Friday, May 07, 2021

Who aids who?

 The capitalist class likes to boast and brag about their charity and compassion towards the undeveloped nations of the world but it is not philanthropy to return a little of what you have plundered and pillaged in the past.

Capitalist powers have drained $152 trillion from the Global South since 1960. Over the whole period from 1960 to today, the drain totaled $62 trillion in real terms. If this value had been retained by the South and contributed to Southern growth, tracking with the South's growth rates over this period, it would be worth $152 trillion today."

 The U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan, South Korea, and the richer countries of Europe appropriate $2.2 trillion worth of resources and labor—embodied in raw materials as well as high-tech commodities like smartphones, laptops, and cars that are increasingly manufactured abroad—per year from developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. That amount of money would be enough to end extreme poverty, globally, 15 times over.

Rich countries have a monopoly on decision-making in the World Bank and IMF, they hold most of the bargaining power in the World Trade Organization, they use their power as creditors to dictate economic policy in debtor nations, and they control 97% of the world's patents. Northern states and corporations leverage this power to cheapen the prices of labor and resources in the Global South, which allows them to achieve a net appropriation through trade.

The looting  increased dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s, as neoliberal structural adjustment programs were imposed across the Global South. During the 1980s and 1990s, IMF structural adjustment programs cut public sector wages and employment, while rolling back labor rights and other protective regulations, all of which cheapened labor and resources. Today, poor countries are structurally dependent on foreign investment and have no choice but to compete with one another to offer cheap labor and resources in order to please the barons of international finance. This ensures a steady flow of disposable gadgets and fast fashion to affluent Northern consumers, but at extraordinary cost to human lives and ecosystems in the South.

Poor countries are developing rich countries, not the other way around.

Rich countries drained $152tn from the global South since 1960 | Opinions | Al Jazeera

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