The Islamic Post Blog


World Bank Report Calls for Mass Urbanization as Key to Economic Rebound by ipinfo2
March 25, 2009, 6:02 am
Filed under: Business/Economy, March Volume 2009, World | Tags:

By Noora Ahmad

Islamic Post Staff Writer

(IP)– Economist Michael Kirsch declared last month the “false market” of globalization, the “corrupt” existing “speculation-based” international financial system to be “bankrupt,” and “the entire world system of globalization [to be] dead.”
If this is the case, as the Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) contributor believes, there are monetary entities clinging on to the coffin.
Market Superstition?
The World Bank released the World Development Report (WDR) 2009 earlier this year and called it: “Reshaping Economic Geography,” in which WDR Director Indermit S. Gill proposed that, by uncontrollable forces, “Markets favor some places over others.” However, such theories tend to lend more to “the delusion of globalization, and the superstition that the ‘magic of the marketplace’ determines value,” at least according to Mr Kirsch. He also laments the economic summits held late last year which gave more power to the International Monetary Fund, a global lending institution similar to the World Bank. This move helped pile on more of the same types of policies, causing economies to dip further, and quite drastically, while again lining the pockets of speculators.
Mr Gill stated, “The world’s most geographically disadvantaged people know all too well that [market] growth does not come to every place in the world,” as reported by the World Bank. But, Kirsch insists “there is no sane reasoning behind it.” “How could the market know the right price?” he said. “The market only knows the names of the speculators who have been using it to destroy the economies of nations over the last 40 years.”
Using the example of the recent conflict with Russia and the Ukraine over natural gas prices, Mr Kirsch quoted Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as having stated that oil prices are “determined by the market and not by administrative decisions.” Kirsch calls that a fallacy. “This way of speaking reflects the belief that there is an inherent value, which the market knows and bestows upon a commodity; if you want to change the price, bad things will happen to your country. With what other belief would such barbaric behavior [of withholding heating fuel from the Ukraine in the dead of winter] be justified?”
But superstitions and food prices are an even more dangerous mix. In the face of the persistent international food crisis, WDR 2009 encourages mass migration into urban areas and away from agricultural centers because, as previously stated, “Markets favor some places over others.” Where the lending institution would profit from urbanization is an abundance of infrastructure lending to help facilitate migrations. The lending packages also include ‘conditionalities,’ which average 111 per nation and “undermine democracy,” according to a statement given to the London Observer by former Chief Economist of the World Bank Joseph Stiglitz. The World Bank’s rationale for mass migration from the food-producing countryside are: “No country has attained high income status without urbanizing,” and, “Growth seldom comes without the need to move closer to densely populated areas.” However, urban areas were also afflicted with the most food riots over the past six months.
Bypassing these issues, the World Bank warns that “Rural poverty rates are almost everywhere higher than in cities,” and, “Prosperity demands mobile people and products.” However, abandoning food security and flocking to urban areas, or even other countries, to work for international companies for a pittance is slavery to some, but continuing prosperity for others.
During the time period when hunger protests were still making headlines, the Financial Times suggested a more logical approach to bring income to rural-dwellers: Governments should dedicate more land to production and better the access to financing for growers who are taking their food to market, especially those selling gourmet and organic foodstuffs to a larger market. More recently, U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama emphasized the importance of agriculture by promoting the building of gardens at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) facilities all over the world last month, in order to set an example for global communities.
“There must be a return to the American system’s concept of the role of government in guiding the implementation of needed scientific principles,” said Mr Kirsch. “Anything less, any mental pollution, such as a mystical belief in the magic of [Karl] Marx’s stages of capitalism, or the inclination to respect and protect ‘market forces’ as if they were part of nature, means sure death for the world economy.” which is now struggling to overcome the symptoms of globalism, which has already destroyed itself.

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