u Notes from the Underground: Tim Harford speaks on aid, free trade and environment

Tim Harford speaks on aid, free trade and environment

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The much-talked about author of the much-talked about book, now speaks on price-gouging, free trade and why "if you would like to be rich and have nothing change, then you will be disappointed".

That free trade can actually be helpful to the environment is something that never struck me, and it pulls the rug from beneath the feet of the many moralising environmentalists.

The countries that have the highest trade barriers, Japan and Korea use so much fertilizer.


And then countries like Brazil that don’t have a lot of agricultural protectionism don’t use much fertilizer either. And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The protectionism is necessary because the land is not good. And the fertilizer is necessary because the land is not good. So free trade in agricultural products is -- well it’s good for a lot of reasons. But one of the reasons is it is good for the environment.

Read the interview. He gives a lot of pithy explanations for why we must embrace free trade and change, how all aid need not necessarily be bad and how businesses are fleecing us all the time through price targeting. His tone is even, un-hysterical, un-moralising and his arguments make sense. Unlike much of the arguments made on either sides of the debate on globalization.


At 4:00 PM, December 22, 2005, Blogger Tejaswi said...

Thanks for the link. I've been running my own research on these issues(very passively though..... and I'm trying to get a kind of holistic picture about the world culture, economy, and the like.) It'll take me sometime it seems, but the process itself is very fruitful. Some of the links here you may want to explore. Some are relevant to your post topic, some are not that relevant.... Anyway here's the core dump...

Technology and people in the flat world
Diciplined Minds (In stack)
Development as Freedom (Plan to read)

My current bed-time reading - Guns, Germs, and Steel

At 1:02 AM, December 23, 2005, Blogger Venu said...

I dont think Thomas Friedman is worth your time.
is a hilarious and scathing review of his book "World is Flat".

I think the most sensible definition for development comes from Amartya Sen: it is the process of letting people gain more control over their lives. His style is pretty academic though. You might find "Argumentative Indian" easier to read.

I've heard a lot about "Guns, Germs and Steel". I literally know much of whats in there, so I havent bothered to buy it. Maybe sometime later.


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