I received an e-mail today:
The G8 announced today that the entire debt of 20 of the world’s poorest nations has been voted to be forgiven. The also announced that there are 24 other nations on the table for consideration. All the nations involved will vote on the issue next week.
The Los Angeles Times has more information.
2 responses to “Good news!”
This is excellent news!
Good news now, arising from very bad news then. Unfortunately, neither the G8 nor the WB will acknowledge their fundamental wrong on the poorest nations.
Loans have been shoved down the throats of developing nations, to build what we value as “infrastructure.” What good are schools, without money for programs to train teachers and feed children and provide clean water? What good are highways without a developed consumer base to purchase petrol (from the U.S. oil companies)?
The first world has imposed its priority of extracting wealth, at the expense of the third world. In exchange for national security agreements, a third world country is “encouraged” to develop some major “infrastructure” project. But that is not what they most need to improve long term quality of life and economic productivity. The contractors who “win” the bid and get a disproportionatly large chunk of the revenue are first world companies, and the loan does not stay in the third world country to boost the economy. The economy remains further impoverished by a massive debt load. The first G8/WB then has leverage to extract further concessions from the third world country, such as mineral/gas rights, trade agreements, treaty support, etc.
Similar things are going on here, and voters keep saying — give us more of it! Consider that the U.S. is among the top world spenders on education per capita, but is ranked at the bottom of first world countries in aptitude.
Just as with WB infrastructure loans, the money is not going to those who REALLY need it.
I have little sympathy for G8 guilt over their own profiteering.