Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wolfie's world

Bloomberg tells the tale of the current food crisis (mainly rice) in the Philippines. As a country dependent upon imports for much of its rice, and with a growing poor population, the Philippines are particularly vulnerable to the current price hikes.

They're even more vulnerable because of the advice they received from the World Bank:

The Philippine government shouldn't have followed a World Bank recommendation to stop stockpiling grain in favor of buying it on the world market, said Raj Patel, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of ``Stuffed & Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System'' (Melville House, 398 pages, $19.95).

A June 2007 World Bank report said the Philippines should reduce grain stocks and use them for ``disaster mitigation and safety net programs'' instead of ``price stabilization.''

``The Philippines' government had been strong-armed in various ways into adopting the kinds of policies that militated against its being able to stockpile grain,'' Patel said.

June 2007 was also when Paul Wolfowitz left his post as head of the World Bank, due to personal corruption involving him and his squeeze, Shaha Riza, rather than the more mundane crime of fucking the world's poor, which at the World Bank is not a crime, it's a feature. As with the Defense Department, leaving behind a trail of ruin and death is Mr. Wolfowitz's legacy once again.

With all his qualifications, maybe he can get a job in the new administration.


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