Excessive privatization led to meltdown

07 January 2009
In the media
Published at
The Times of India
Cites Susan George as TNI

Chandigarh: Agriculture should be taken out of the WTO as it has already played hovoc in the developing countries whose small farmers can't complete with those of the developed countries, who are provided with huge indirect subsides, said Susan George, renowned political economist, who had been consultant to various UN specialized agencies in the past. George, who is also president of the Board of Transnational Institute, Amsterdam, said US had dumped corms in countries like Mexico , Philippine and some other countries and ruined their farm economy.

Speaking at the Institute of Development and Communication here on Monday on the global meltdown , George traced the genesis of the present series of crisis to the developments in the past two to three decades marked with excessive privatization of economy and progressive minimization of the government intervention or regulation. Doling out statistics from different countries, George focused on how the share of capital and labour has shifted during the past three decades. "The share of labour has reduced from 74 to 60% while of the capital has increased from 26 to 40% in Europe," she said, adding the situation in some countries was still worse. "The globalization is not inclusive. Rather it excluded some classes and some countries. In fact, it's mere financial globalization a dream of transnational traders. And the social crisis of poverty, economic crisis and ecological crisis are all interlinked," she opined. To conserve ecology, George said the World Bank should finance solar energy or harvesting of wind energy projects in countries like India even if initially the proposition may appear financially unviable. "It should have been done long back, but it's not too late even now," she argued.

George felt that education and health delivery system, pharmaceutical industry and energy should not be left to market forces. For every citizen, a fixed quantity of water should be affordable while the sprinkling of Golf Course or water of swimming pool may be costly. Similarly, the energy needs or basic education up, health delivery system should be within the reach of everybody, she said.

(c) 2009 The Times of India Group