Thursday, October 18, 2007

Helping Africa

It is frustrating when a really good article doesn't have a free online link. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal described a bipartisan, conservative/liberal coalition working to change U.S. agricultural policy towards cotton. The article has the economic details, but let me just summarize a couple of them. The U.S. spends $3.3 billion per year in cotton subsidies. There is little doubt that domestically this represents a transfer from the middle class to the wealthy. Internationally, the program hurts African cotton farmers. Let's hope that this cross partisan effort in which the U.S. government actually has a chance to do something constructive to promote economic development among the world's poorest citizens succeeds.

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