Dangerously organic!

travelling in brazil and buenos aires recently I was wondering why has North America been (generally) more successful than South America? Brazil and Argentina had economic booms... and busts. I think it is because historically N. America has had a more stable and relatively less corrupt government, a strong middle class, strong work and values ethics, creating an infrastructure of trust and opportunity. It is important that the government provide a education , opportunity, a safety net , but at the same time the people should not depend on the government to provide for them.

I have repeatedly heard politicians say that free trade has led to greater prosperity here and abroad. China has become the global factory, Brazil the world's farmer, and India its back office, this is not viable longterm.
Right now we don't have "free" trade, its not "free" when pollution is so bad the olympic athletes were concerned about breathing in Beijing, and green stuff had to be removed for the rowing competition. Its not "free" when we import almost everything and some of our best exports--- movies and software-- are not purchased but copied illegally. What we need is fair and balanced trade.
Limits should be set so that we only buy as much from a country as they buy from us (I mean real products not debt). We should make sure to keep some manufacturing here, we can't just be a country of services. We should make sure that we keep enough hi-tech jobs here to encourage future generations to study science and tech in college.
It is risky to depend on other countries for food, manufacturing , or hi-tech. The philippines used to export rice, now they import it. I think every country should be able to feed itself, at least I want to live in a country that grows enough food to feed itself.
It is wrong when the country's largest employer is walmart, what kind of future does that offer? A country of have's and have nots.
The strength of our country is a strong middle class, a mostly stable incorrupt government, an infrastructure of trust and values, a work ethic, and a future of more than flipping burgers.

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Thanks for an interesting post.

I think you're absolutely right about the need for stability. A business can't plan it's future growth if the rules change everytime the dictator changes his mind, or loses his head. I love travelling to latin America, and it's a shame that overall they don't seem to make much long-term progress.

As for depending on imports, I think that is a problem, but that it's overrated, and here's why: it's always a two-way trade. For example, we want and need cheap oil from Saudi Arabia, but they want and need dollars from us. As long as the foreign government is reasonable, they won't hurt themselves by cutting us off. As we know, they're not always reasonable. Plus you end up sending your money to some questionable regimes, like Saudi Arabia, which raises moral issues.

Having said all that, my personal goal is to grow and raise as much of my own food as possible, and eventually to go as solar powered as possible!
most of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. The Saudi arabia ambassador to usa admitted on 60 mins that until recently they had school text books that taught children that jews and non-muslims are pigs. They don't have humane rights for women. With friends like this you don't need enemies. We are obviously dependent on foreign oil but we should use less, drill more here, and look for alternatives as much as possible in my opinion.
Saudi Arabia holds telethons to raise money for the families of palestinian suicide bombers. Women can't drive in Saudi Arabia. We boycotted S. Africa because of apartheid, how hypocritical is that. ( I guess we wouldn't have boycotted them if they had oil). A marine who was in Saudi Arabia during the 1st gulf war told me a Saudi policeman wanted to arrest the US woman soldier who was driving them one day. The marine said the only one put in handcuffs was the policeman :) . Yes I drive a car, but I drive a small stick shift, I car pool..I used to bike to work in switzerland, where they had lots of bike paths.
In an interview on BBC2's Newsnight, Dr Alyusuf , The principal of an Islamic school has admitted that it uses textbooks which describe Jews as "apes" and Christians as "pigs" and has refused to withdraw them. Dr Alyusuf insisted the books should not be scrapped, saying that allegedly racist sections had been "misinterpreted". The school is owned, funded and run by the government of Saudi Arabia.
Hi Carol: Thanks for the essay. I'm not sure about how any of the international trade things should go anymore, since our world has "shrunk" so with boats and planes, but it is touchy getting so much unneeded goods from all over the world. In fact, maybe most of what is produced is totally unneeded, or otherwise destructive to the planet, the lives of people who manufacture them, children. We have economies based on destruction: cars, plastic, chemicals, crap in general. But when it comes to food, ah, that's where most of it should be locally produced, in fact, I read this week about someplace, in USA, that is working on creating food production for it's community, some urban, most, rural. There was some talk about this around Gainesville a number of years ago or maybe, I was the only one, writing an essay about the feasibility of this since there is so much land in Alachua County. Thankfully, in the past few years, many organic farmers have take root in the area so many who are not growing their own, can buy much of their produce locally if they choose. Thanks for stimulating the conversation. Sh'mal
I agree to a certain extant. Perhaps instead of trying to balance the dollar amount if we copied the laws each of our trading partners applies to us.... If they impose a import fee on our goods we copy it and impose it upon theirs. The theft of our intellectual property is rampant and disturbing. Vendors on the street sell illegal copies of our music and movies with no legal repercussions. Our government should pressure foriegn governments into protecting our copy rights. Nice and easy to say I know.
I like the distinction between free trade and fair and balanced trade you make, Carol. Trade is the keyword, rather than monopoly. Oversight is crucial. For the public, understanding is also crucial, in order to make informed choices.

One of us here at Zoobird, Angela Johnson, (Hi, Angela!), Program Director of Seattle's low power FM radio station KYRS, told me she had met with Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico and that one of their chief complaints was the negative impacts of NAFTA. But, it's not clear what the issues are. The events staged by the Zapatistas are certainly dramatic, but how many of us can say what the problem is, just across our border?
Some articles I have read recently really makes me worried about pharmaceutical ingrediants coming from China. Tainted heparin has killed 149 people. The tainted ingrediant was made from pig intestines, coming from china, a cheaper ingrediant was substituted and not detected.
I read that a lot of generic ingrediants and almost all aspirin will be made in China. At what cost everyday low prices ???
If DVDs are hollywoods profit source, why don't we make china buy them legally instead of copying them?

DVDs, Hollywood’s Profit Source, Are Sagging
Total DVD sales are down by about 4 percent for the year, contributing to a creeping dread in the movie capital that buyer interest is plummeting as the global economic crisis worsens.
This could be a very lengthy discussion but let me keep it brief.

Most of the things you pointed out will make sense once you realize that those that want to bring in the New World Order (or a global government) first have to destroy the American Middle class and America's economy. IMHO everything that you mentioned has been planned to do exactly what it is accomplishing. Perhaps you will find this Aussies site interesting: http://thecrowhouse.com
There is a very pertinent video on the Codex Alimentarius which is a UN initiative that will effect everything agricultural beginning Dec. 2009 in the US.

Codex Alimentarius video



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