November 30, 2005

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Revolting Korean peasants

Peasant: 1. A member of the class constituted by small farmers and tenants, sharecroppers, and laborers on the land where they form the main labor force in agriculture.
2. A country person; a rustic.
3. An uncouth, crude, or ill-bred person; a boor.

The word peasant conjures up an image of a dirt poor rural labourer, struggling to make ends meet. Their daily struggle is to survive, let alone enjoy their life. Some see their way of life threatened by the WTO because they believe their local consumers should subsidise them, clinging to antiquated notions of the need for food security and the benefits of farms. Among the most militant is the Korean Peasants League. So can someone explain how this group is able to send at least eight members to Hong Kong for a few days to scout out the protest areas and complain (according to the SCMP report) that the 1 metre fences are 70cm too high? As Hemlock said about "the economic illiterates of the anti-globalization, anti-capitalism movement", they are simply saying "We're too stupid to understand the theory of comparative advantage and it makes us mad as hell." I propose we greet these protesters with sprinklings of cheaply produced foreign rice. That should scare them away.

Do real Korean peasants know their hard earned won are being spent on junkets to Hong Kong?

posted by Simon on 11.30.05 at 10:00 AM in the WTO category.


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Free trade... but only for the stuff we're good at
Excerpt: With representatives of the Korean Peasants League set to descend upon Hong Kong for next month's WTO meeting, League spokesman Kwak Gil Seong explained to Chinese business paper The Standard his views on free trade: Industrial products can be under
Weblog: The Marmot's Hole
Tracked: December 1, 2005 07:34 AM


"Comparative Advantage" is a race to the bottom for workers' rights that will only benefit the rich.

Now, at least, you know our reasons. The evidence is everywhere, if you take time to look.

posted by: RanDomino on 12.14.05 at 10:12 AM [permalink]

OK, you've given us a slogan, but not a reason. Why is comparitive advantage a race to the bottom of workers rights? If you understood the theory, you would realise the workers are also consumers. Let me explain it to you:

Country A is the best at making both cars and food.
Country B also makes cars and food, is better at making food than cars, but not as good as Country A at either.

If country A specialises in only making cars, and country B specialises in making food, and they trade with each other, BOTH countries are better off. The workers get cheaper products for the same amount of wages.

That sounds like comparitive advantage is a boon for workers, not a race to the bottom.

posted by: Simon on 12.14.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

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