Response to The tragedy of Africa

Hi Kirsten, I've picked up another contract and am out more hours. I miss you guys, but it feels good to be busy, makes the week go faster. Oh, that may not be good. At my age the days, weeks and years go by all too fast anyway. Sounds like you have the same kind of farm subsidy as the US. I'm not an expert, but it seems to me that when big agribusiness took over farming here things went down hill. The profits, even with CAPS as I understand it, does not help the small farmer much. Most have lost their family farms here to Aglerdavismidland. I sure don't want to support that group but I'm sure I do since they've taken over all areas of the food business. Kirsten what I can't understand, if we have too much food and have to dump it on poorer nations, whey are there people in our own countries going to bed hungry. That may not be true of Ireland now, but it happens here. And why do we bring Pizza Hut etal to Iraq, but the Iraqi people don't have adequate food and clean water? I just don't think the situation or the answer is as simple as giving our extras away. If that were the case I'd have no problem. Ruining the economies of poor nations affects more than their ability to eat. They have to have homes, jobs, basic liberties. When a peasant farmer in the third world can't sell his/her wares I understand they can fall to famine as they generally grow one crop, sugar cane for example, and no one can live on one type of food. If no one buys thier sugar, they can't get fruits, veggies, meat. I don't have the answers but I think the problem is far more complex than giving away our extra food. Globalization is the tool being used to starve us all in the end, so to speak. "a second analogy. in ireland, really poor people get medicines for free or cheap. imagine they stopped doing that so that the rich pharmaceutical companies get richer. its pretty much the same thing from where im standing." I left your analogy of the medicines intact as you describe what it used to be like here for the poor sick. The problem is now there is a push to do away with that service. Now only the extremely poor get help. Some our elderly are reduced to very barely subsisting because we no longer recognize a responsibility to help them. Many disabled here live on $540.00 a month. That is the federal supplimental security. Housing runs $700.00 a month average. How does that disabled person survive? So what has it got to be like for the 3rd world when we put our solutions in the mix? I would never laugh at the 3rd world farmer or single mother, I can only imagine how much it worse it is there than here when I see suffering right in my own land. "to help third world economies there are lots of things we can do. we can buy fair trade products (which are impossible to get in donegal), we can give money to charities that set up industry etc in poor countries, we can send them animals through that scheme (you know, the one where you send a goat to a poor family as a present for someone you know). or you can take away food so that their own food makes more money, so that only the relatively rich can afford to eat." I would agree to buying their products but like Donegall, I can't get them here either. Why is that if we are trying to help them? As for charities, I am very skeptical. Lots of the charity money we give wind up in the pockets of the charity and not the people we give it for. My problem with giving them animals etc. is the harm we've caused introducing non native plants and animals in places they weren't meant to be. If farmers sell their farms for houses, what happens to the communities in those areas? How does it affect culture in Ireland? The land here has just gone mostly to agribusiness. I am off to work now, you've sure given my grey matter a work out this morning. As I said, I don't have the answers. I have lots of questions. Take care. Shari

Created By: Sharon White