Andrew Berg, an International Monetary Fund African department policy adviser, is a nice man. I know this because he spent some time talking earnestly with me after an IMF press conference in which I'd asked a pretty confrontational question about Malawi, whose 2002 famine is often partly attributed to IMF (and World Bank) advice, and whose current bumper crops are attributed to ignoring it.
Berg looks a tiny bit like The X Files' Agent Skinner, but what this conversation [...]
It's clear that one cause of the current food crisis is that poorer countries have been pressured into dismantling their food policies, leaving peasant farmers and eaters alike to bear all the risks of the extremely volatile world market. This has left corporations free to ship factory-farmed food to those countries, peasants free to migrate to urban slums, and corporately-dominated economic [...]
In college, I took a cultural exchange trip (read: vacation) to Rome over spring break. Just around the corner from St. Peter's Square, I bought my father, a minister, a crucifix for his office.
Earlier this week, I saw that same souvenir in a report from The National Labor Committee on crucifixes made in Chinese sweatshops.
One more reason to take up dumpster diving: I've been finding lots of bananas lately, many of them from Chiquita, and many of them from Colombia. I've been aware of Chiquita's entanglements with right-wing paramilitaries, but at least I can eat the fruit with a clean conscience since none of my dollars [...]
Putting Robert Zoellick in charge of the World Bank, as that anti-poverty organization's board recently did at the U.S.'s behest, is a bit like making a power company lobbyist the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality - oh, wait, we've already done that.
The problem with Zoellick is that he was formerly the U.S. Trade [...]