Economy: Endangered by Greed

Jacqueline Patiño
Posted May 11, 2009 from Bolivia

Economic crisis is all over the world. Women should be saying something about it. Instead we hush. We let the rest decide and give opinions about our hunger, the hunger of our families and the jobs that we loose. In my point of view, George Bush, together with the other seven of the Group of Eight, who have held the world's power in their hands for eight years, are responsible for this.

They are the ones who were blind enough not to see they could not sell their products to the rest of the world if the rest of world did not grow enough. A very real example of it is South America. Here we buy technology from the US and Europe. Both continents have made this land their 'market war grounds' and have included political influence in their fight for market supremacy. The US and Europe have both lost the battle though. Because they have been paying huge salaries to their financial tycoons and huge amounts of money have gone to maintain warfare. The US consumers have been spending way to much money in luxury items and European consumers have thrown their money away in expensive lifestyles.

None of the actors I named before have thought they needed their developing countries markets to grow at a pace that could support their spending rates. What I am saying is that what these countries produce at such high prices, needs to be sold in places down south where people work really hard to buy 1 percent of what population in rich countries buy in one day. So these markets down here could not support the overspending in the US and Europe. Neither can they pay the prices of technology these governments have allowed.

This is so true that you can easily contrast cell phone pricelists from before and after the crisis. You will see that they have lowered by high numbers. Before the crisis, in Bolivia the least expensive cell phone was sold for US$100.- Now you can find a cell phone for US$15. Awesome, right? Considering that most of us import cell phones, prices in the US and Europe must have lowered around the same percentages. Or not???

It is time for the big, developed and rich economies to start watching out for the well being of their developing countries markets, as they cannot sell their products in places that don't make enough money to buy their products.

As a conclusion, I blame the crisis on the greed of the rich, the imposition of prices to the poor, and the protectionism of the great economies that do not allow for poor countries to export their goods to them.

Remember, it is a joke for a rich country to ban imports from a poor one. But it is a big deal for the people who do not have the technology, the industrial know how or the machinery to produce the goods the rich country asks for, to live with that decision, to know that they cannot bring food to the tables just because the rich economy won't let them produce ... the only items they CAN produce, like lettuce, potatoes or t-shirts.

Another point to take into account is that the rich economies, besides being able to produce anything they want, are greedy enough to put very high price tags to their products, so that people in developing situations have to work three or four times harder in order to be able to pay for the 'good life' those high prices bring into the people of the rich countries' lives. So the circle is never ending. We produce 'junk' sold at tiny prices, YOU produce 'jewels', sold to us in real high prices.

Sooner or later, economies in the US and Europe had to resent. People down here are not able to pay for the 'jewels' anymore. The solution, if someone wants to hear about it, encludes giving the workers in poor countries the chance to sell their products openly, buying what they CAN produce, not imposing barriers, high prices or 'special conditions', as they are used to doing.

I believe that all the money Obama and Europe have injected, will only last for one or two years, as it not intended to go into solving the real cause of the global crisis. It is just a matter of common sense... the least common of all senses.

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