Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The former third world

The former third world

Bangladeshi factory workers share a country with wealthy & sophisticated compatriots. They are like the rich and poor of Edwardian Britain, at a time when National Insurance was introduced here, and they deserve universal access to schools, hospitals, pensions, democracy and human rights there as well. These systems tend to reduce poplulation growth because the next generation do not have to rely on family to look after them in old age. But a welfare state also makes manufactured products a little bit more expensive for the same reason: there are less poor. There are also the costs. That is why the elites in former third world countries want to keep their poor poor. Countries with welfare states continue this system, by out-sourcing their production to the cheapest source. it would be good to help intstead of hindering.


How?

Tariffs against countries with the worst human rights records, like Zimbabwe or China, falling for countries that introduce votes, human rights and universal services, like South Africa or Taiwan. A sliding scale.

The EU already has already used sanctions against some of the worst countries, like Burma, and UK politicians are pushing for more free trade with democracies like India and Mexico. All that's needed is a more subtle sliding scale of tariff.

[first written 9.5.13 on a facebook page as a note to self]

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