Millions of people in the developing world struggle to survive on just a couple of dollars a day. Fair trade claims that buying fair-trade labeled coffee is a way to help the poor. But is it the best way? Professor Colleen Haight has been researching fair-trade for the past 10 years; she?s also spent time on coffee plantations in Central America talking with the coffee farmers there about their experiences. She says that while fair trade has done a lot to increase consumer awareness, it may not be the best way to actually help the poor. Prof. Haight says there is a better way to help these poor migrant workers. You can help them by buying premium coffees instead of fair trade coffee. Premium coffee beans are harvested with greater care and fetch higher prices at the market. As a result, migrant workers receive higher pay working for farms that produce premium coffees. Premium coffees and fair-trade coffees cost about the same amount, but buying premium coffees does more to help the poor than buying fair-trade labeled coffees. You have a limited amount of money; you should be able to use it in a way that maximizes the benefits to the poor.
Ten years ago there are only 300 telephone lines, because of free trade, today over 10 million people use cellphones in Kenya. Some opponents of free trade believes that the best way to reduce poverty in Africa is through foreign aid from more developed countries and capitalism only make people poorer. Is that really the case?? Does Free Trade Exploit the Poor? ?Join June Arrunga and Johann Norberg join John to discuss whether free trade harms or helps poor people in Third World nations.
The Ipod used by an American has 451 parts that are made in dozens of nations, and creating the little doodads employs thousands of foreigners. And its final assembly is done in China-a country that right-wingers and left-wingers alike fear to be an economic threat to the U.S. Therefore, opponents of free trade argue that government should implement policies protecting the American industries and American people who care about their country should Buy American. Economist Boudreaux argues that Americans should buy whatever products they choose; neither guilt nor laws should push them to buy American. “The thing that is most distinctively American is freedom. To insist that Americans should not be free to buy good from foreigners that’s very anti-American.“
Learn more about how to make a case for free trade against patriotic protectionisms.
Some people ask Why free trade? What does trade do? Comparative advantage is the foundation of the division of labor and exchange, but it’s rarely understood. “The Great Prosperity Machine” explodes the absurdities of protectionist dogmas by showing what trade accomplishes — prosperity and peace. Join Dr. Tom Palmer to learn about how free trade generate peace and prosperity.
Free trade is a powerful instrument in advancing a lot of economic and social objectives such as poverty reduction. Prof. Bhagwati explains that trade increases economic growth, and a growing economy pulls people out of poverty by providing more employment and generating revenue. Learn more about connections between free trade and poverty reduction from Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati.