16 November 2008

G20: Some Achievement!

I am impressed by the results of the so-called global negotiation that took place in Washington in just one day. It is a remarkable achievement to have been able to agree solutions diametrically opposed to those that would serve people and planet and to be so spectacularly wrong on all points!

Cut taxes and increase public spending: in a world of open economies and free movement of capital this will vastly increase national government debt across the world but is not guaranteed to achieve anything for national economies. Public spending directed specifically at green objectives and politically managed would be a preferable option.

Stabilisation of national financial systems: without a negotiation between countries about reasonable exchange rates and a political agreement to reinstitute exchange controls this can provide no guarantee against future destabilising speculation in currencies.

Economic growth and more global trade: both will only increase inequality within and between nations and force a further damaging exploitation of natural and human resources.

The expansion of G8 to G20 is something to be celebrated, but not much consolation if you are in Lesotho or Papua New Guinea. Without the poorer nations of the world being included in the negotiations how can we expect to end the desperate global inequality that scars our world?

The absurdity of attempting to negotiate anything in one day and without the world's most powerful player was obvious from the start. The lengthy negotiation towards a just and sustainable financial structure should begin as soon as possible. It should begin with the loss of the dollar's role as global currency and end with the cancellation of trade and debt surpluses. Nothing less radical can provide a genuine solution to the economic and environmental crises facing us.

1 comment:

  1. The point about continuous economic growth is that it is impossible in light of the laws of physics! In time it has to stop. Is that time now perhaps?