Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Robert Zoellick and the Food Crisis

At least he’s noticed it. Many of his prescriptions are sound – specifically, implementing freer trade in agriculture and food products. Reduction of agricultural subsidies would also help.

Since biofuels can’t pull their own weight without massive subsidies, that would be a good place to start. Higher food prices are an inevitable consequence of diverting cropland from food production to fuel production. It’s a simple matter of reduction in supply.

Interesting that he doesn’t deal with cases like Zimbabwe – once a net food exporter, now a basket case thanks to the miracle of socialism.

His position on foreign aid is problematic. Calls for big aid donations create inevitable problems that follow foreign aid – both in the suppression of local industry and agriculture, as well as corruption.