Monday, January 30, 2006

Independent Online Edition > World Politics

Independent Online Edition > World Politics:
At the heart of the proposal, unveiled at a gathering of world business leaders at the Swiss ski resort of Davos, is a push to get countries to account for the cost of failed policies, and use the money saved 'up front' to avert crises before they hit. Top of the list is a challenge to the United States to join an international pollution permit trading system which, the UN claims, could deliver $3.64trn of global wealth.

Inge Kaul, a special adviser at the UNDP, said: 'The way we run our economies today is vastly expensive and inefficient because we don't manage risk well and we don't prevent crises.' She downplayed concerns over up-front costs and interest payments for the new-fangled financial devices. 'The gains in terms of development would outweigh those costs. Money is wasted because we dribble aid, and the costs of not solving the problems are much, much higher than what we would have to pay for getting the financial markets to lend the money.'
So, why haven't we heard much about this here in the U.S.? Could it be because it stems from the U.N. and would therefore legitimize its charter? Or is it because:
The UNDP is determined to ensure globalisation, which has generated vast wealth for multinational companies, benefits the poorest in society.
? The ruling party is ruled by the rich, and this proposal would charge the richest for their largesse and hold them accountable for their policies. It would charge the polluters for polluting, the exploiters for exploiting. These folks are not known for their foresight and compassion. They are likely to view such proposals as threatening rather than redeeming.

Still, it's nice to know that some people somewhere are actually working on the solutions. I hope I see some results before my days are over.

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