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Old 02-13-2006, 05:09 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
^ and this is why economics is a SOCIAL science.

weather forecasters are about as accurate as economists.
Yep.
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:24 PM   #47
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do you mean....economists are about as accurate as weather forecasters?
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:29 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
do you mean....economists are about as accurate as weather forecasters?


you know, that's what i originally meant, but the way i mistakenly phrased it has a certain poetic quality to it ...


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Old 02-13-2006, 09:32 PM   #49
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A documentary shown on British television station Channel 4 documented the massive use of slaves as labour force on Ivorian cocoa plantations. Cocoa is among the major export products of Côte d'Ivoire. The documentary made unsubstantiated allegations damaging the Ivory Coast, said Kouadio Adjoumani, Ivory Coast's ambassador to the UK, reported BBC.

The enslavement documented mainly involves children abducted or sold in Mali and transported to Côte d'Ivoire. The children, most of whom are boys, some as young as ten years old, are trafficked to work on cocoa, coffee and cotton plantations.

Estimates of the numbers of children involved in this human trade between the two countries vary, the NGO Anti-Slavery informs. They range from the Malian figure of 600, based on the number of children repatriated and arrested at the border between 1995 and 1998, to UNICEF's estimate of 10.000 to 15.000 boys currently working on Ivorian plantations. The UNICEF figure, however, does not identify how many work illegally.

According to the Channel 4 documentary, the scale of slavery was even bigger in Côte d'Ivoire. It claimed that up to 90% of the cocoa farms used slave labour. Ivorian ambassador to the UK, Kouadio Adjoumani, called this an "absurdity". He claimed this was "shown up by the simple fact that this would mean that nearly every one of the 700.000 farmers employs slaves, patently nonsense as anyone with any knowledge of our country would know," according to BBC. Also cocoa traders and the British chocolate industry doubted that the farms visited by Channel 4 were representative.

The documentary reportedly made a strong impression on British TV-viewers, as the fact that slavery, child labour and forced labour still is widespread in Africa not is well known in Europe. The protests from the Ivorian ambassador and cocoa industry can be understood on that background.

However protesting against the allegations of Channel 4, Malian and Ivorian governments have admitted there is a problem in child trafficking and use of slave labour. On 6 September, thus, Mali and Côte d'Ivoire signed an agreement prohibiting the illegal trafficking of children for labour between the two countries. The accord states that both countries must develop legislation regarding the movement of children abroad, according to Anti-Slavery.

The work on cocoa plantations is harsh. The backbone of plantation work is backbreaking labour, done with little help from mechanisation, under gruelling conditions, according to UNICEF. And in this planting and plucking, hoeing and raking, children in general play a large, and largely invisible, role all over Africa.

"It is an international disgrace that over 20 million people are working as slaves in the world today," Mike Dottridge, Director of Anti-Slavery International said. Anti-Slavery is the world's oldest international human rights organisation and works exclusively for the elimination of all forms of slavery around the world.

------------------------------------------------

Please do whatever you can to help these poor and defenseless children.


http://www.afrol.com/News/civ002_slavery.htm
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:37 PM   #50
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Here is another report which substantiate that children in slave-like conditions are picking the cocoa beans in the Ivory Coast which ends up as chocolate in our Hershey bars, M & M's, Nestles' hot chocolate (and chocolate bars) as well as in Cadbury products!

I truly hope that this thread has been helpful in pointing out one of the worst abuses of human rights in our world today and will encourage you

NOT TO BUY CHOCOLATES UNLESS THEY'RE FAIR TRADED CHOCOLATES.


Do Cocoa Plantation Slaves
in West Africa Produce Your Favorite Chocolate?



Cocoa is the essential ingredient for making chocolates. A significant proportion of the world production of cocoa is grown and harvested on plantations by African slaves.


These slaves are on cocoa plantations in remote rural areas in West Africa. Some of the chocolates and drinking chocolate which we buy is made using slave cocoa. The slaves are beaten by the overseer. They are not fed properly. They work long hours. They are locked up in a slave barracks at night. They are beaten and often killed if they try to escape.


The problem for consumers is to know the difference between slave cocoa and free cocoa. Obviously, no manufacturer labels its product as "Cocoa Grown With Slave Labor".


As a result of a mission by one of the Society's agents to West Africa, the Society is compiling a list of slave cocoa products.


As a rule of thumb, the cocoa purchased by the more expensive chocolate manufacturers tends to be free cocoa. However, there is an exception. If the manufacturer experiences an unexpected surge in consumer demand and purchases cocoa on the spot market, there is a significant risk that a proportion of the purchase might have come from plantations in West Africa which grow and harvest cocoa using slaves.


Conversely, as a general rule of thumb, there is a risk that the cheaper chocolates (which are often "No Label" brands and the like) have been manufactured using cocoa purchased on the spot market, a proportion of which may be slave cocoa.


Since the civil war in Côte d'Ivoire (the largest exporter of cocoa with plantations were slaves work), exports from that country have decreased and cocoa prices have increased, so that there has been a decline in the use of slaves on the plantations.


The issue which confronts the Society and its supporters today is similar to that which confronted early abolitionists. John Woolman refused to use sugar because it had been produced by slave labor (there was only a small amount of sugar produced by free labor imported from British India, and it was of inferior quality). James and Lucretia Mott supported the Free Produce movement, boycotting candy for the same reason.


The material in this report is based on a Mission to West Africa by the Society's Secretary-General.


US-based Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, Hershey Foods, Swiss-based Nestle and Britain's Cadbury Schweppes and other leading producers jointly make more than $100 billion annually from chocolate. They are making making efforts to eliminate the problem.
---------------------------------------------------------------------


http://www.anti-slaverysociety.addr.com/chocolates1.htm



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Old 02-13-2006, 09:54 PM   #51
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:04 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally posted by AliEnvy

A picture speaks a thousand words.


Thank you, AliEnvy, for posting that picture - I saw it on the BBC website.

It is a photo of a mother and child in Darfur.

Please do all that you can to help the world's poorest people - starting with the poor and defenseless children of Africa.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:20 PM   #53
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The other thread states it was taken in Northwest Niger and not in the Sudan.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:50 PM   #54
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Here is the link for the group of photos:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/default.stm

Evidently, it is Niger where this picture was taken but what doesn't change is the pain and suffering of the People of Africa, which is ultimately the most important point.
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:19 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila

Evidently, it is Niger where this picture was taken but what doesn't change is the pain and suffering of the People of Africa, which is ultimately the most important point.
Jamila, while I appreciate your compassion and your work for the ONE campaign and Africa in general, I do think your tone can use some work. Maybe it's not what you mean, but most of your posts come off with a Savior complex, like everyone in Africa is poor and suffering and we Americans are the only ones qualified to be blessed with the task of helping. Have you ever been to Africa? The people there are some of the smartest, most compassionate, most hard working, most family oriented people I've ever met. You can also find a dozen entirely different languages, cultures, and religions within a 100 mile radius. When you say things like "the suffering People of Africa", it makes it sound like you're assuming these people are ALL starving, helpless, and begging for our mercy. That's not the case. They are proud, respectful, hard working people that would rather till soil from dawn until dusk with their own bare hands than accept charity from Americans who'd rather "throw pennies at the problem" (yeah, so Bono says it a lot, but it's damn true). I've met many Africans who would be at best insulted to be referred to as the collective "suffering People of Africa". I'm assuming this is not how you intend to come off, but sometimes it seems like you're so focused on these issues from your own very narrow and idealistic perspective, you're missing some great opportunities because people are very turned off by your language.

I'm not trying to be a smartass, we all need a little constructive criticism from time to time.
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Old 02-16-2006, 05:40 PM   #56
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OK, back to my discussion with NBC

Basically, Doug, as Irvine and FinanceGuy seemed to be suggesting, your mistake is thinking of an economic tendency as a law. Markets are social (ie, human) creations and do not function as predictably via laws as the "hard" sciences do. This is well-known and established by economists throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Hence Truman's famous plea for a "one-handed economist" (since his economic advisors were always saying, "on the one hand...but on the other hand"). Or Oscar Wilde's quip that you could stretch all of the economists of the world out end to end, and they would still not reach a conclusion. We've agreed that the gas example is not relevant, so let's abandon it and focus on the coffee example. If you are so certain that fair trade of chcolate will put farmers out of business, why didn't that occur when higher-priced coffee via Starbucks hit the markets? "Luxury" items will always tend to survive, because the consumers they target typically always have some extra cash and the cultural incentive of exhibiting their class status.

Secondly, you say that we don't really have the data to know what will happen if prices rise, which leads me to several questions.

1. If you believe that, why are you making an arguement that fair trade will put farmers out of work? Why make an arguement based on data you don't believe to exist?

2. Secondly, in fact, yes we do have the data. Check out Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign, Jeff Sach's articles which are on Jubilee USA's site or the UNDP, for starters. If you really want to dig in, check out Stigletz's Globalization and Its Discontents, or Baghwati's In Defense of Globalization or Sen's Development as Freedom. You can also find Gailbraith's article "The Perfect Crime" online, I believe, via google, but if you can't access it, I can as a student at GMU and can try to get it to anyone interested.
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Old 02-16-2006, 06:08 PM   #57
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I am not suggesting that economic tendency is a law. If it is a tendency, would it not be wise to consider the direction in which you are headed? The tendency for higher prices leading to lower demand leading to loss of market for suppliers is not in dispute, is it?

I think you missed the reason for the Starbucks example. This is a company that will go beyond purchasing coffee in the general market place (at fair market value prices) and make efforts to see that a portion of the premium is re-invested in their coffee growing sources. It is a private action that benefits a limited number of suppliers. I am questioning the ability of an entire market to replicate the benefits achieved for a very limited segment of a market.

What makes Starbucks a less reliable analogy is the number of factors that go into a Starbucks purchase - convenience, choice, service, atmosphere, wi-fi, etc. My "lack of data" reference dealt with the isolation of fair trade/cost factor as an influence on sales.
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Old 02-16-2006, 07:16 PM   #58
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I think that the answer becomes obvious, we just have to get more people drinking more coffee to drive prices up - probably best to start with China and India for this campaign.
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:19 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic

I've met many Africans who would be at best insulted to be referred to as the collective "suffering People of Africa".


It's not pity and charity that they want, it's investment in development of social infrastructure (trade, health & eduction) that will create opprtunities to become self-reliant.

In fact, pity and charity are not really what anyone on the lower rungs of society want...they want respect and opportunity.
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:36 PM   #60
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


But do you purchase fair trade coffee?

There are lots of coffee that made with respect to the farmer that isn't nessacarily certified as fair trade because of many other factors....Eithopia Sidamo is one such coffee, I can explain further if need be. But just because it isn't 'certified' doesn't mean it wasn't ethically harvested.
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