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§209 How to solve the world’s starvation problems

August 9, 2008

A few days ago I got this incredible great idea of how to solve all the problems of the third world and get rid of starvation. The plan has 3 disadvantages which will cause it never to go into action.

1 – It needs to be carried out by a government with huge world impact (as the US government for example)
2 – It will cost a lot of that government’s money
3 – The rich population in the country of that specific government will oppose and threat to vote for the opponents at the next elections. They will oppose the plan as consumers and as tax payers.

Still, if it weren’t for those disadvantages, it just might work. Here we go:

Phase 1: Create a government owned cigarette company. Buy all existing cigarette companies. Reduce the number of cigarettes sold on the market significantly. Raise the price accordingly.

Phase 2: Make it clear to all tobacco farmers in the third world that are going bankrupt because of this that they should rather grow crops than tobacco. Convince them to sell it locally instead of exporting it and offer them to compensate them for the loss + extra bonus compensation.

Phase 3: In the beginning the local demand for food will be great, and prices will be high. The more farmers that join this plan, the faster the supply of food will grow, and the lower the price will be. In order to increase the process, offer additional subvention if they sell below a specific (index regulated) price.

When I presented the plan for my wife, she said it might just work. “But”, she said “since this will affect the tobacco consumers you will remain unaffected. What would you say about the same plan, but instead of tobacco – coffee?”

And I said. Noooooooo….!
But then I found this page, and thought. Why not?

Bottom line is – we can’t help the third world from our spare resources. If we really want to help, we need to cut back. We often hear the slogan “Make poverty history”. That is not going to happen unless we make wealth history. The world can’t afford our life style anymore. It’s time to stop this crazy exagerrated consuming. Look back a few posts and see “The Story Of Stuff” again.

The harm we do humanity is supporting this crazy world order by adhering to the commercials by consuming things we don’t need. If you have a good working mixer from the 70:s, you don’t need a new. As long as your old big computer screen works, you don’t need a flat one. As long as you have Windows XP, you don’t need Vista. The more unnecessary things we consume, the more harm we do humanity. (I don’t say “the world” or “the planet” on purpose – the world has always and will always survive. We’re hurting ourselves).

“Enlightment” is the word for a period of time when people raise up against Someone who thinks they’re stupid, and say “Hey! We can think for ourselves!” The first enlightment and best known was around the 18th century. People wouldn’t accept the churches’ ideas anymore without checking it. People started thinking for themselves. The Someone this time were the churches. The other time it was the totalitarian regimes. History proved that totalitarian regimes such as the Nazi or Communist wouldn’t last, because people wouldn’t buy it. Eventually, no matter how much they lied, the truth came out. People wouldn’t believe things without thinkinh for themselves anymore.

Today the Someone is the greedy corporations and their commercials. Will we give in to them? Will we let them manipulate us to think that all we need to gain to get happiness is to buy their latest product? Will we? Or will we say no. Will we say that we can think for ourselves?

Together we can start the Third Enlightment. Credit for this enlightment idea goes mainly to brilliant author Peter Englund (his blog is on the right), as the inspiration came from his essay “The History Of The Shop Window” from the essay collection “History of Silence”.

I will end this post by quoting Baloo. “Look for the Bare Necessities…”

6 comments

  1. You know, your idea is interesting. However, our problem with feeding the hungry has little to do with the food we produce on our planet. Unfortunately places like Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia it is the government themselves that starve their people for obedience. Tons and tons of food aid sits in warehouses and rots because it can’t be distributed due to wars, and feuds. Even in droughts there is more than enough food farmed to feed all of our people.

    Increasing the growth of Soy would be a really big help. Stopping the wars would be the biggest help. Supply lines are cut off. Roads are blocked. Aid can’t get in. People starve. That is the way it is. Plus greedy governments use the food to keep the people in line and from throwing them out of power.


  2. I know it’s not primarily about the food we produce, but when we send them food we’re putting the locla farmers out of business and force them to grow tobacco instead. That was the problem I tried to address. But you’re right, there are more than that. The regimes and the wars are of course the main problem.


  3. The idea is very interesting indeed but alas in Africa as Amber said things work a bit different, the governments use food, water, basic amneties as bargaining chips. SICK

    “when we send them food we’re putting the locla farmers out of business” Zimbabwe had farms, working farms, the crops were beautiful, there was water, toilet paper, corn, maize, vegetables, etc. Now there is nothing, the educated farmers were thrown off their farms, thrown off being the lucky term for the alternative was that they were murdered while their babies slept. So the farmers fled without having the chance to educate the new “farmers” on how to run their farm, equipment, how to plow and basically “farm”. That country is now starving, the people don’t know how to grow their own food and even if they did they can’t access water. Aid would save their lives but Mugabe says its either Organic or European and he won’t touch either or feed his people with that poison.

    The number one thing to save the world – education, it is our biggest weapon and it is the thing that governments fear… some anyway.


  4. Which is totally idiotic. Education is what builds a country. Normal governments are searching for ways of having their work force as educated as possible. The larger percentage of academics in society, the better.
    The crazy dictatorships are the core problems, I agree. I never said my plan was feasible. It’s just another way of seeing it.

    I must post my thoughts on Disney philosophy soon…


  5. Just doing more more by doing less. Such a simple idea isn’t it? I have an odd experience over here in the US. We have one car (a small one) and people keep on frowning when I say that. As if I just said I landed from Mars. Okay, I did, but still…

    We can all do a bit better by only taking what we need. And not just what we want.


  6. Frown on “only” having one car? That is it! I am officially declaring the USA to be a planet of its own.
    We would be the happiest people in the world if we could afford to rent a car for a week once a year.



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