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An Author's Perspective

Featuring new fiction from Ken Brosky and author authors, as well as occasional political commentary whenever something really important happens. But mostly fiction.

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McIlheran is Confused ... again

alaska oil spill, barack obama, biofuels, bush administration, carbon emissions, china, climate change, co2, conservatives, democrats, earth, environmentalism, food prices, free markets, gasoline, global warming, government, island of garbage, journal sentinel, ken brosky, market-based, patrick mcilheran, pollution, right wing, the spectator

Since this didn't end up appearing on Patrick McIlheran's blog, I thought I would share it with you to ensure you understand the difference between BAD government and GOOD government. In a recent post, Patrick uses the the bad policies of governments in pseudo-communist China and Africa (read: dictatorships, to varying degrees) as a reason why governments in general are "bad." Patrick relies on a story in The Spectator, which just so happens to be--surprise!--an extreme right-wing newspaper. The article in question, which you can read here, talks about a recent visit to Cameroon where the journalist went through multiple roadblocks, which can have horrible effects on food transportation.

Cameroon? Really? Boy, who could have thought that there might be flaws in the Cameroon government? This is one of McIlheran's favorite ways to play people against the U.S. government, and it's extremely effective. Despite the fact that the governments in question are hardly an example of democracy, especially not the kind we have here in the United States, McIlheran argues them as typical examples. And yet, if I were to list the multiple ways in which the Free Market hampers the production and distribution of food, McIlheran would most likely argue: "No, that's not the fault of the Free Market. And those are markets in other countries."

The current global food crisis is an imprortant issue, and reducing the explanation to "Governments are evil" is a gross, disingenuous action, especially when the governments in question are very often at the mercy of the IMF and World Bank, which promotes Free Market principles in exchange for loans. Add to that the skyrocketing cost of oil and massive droughts caused by climate change, and you have a veritable stew of problems that won't be solved anytime soon.

If you're interested in helping to make a small difference, switch to vegetarian meals on a regular basis. I make a point of eating vegetarian at least four times per week (or more), even though I enjoy eating meat. It's a small sacrifice, one we can all make, and it save a LOT of energy that's typically spent raising meat. One giant solution won't solve the food crisis, just like one giant government isn't the problem. 


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