Subsidies Support Slavery

An excerpt from the book “Ending Slavery” (2007) by Kevin Bales, Chapter 7: Ending the (Product) Chain

Cotton farmers in the United States receive something like $4 billion a year to help them grow a crop that is valued on the global market at around $3 billion.  The cotton farmers in India, Benin, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Togo (all countries with high levels of slavery) find it difficult to compete with such subsidies, even though they can raise cotton at a lower cost than American farmers can.  European countries also pump money into the pockets of their own farmers, creating an unfair advantage on the world market.  Obviously, in a truly free market the farmers who could sell their crops at a lower price would win out.  But the current “free market” is clobbering the poor farmers in the developing world by giving their competition vast subsidies funded from our taxes.  Subsidies don’t cause slavery; they just help stack the deck against farmers in countries where slavery is already a problem.

For a closer look, including several short video clips, on contemporary slavery visit Free the Slaves.

Ending Slavery by Kevin Bales | ISBN 978-0-520-25470-1

Published in: on April 16, 2011 at 10:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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