member of the list, please send your email directly to their own address and not to the list address (i.e. don't simply hit "reply" since the default reply will be to the list);

3) please do NOT send attachments;

4) if you wish to receive ONLY the weekly summaries, please unsubscribe

from this list (instructions at the bottom of this message), and then

send a blank email to: join-weekly@lists.worldbank.org

Sincerely,

The Moderators

 

May 23/2000/FAIR WEALTH DISTRIBUTION FORUM

Subject: Re: Message opening Forum on Fair Wealth Distribution / Lucio Munoz

To: munoz1@sprint.ca

Greetings, Lucio, and thank you. Perhaps we can think together on some more specific fronts with a little more focus and clarity.

Best wishes,

Martha E. Ture

In a message dated 05/22/2000 1:18:28 AM Pacific Daylight Time,

munoz1@sprint.ca writes:

<< Dear Martha, your message was very appropriate to me as it is not clear what "wealth" means in the message sent by Alfred/ Tom Paine Institute, and I thought that my posting was appropriate too, but it was not. It seems to me that Alfred has already decided what to do/how to do the fair wealth distribution regardless of what other think so there is no point for discussion, a position still more inflexible than that of the Bank's moderators to me. I will be in the sidelines from now and on. Thank you for your message.

Greetings;

Lucio Munoz

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

 

May 23/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Local Efforts

From: "Christopher N. Ridings " >

To: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

Dear Senor Lucio Munoz

Thank you for your e-mail.

Yes, I do have my own thoughts.

Often they surface during discussions with others as I hear their ideas and respond with mine.

I tend towards what I would call "social engineering".

As water normally flows downhill in response to the law of gravity, it

therefore requires some engineering to raise that water to a higher plane where it is also needed.

The same thing exists for wealth except it is the opposite direction. When the market is "free" to roam merely on supply and demand, wealth flows to the top leaving the bottom untouched. Therefore, some "social engineering" is required for resources to be shared out where they are all needed.

In our dialogue, I applaud development on a local area. The extended family has always been the basis of society and development has to work within that area for it to work well anywhere.

I've probably expressed myself simplistically and perhaps naively in the face of the reality of the power of the greedy but this is a portion of what I can offer.

With every best wish in your work.

Shalom,

Chris

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Lucio Munoz <munoz1@sprint.ca>

To: Christopher N. Ridings <

Cc: Toledo/Lucio Munoz <munoz@interchange.ubc.ca>

Sent: Friday, May 12, 2000 5:39 PM

Subject: Re: [globalization] Local efforts

> Dear Rev. Ridings, a quick answer to your questions is that the solution to> keep the local as much preserved as possible is for local stateholders,> social, economic, and environmental stakeholders to get a common voice to> make globalization efforts consistent with sustainability goals. In a paper> published in the International Journal in Environmental Management and> Health called "An Overview of the Policy Implications of the Eco-Economic> Development Market", I point out that we are livind in a different world> where there can be more than one invisible hand in the same market, but> academics still keep entaitaing all development thought and tools to deal> with today's market. I am affraied that this paper provides theoretical and

> possible scenarios that contradicts most of the world bank views. For> example, they are looking at problems from an economic point of view to a> globalization process where both economic agents and environmental agents> are becomings almost equally strong, but social agents are becoming weaker> and weaker and weaker. People interested in local goals must find a common> way to stress that the way better for all is sustainability, not economic or> ecoeconomic globalization. I think the world bank will adjust their> globalization policy sooner than expected, however, social stateholders may> have by that time taken up some of the scarce critical capital to meet their> basic needs.> If you have your own thoughts, please let me know. You may find my webpage> called TRUE SUSTAINABILITY interesting at

> http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

> Greetings and god bless you;

> Sincerely yours;

> Lucio

>

> ----- Original Message -----

> From: Christopher N. Ridings

> To: <munoz1@sprint.ca>

> Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2000 6:19 AM

> Subject: Re: [globalization] Local efforts

>

> > Greetings Lucio

> >

> > I agree with local initiatives.

> > In this the community is preserved.

> > But how do we protect the local community from being swallowed up by the> > plutocrats?

> >

> > Shalom,

> > Rev. Christopher N. Ridings

> >

> > ----- Original Message -----

> > From: Lucio Munoz <munoz1@sprint.ca>

> > To: Globalization E-Conference <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

> > Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2000 3:49 AM

> > Subject: [globalization] Local efforts

> >

> > > I agree with Luis that globalization provides alternatives

> > > that could be used to reduce poverty. And this leads to the question,> how> > > can this be done? The way the globalization structure is set right now> > can> > > not be expected to deliber acceptable poverty reduction targets plus the> > > monitoring structure of globalization is not in place yet. For example,> > > under localization (national or local development) the positive and > > negative> > > internal impacts on the marginalized or the poor can fairly easily be> > > detected and monitored as they take within specific bounderies. In the> > case> > > of globalization, there are no bounderies which will complicate the fair> > > allocation of rights(benefits) and responsibilities (cost) as the> sources> > are> > > as now moving targets.> > >

> > > The complaint that local efforts is not effective because local> > > goverments have weak institutions is thought to be one of the main> > > limitations on implementation and monitoring of national development> > > policies. As things are right now, it can be seen easily that the> > > institutional limitations of globalization are still worse. Hence, we> > have> > > to move with our globalization thoughts with a full book of the> > > precautionary principle in hand.

> > >

> > > Sincerely yours,

> > >

> > > Lucio Munoz

> > > Vancouver, Canada

> > > http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

 

May 23/2000/FAIR WEALTH DISTRIBUTION FORUM

From: "Al Andersen"

To: "Kaushik, Rakesh

…..

…..

The following message came back to me as not transmitted; so, I'm

sending it again. Please excuse duplication if that should occur. Here,

then, is that returned message:

This a reminder that this forum is limited to envisioning what would

constitute truly just distribution of *wealth* and income from wealth

globally and into future generations, with special emphasis on fair

distribution of the financial and other benefits from our

common-heritage *natural* wealth. The assumption is that this will

eliminate poverty. If you don't want to limit yourself in this way

perhaps you should go with the World Bank list. To register for the

World Bank list send a message to moderator1@worldbank.org .

Also, it would be very helpful to know whether or not you want to

participate in the above-stated focus. The following have asked to be

taken off my list, and I have done so; they should also be taken off

your list: Brian Jenkins, John Lankford, Errol Mendes, C. Fink, Dick Withers,

David E., Tom Davies, Ernest Goertzen, Tony Affigne.

Incidentally, you are the one who decides who gets your message. Just

sending it to me doesn't get it distributed. You must select from among

the list sent to you who is to get any particular message of yours

(first remove those, listed above, who asked to be removed). If you

don't have a way to do this I will be glad (until announced otherwise)

to distribute it for you; just send the message to me and ask that it be

distributed to the list.

As an example of a way to address this "structural" issue I am

forwarding (below) my (rejected)submission to the second week of the

World Bank conference. I hope for comments or alternative proposals.

Important: Please edit your submissions carefully, and be as succinct as

possible, so that there will be no misunderstandings and a minimum of confusion.

If you want to be taken off this list just let me know. C. Fisk of the

World Bank has asked to be removed, and has been. Please remove his name from

any of your submissions. Previously, Brian Jenkins, John Lankford, and Errol Mendes

were removed at each one's request; if any of them are on your list please remove

them also.

Again, for details of the Tom Paine Institute position see the links on

our URL (given below).

Here, then, is the other of my submissions not posted by the World Bank

monitors:

Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2000 6:05 PM

Subject: Answering Rodney Shakespeare about capital ownership

Rodney Shakespeare asks whether we on this list "have considered wide

capital ownership as a possible solution" to poverty and its related

problems. My answer is that we at Tom Paine Institute have addressed

that challenge for several decades, and have a proposed solution. The

solution comes to mind as soon as we explore deeply enough the answer to the following question: "What would be a truly *fair* way to distribute wealth (capital) and the income from it?"

Clearly, the major lack in the lives of poor people is the lack of =

*wealth*. I experienced the Great Depression in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA as a child -- having to sell cookies my mother baked, and seeing my childhood home taken over in a bank foreclosure. If my parents had had sufficient wealth they could have not only paid off the mortgage but invested in other property, and thus could have built wealth upon wealth as the wealthy elite do all over the world, today greatly aided by travel in cyberspace.

Clearly, also, the absolutely essential ingredient in all wealth is

*natural* wealth: some combination of land surface; land fertility;

water, minerals, fossil fuels; physical space; cyberspace. Of increasing importance is high-tech *knowledge* of *natural* patterns and of how, thereby, *natural* wealth can be modified into wealth which is not only more useful in itself but more productive of ever greater wealth -- in the form of homes, factories, machines, computers, robots, and countless "consumer goods."

Clearly, also, simple fairness requires two things regarding wealth

distribution: (1) that the financial and other benefits from our

common-heritage *natural* wealth should be distributed in some fair way

among all the earth's conscious beings; and (2) that the financial and

other benefits from any *improvement* on natural wealth (in the form of

home, tools, or factory) should go to persons to the extent that each

has contributed to that improvement. Therefore, it logically follows

that natural wealth should *not* be privately owned, and that all

improvements on it definitely *should* be privately owned.

A major reason such fair distribution has not taken place is that there

is no practical way to divide up the most valuable parts of natural

wealth (especially today's all-important cyberspace). Granted, many

attempts at a fair division of agricultural land have been made down

through the centuries. And some have had limited success. But, as

communities became urbanized such division became more difficult. Also,

as has been noted in this forum, holders of agricultural land who lack

capital for mechanization can't compete (especially under

globalization), and therefore increasingly are forced to sell, and then

move to urban areas, where they tend to swell the ranks of "the urban

poor."

I hope others on this list will suggest how, considering these

difficulties, "fair" distribution of *natural* wealth (capital) might be achieved. Our suggestion (proposed in its essentials in Tom Paine's

*Agrarian Justice* over two centuries ago, and then ignored) is that all of our common-heritage natural wealth should be held in local-to-global Trusts, leased out at market value, *though for socially and

environmentally responsible use only*, and the financial and other

benefits from such leasing distributed among human and other conscious

beings, extending into future generations. This would not just *reduce* poverty, but put an end to it! Also, given a basic common-heritage

income everyone would have leverage for bargaining for truly fair wages. Indeed, such economic justice would inspire fairness in all aspects of life -- crime would become rare, and family and community life would reach an unprecedented level of physical, psychological, and spiritual health.

Granted, if such a vision of economic justice is to come about in a

just/fair way those who presently have private ownership of our natural

wealth must be fairly compensated. Also, time for adjustment to any new

arrangement must be permitted. In short, it will take many years to

bring about such a just economic structure in ways which themselves are

truly just.

But, since the elite-few existing owners of the bulk of our natural

wealth are right now, every day, benefiting from it to an unjust extent

(and thus billions are getting "ripped off") isn't it "only fair" that

today's victims of this structural injustice be compensated immediately! One way would be to *increase* safety-net programs rather than decrease them (i.e., as David Korten suggests, as reported in Barry Coates' posting). Clearly, such programs should be paid for by taxing persons and corporate bodies to the extent that they have benefited, and continue to benefit, from their near-monopoly, private ownership of, and income from, our *common-heritage* natural wealth. And I predict that the wealthy will gladly cooperate when they experience even a taste of what it is like to live in a truly just world order. Again, for details, visit our URL, given below. I welcome any other suggestions about how we might bring about a fair distribution of our common-heritage *natural* wealth and the financial and other benefits from it, and thereby not only reduce poverty, but eliminate it, and not only achieve *economic* justice but lay the foundation for a just civilization in all respects, and for the kind of healthy family and community life we so desperately long for in these ominous times?

Warm greetings, Alfred F. Andersen

 

May 23/2000/FAO FOOD SECURITY CONFERENCE/NARS: Invitation to participate

From: "Constance L. Neely" <cneely@arches.uga.edu>

Subject: E-Conference Announcement - Sustainable Food Security

To: Ag-Success-L@mailserv.fao.org

This message is available in English, French and Spanish below.

Ce message est disponible en anglais, fran=E7ais et l'espagnol au des=

sous.

Este mensaje est=E1 disponible en el ingl=E9s, el franc=E9s y el espa=

=F1ol abajo.

Please forgive cross-postings

E-CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT AND INVITATION

You are cordially invited to participate in an Electronic Conference =

on:

INTEGRATING SUSTAINABLE FOOD SECURITY DIMENSIONS INTO THE RESEARCH

AGENDA OF THE NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SYSTEMS (NARSs)

CONFERENCE DATES: JUNE 5 =96 JULY 14, 2000.

WHO IS HOSTING THE E-CONFERENCE?

The Research, Extension and Training Division (SDR) of the Food and

Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in partnership

with the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management

Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP) of the Universit=

Y of Georgia, USA, and in collaboration with the NARS secretariat of the Global Forum for Agriculture Research (GFAR).

WHAT IS THE CONFERENCE=92S PURPOSE?

To serve as a forum for international discussion by diverse stakeholders on the key issues related to agricultural research and sustainable food security, as a follow-up to the World Food Summit held in Rome in 1996.

WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE OF THE CONFERENCE?

The conference will assist the National Agricultural Research Systems

(NARSs) of the developing countries in integrating sustainable food

security dimensions into their research agendas.

WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED OUTPUTS?

A synopsis of key research issues related to sustainable food security

A set of =93Guiding Principles and Research Planning Tools=94 to=

Render the Food Security and Sustainability Issues integral parts of the research agenda of the NARSs.

The guidelines and tools identified will be used for follow-up

activities to address specific needs at the national, regional and

sub-regional levels.

WHO WILL PARTICIPATE?

Research policymakers, managers and scientists in the public and

private domains involved in the priority setting, planning,

implementing, monitoring and evaluation of agricultural research

programs at national or regional levels.

Representatives from producer groups; the CGIAR; local, national =

And international NGOs; relevant intergovernmental bodies; and other leading institutions engaged in technology development, assessment and transfer; and the donor community.

HOW WILL IT WORK?

Before the Conference, participants will receive background

documentation consisting of key issues and questions to stimulate and

facilitate discussion. A moderator will facilitate deliberations dur=

ing the Conference. The E-Conference will be held in English. Submissions in other languages will be accepted and posted.

WHEN WILL IT BE HELD?

June 5 to July 14, 2000

HOW CAN YOU JOIN IN THE DIALOGUE?

There are two ways to subscribe to the E-Conference:

Via E-Mail:

To subscribe to the e-conference by email, please send an e-mail with

the subject header blank to:

mailserv@mailserv.fao.org

In the body of the text write the line: subscribe RAFS2000-L

Via the RAFS2000 Web Page:

Visit the E-Conference WebPage at http://www.fao.org/NARS/RAFS2000 ,

fill out the registration form and submit it.

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

Additional information regarding other preparations for the upcoming

E-Conference can be found on the FAO web page at

www.fao.org/NARS/RAFS2000.

Please pass along this information to others who might find this of

interest.

 

May 23/2000/ELAN: Article on NAFTA

To: ENVIRONMENT IN LATIN AMERICA NETWORK <elan@csf.colorado.edu>

From: John Newcomb <jnewcomb@uvic.ca> (by way of John Newcomb

Why exactly does this NAFTA commission exist?

Globe and Mail (Toronto)

May 23, 2000

Who decides when environmental standards have been violated?

Traditionally, the decision has been a matter of national sovereignty, save when the violation spilled (often literally) into someone else's living space. Now, with concerns over global warming, ozone depletion and species loss, a number of international treaties have sprung up.

Among the strangest is an environmental side accord to the North American free-trade agreement. The ostensible reason it was adopted was a fear, particularly in the United States, that a lack of environmental standards in Mexico would entice regulation-weary businesses to relocate there. This would not only increase the degradation of the Mexican environment but put pressure on NAFTA's other two trading partners to dilute their own environmental standards to hold on to fleeing industries. The side accord was seen as a way to avoid this "rush to the bottom."

The accord also gave private citizens and organizations the right to bring complaints that countries were violating their own environmental laws before the Commission for Environmental Co-operation (CEC), headquartered in Montreal.

Given the CEC's association with NAFTA, one would have thought petitioners would first be required to demonstrate that the alleged violations were definitely related to trade issues -- to show that non-enforcement of existing laws (the agreement says nothing about non-existent laws) was based on a conscious attempt to gain a NAFTA trade advantage.

This is not the case. The CEC's list of objectives is a grab bag of nine extremely generalized environmental virtues. Thus, almost any environmental issue, whether or not it has international trade implications, has become a fair subject for a CEC complaint. When the commission was recently asked to judge whether the process governing the approval of roadways being built over streams in Northern Alberta was in violation of the agreement, not a single trade issue was mentioned. Moreover, while empowering the CEC to investigate countries that violate their own laws, the signatories gave the commission no power to remedy any such breaches. Rather, the CEC first decides whether a complaint has merit -- a decision made by a majority vote of representatives from the three signatory countries -- and then the commission staff produces a statement of facts: This is what people complained about, this is what the government responded, this is what we found.

It is not clear to anyone what follows from this exercise, or why environmental groups would go to all the effort of presenting a complaint to the CEC when, even if their claim were accepted and reported on -- and only one has been -- there would be zero consequence to any wrongdoing. It looks as if, frustrated in their efforts in national venues, environmentalists are willing to accept even the hollowest of moral victories in multinational ones.

But in some sense environmentalists can't be blamed for overevaluating the CEC's importance. The commission promised too much at its birth. Its field of inquiry strayed too far from the low and basic concerns of the NAFTA signatories.

If the commission is to have any effect in the world, its charter should be rewritten so that environmentally linked trade violations are central to the complaint process. If that were the case, one might even be able to tie misbehaviour to some unpleasant consequence -- say, a fine.

At present, the CEC is too quixotic for its own good, or anyone else's.

http://www.globeandmail.com/gam/Environment/20000523/ENAFTA.html

 

May 24/2000/FOA FOOD SECURITY CONFERENCE/NARS: Welcome

From: FAO MailServ Reply <mailserv-reply@mailserv.fao.org>

Subject: Welcome to RAFS2000-L

To: munoz1@sprint.ca

Dear Colleague,

Welcome to RAFS2000-L, the Electronic Conference on Integrating

Sustainable Food Security Dimensions into the Research Agenda of the

NARS. We thank you for subscribing and we look forward to your

participation in this important discussion.

If you have subscribed to this E-Conference by e-mail, we would like to

get to know you better. Kindly send the following information via e-mail to RAFS2000-L@mailserv.fao.org with the following information:

Name (Last, Middle, First):

Institutional Affiliation:

Mailing Address:

Country:

Telephone:

Fax:

E-mail:

Website (if applicable):

If you subscribed to the E-Conference through the RAFS2000 website, your details have already been received. Thank you.

Our discussions will officially begin on June 5, 2000 and will run

through July 14, 2000. We look forward to a highly productive session.

Again, welcome and thank you for your subscription.

Best regards,

The E-Conference Management Team

(RAFS2000 E-Team)

 

May 24/2000/GLOBALIZATION COFERENCE: Evidence and experience

From: "Keith Winston" <keith@f ong.com>

To: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

Thanks Lucio for you comments on the "trash and keep" syndrome.

It seems to me that one of the most dangerous aspects of the WTO is the wayit undermines national environmental standards while it doesn't provide any means to establish international standards. So everyone tends to get drawn down to the lowest common denominator.

Thanks for you comments. I'm going to go back and look further at your World Poverty Fund idea. Talk to you later!

cheers, keith

 

May 23/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Who is in control?

From: tom abeles <tabeles@ com>

Reply-To: globalization@lists.worldbank.org

Looking on these exchanges with over 30 years of international

consulting/education experience, I am increasingly concerned with the

focus on the data as presented in the WB report.

In many ways arguing about the "facts" has become a misdirection.

Herman Daley hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that the issue was more in the area of "control", an issue on which all who have

commented have either overlooked or avoided.

The question is that of national sovereignty. Multinational corporations and financial interests are increasingly pressuring countries for "open borders" and the sanctity of business needs over country interests. With multinationals being invited to sit pare passu with countries in international decision making, with companies whose annual profits are greater than many country's GDP and with corporations able to use the WTO to abrogated national environmental decisions, is it any wonder that there is concern when the WB and IMF seem to be hand maidens to developed world industrial policies.

The problem SEEMS to have started when the world recognized corporations as having the same basic rights as individuals. Only now the corporations have become the 9 ton gorilla that is able to out vote the citizen and to wield economic and political power that exceeds most developing countries whose voices seem to be getting fainter while multinational flags rise higher.

What the WB APPEARS to be representing is not the best interests of the

sovereign nations but the idea that economic interests as postulated by the financial sector might, indeed, supplant civil constitutions de facto if not de jure. It seems as if the WB would like to eliminate political boundaries in favor of intersecting corporate territories supported by a uniform global agenda.

The briefing papers coupled with the action of the WB belie any rhetoric to the contrary. Until the WB can show that it is responsive to the political interests of the world's citizens, no amount of denial will be able to remove the stains which appear to taint the hands of the World Bank.

thoughts?

tom abeles

 

May 25/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Summary topic 3

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

From: moderator1@worldbank.org

(Moderators' Note: We will distribute later today or tomorrow the French, Spanish and Portuguese translations of the Topic 2 Summary distributed late last week. We apologize for the delay. The translations of this Topic 3 Summary will be available in a few days.)

The discussion of Topic 3, Modes of Development, began well before Week 3 of the conference; indeed, disagreements over modes of growth, consumption and development, and over whether globalization implies or imposes a dominant mode, have been a strong thread throughout the entire conference.

The majority of postings to the discussion in Week 3 supported the argument that recent trends in globalization imply, and in some cases even impose, a dominant mode of development. Several participants described this dominant mode of development in terms of a number of related characteristics:

1) the monetarization of all exchange relationships and assignments of

value, replacing a number of traditional and local systems of resource

distribution and exchange;

2) the privatization of public and collective resources at both the

community and national level (including land, water, seeds, plant and

animal genetic material);

3) an excessive faith in the power of the market to resolve resource

allocation disputes;

4) an increasingly pronounced abdication of government's role to tackle

issues of redistribution and equity, reducing it to a singular focus on the politically less controversial advocacy of growth as the response to poverty;

5) a confusion of "development" and "growth", combined with a reductionist view of development as aggregate economic growth and an excessive reliance on aggregate economic indicators to justify policy and to assert the supposed "benefits" of growth;

6) an inattention to the environmental, social, cultural and gender costs of this single-minded attention to growth.

Others pointed out that what we call "globalization" is a multi-dimensional process, entailing not only global flows of capital, goods and information(and their impact on nations and communities) but also a much broader range of positive and negative trends, including (to varying degrees)globalization of the professions, labor, democracy, the rule of law,aboriginal rights, disease, species, pollution, and protest.

Several pointed out, in addition, that the dominant model is not even fully realized despite the rhetoric supporting it. In particular, mobility of labor is significantly restrained by national governments (particularly in the North) though full mobility of labor would be implied by the economic models of globalization advocates.

Several participants offered examples of the negative impact of

globalization and monetarization on subsistence economies (justified by the "pro-growth" assumption that subsistence economies are something from which people are looking to be freed.) They pointed out that the dominant mode of development (and the dominant economic model it implies) devalues and renders invisible non-material (and collective) wealth, small-scale production, non-monetary exchange, and the production and intangible resources (including knowledge and skills) of traditionally disadvantaged groups (including women.) In the process of forcing developing countries to adopt a mode of development focused exclusively on private property and monetary exchange, these more traditional forms of value and exchange - and the livelihoods that people and communities derived from them - are destroyed.

One participant posted the BBC transcript of Vandana Shiva's Reith Lecture on Globalization, which pointed to the globalization of unsustainable industrial agriculture, the devaluation and eradication of traditional farming methods, and the failure to recognize that small biodiverse farms are often not only more sustainable (economically and environmentally) but more productive of diverse foodstuffs valuable to local populations than large industrial monoculture plots.

Several participants pointed out that the choices available to communities and nations are (or could be) more complex and diverse than either subsistence poverty or full and rapid incorporation into a fully-open global economy. For example, one participant offered examples of innovative small-scale manufacturing initiatives that address local needs in a manner that is sustainable and respective of local priorities and traditions. Several pointed out markets exist in a social, political and cultural context, and that it is legitimate, but increasingly difficult, for governments and communities to assert non-market values that would lead to setting certain limits on the market. (Indeed, several asserted that the World Bank and the IMF serve mainly to lay the groundwork for the international private sector , by pressuring developing country governments to reduce substantially the limits and conditions they place on the functioning of markets and the actions of international corporations within their borders.)

Other participants argued that, while globalization does imply and lead to a dominant mode of development (monetarization, homogenization of consumer goods, dominance of Western/Northern cultural influences), there is evidence that many people in developing countries welcome these trends. As one participant pointed out, "people like things." The fact that consumers in developing countries increasingly clamor for the products of multinational corporations does not necessarily mean that they desire all the effects of globalization, nor does it mean that they are fully aware of, or approve of, the deeper social, economic, cultural and environmental changes wrought by globalization. It is, nonetheless, undeniable that there is strong demand for these products in developing countries, which serves as both fuel for, and a justification for, further opening of developing country markets to these products and companies.

More generally, the discussion implied, without adequately exploring, the economic, political and social divisions within developing countries that contribute to the differential effects of globalization. In short, developing countries are not homogeneous entities, and a more

differentiated analysis is required of who benefits from and is harmed by globalization and its attendant effects on developing countries. As some participants have suggested throughout the course of this conference, political, economic and social elites in developing countries often share the blame for the negative and anti-poor effects of globalization, and often share in the (unequal) benefits of that globalization. Even if there were agreement among conference participants that the current mode of development is an unsatisfactory choice imposed on the poor in developing countries, the equally important question "imposed by whom?" would still require further analysis. Both aspects of the question remain the subject of considerable disagreement among participants.

 

May 31/2000/GLOBALIZATION CONFERENCE: Final comments and thanks

From: "Lucio Munoz" <munoz1@sprint.ca>

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

Dear Friends, thank you very much for the opportunity to participate in

this conference. I read carefully your summary of week 3's discussion, and to me it reflects in general terms the wide range of issues raised. I just would like to add the following:

a) to be able to achieve progress in reducing poverty, we should not spend too much energy in trying to find somebody to blame the most as implied at the end of the summary, we should focus on discussing, accepting, and implementing strategies that fits today's realities and therefore, that have a higher potential to reach a general concensus to tackle the problem head on;

b) at least in my case, even though maybe around 90% of my contributions were not posted, I believe that the ones that were posted had relevance for the discussion in general;

c) while I first felt a little unconfortable to see posting that I

considered relevant not posted, I realize now that the moderation process was also in a general sense appropriate, and fair. I tried to joint a parallel discussion group to discuss the postings that were not posted, hoping more openness, I thought, than with the World Bank, but it turned out to be a very bad experience: no freedom to disaggree and to propose alternatives.

I would like to sincerely congratulate the organizers of the conference

for such an important step, and I hope that as the discussion narrows down to the best ways to address the problem, then appropiate action will quickly follow.

Thanks to all the participants who took the time to participate directly and indirectly, in one way or another, this shows that as a group, we all care.

Greetings,

Lucio Munoz

---

May 25/2000/GLOBALIZAION CONFERENCE: Thanks(but there was a lack of dialogue

From: bernieX <berniex@ org>

To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>

I wish to express my appreciation to the participants in this conference. I found the messages to be informative and enlightening, from both sides of what are clearly opposing camps [which I have labeled 'the corporate coup versus the revolution', which perhaps indicates my opinion]. There must have been a lot of good material that could not be posted due to the need to limit numbers.

My one disappointment is with the lack of dialogue. In one sense, while

the briefing papers and summaries were helpful, this conference seems to have been organized without very much dedicated involvement in the

discussion from WB/IMF/WTO policymakers/implementers. [Though my

appreciation extends for the excellent contributions from the World Bank folks, speaking for themselves, from both sides of the aisle as it turns out.] In another sense, there was a lack of dialogue due to the opposing camps speaking past each other, as in the statistical versus anecdotal non-communication. [I do not know whether to be amused or troubled, or to convert to anarchism, because of the sincere admonitions from both sidesaccusing the other of the worst kinds of totalitarianism.]

I would like to invite the participants of this conference to send to me <berniex@efn.org> -- information, notices of events, conferences, debates,or other materials on the topic of globalization, or to send a message simply to correspond on the topic.

It is an honor to have been illuminated by so many bright humans from

around the earth. I am very grateful.

much thanx,

bernard rogge

eugene oregon

 

May 31/2000/ELAN: Deforestation in Central America Site

From: Toledo/Lucio Munoz <munoz@interchange.ubc.ca>

To: ELAN <ELAN@csf.colorado.edu>

Dear Friends, I am introducing a new site called deforestation in

Central America, which is part of the CAEE project. Those interested in deforestation issues and on non-traditional ways to deal with the

understanding of deforestation causality and options, may find it

interesting. Also those interested in sustainability ideas and issues may find my page TRUE SUSTAINABILITY interesting too. Both addressess

are below, please visit them and send me your comments so I can improve

them.

Greetings;

Lucio Munoz

munoz@interchange.ubc.ca

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz/caee/eng/people/impacts/deforest/index.html

 

May 31/2000/ELAN: Deforestation in Central America Site

From: dmillar2 <dmillar2@ >

To: Toledo/Lucio Munoz <munoz@interchange.ubc.ca>

Lucio Munoz,

I also maintain a site which addresses the issue of deforestation and

rainforest conservation in Central America. The goal of this Costa Rica based site/organization is to pursue sustainable alternatives to deforestation.

Please chack out the site at your convenience. If you are interested in

reciprocal linking, let me know. Please reply to my personal e-mail address david@acceso

The URL for the site is http://www.greensanctuary.or.cr

it acts as somewhat of a portal to a few different groups all working to preserve tropical forest.

D. Millar

>===== Original Message From Toledo/Lucio Munoz <munoz@interchange.ubc.ca>

=====

>Dear Friends, I am introducing a new site called deforestation in

>Central America, which is part of the CAEE project. Those interested in>deforestation issues and on non-traditional ways to deal with the

>understanding of deforestation causality and options, may find it

>interesting. Also those interested in sustainability ideas and issues may>find my page TRUE SUSTAINABILITY interesting too. Both addressess

>are below, please visit them and send me your comments so I can improve>them.

>Greetings;

>

>Lucio Munoz

>munoz@interchange.ubc.ca

>http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

>http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz/caee/eng/people/impacts/deforest/index.html

 

 May 31/2000/Communication on a sustainability set may be the solution

From: Toledo/Lucio Munoz <munoz@interchange.ubc.ca>

To: Odo <odo@ embrapa.br>

Subject: A sustainability set may be the solution

Dear Odo, the case of El Salvador can be seen as the situation where

Brazil may be heading, less than 5% of forest remains, including degraded forests. It has been traditionally one of the contries with the highest rate of industrialization in Central America, yet poverty is still rampant. I once made the comment that the economic model has work so well in El Salvador so we should not be surprised to now realize the environmental problems created. Just trace the history of the ratio deforested area/remaining forest area and environmental problems, and I think you will not miss any link.

Nothing was done before and business continues as usual so at

least as you said we should use education to in the short to medium term if we want to reduce human impacts, however, as I

argued a few weeks ago in the world bank discussion on globalization,

poverty and development, we need a sustainability set as the carrot to

target families world wide in a holistic project to erradicate poverty

through providing a basic sustainability set(education is a basice social need; stable income is a basic economic need; and a clean environment is a basic environmental need), which could be handled through the creation of the WORLD POVERTY FUND to leave the world bank with the only goal of economic efficiency. This institution could be easily funded by three means: local and international debt swapping(to get governments in), technology swapping(to get industry in), and a global poverty tax, which could take many forms. Only through these basic sustainability set we can have a chance of creating a responsible rational man, in this generation and the ones to come. Plus this institution can monitor other global institutions project and their impacts on poverty. I will put this proposal formally in the coming days, and as I sense from the World Bank discussion, if a clear plan like this comes alone, people may take it seriously enough as it could be feasible, what do you think?

Greetings;

Lucio

Lucio Munoz

munoz@interchange.ubc.ca

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz

http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/munoz/caee/eng/people/impacts/deforest/index.html

On Wed, 31 May 2000, Odo wrote:

> Good day, Lucio!

>

> I read your article in the journal: fine. A think that you are comming nearer to sustainability. We have to change the MAN:

> environmental education, is a globaller view!?

>

> Our focus on economics is wrong: accumulation of goods!. The focus need to be the social : human well beeing in a whole. For that we need a healthy environment.

> I get a good example for that: here there is a fight between the big

> farmers x the environmentalists. The first want to open the amazonian

> region for agriculture. They do argument that doing this Brazil can get its economic sustainability and welfare.

> But the questions which remains is: in the last 500 years 70% of the

> surface was occupied by agricultural systems in a whole, and the

> increasing population (only 170 millions), most of them, is malnourished or dies because of hunger. 70% were not sufficient (now most of this area is under semi-desertic conditions, erosion rills, abandoned)to sustain 170 million inhabitants. You thing than 30% more (to complete 100%) will do this? In the amazon with 83% sandy soils? Something is wrong! Is unsustainable! Someone asked me if I think that the agronomists and farmers are fool to destroy the environment! The economic systems will conduct to foolness. In China with 3 billion inhabitants the soils continue to produce food, along more then 4.000 years. What is wrong? What is not sustainable?

> Mans economic thinking is wrong. Mans foccus is wrong. Mans education is wrong.

>

> Good luck, Lucio.

>

> Odo