⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Frederick Kaufman Analysis

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Frederick Kaufman Analysis



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208 Frederick Kaufman, The Money Plot: A History of Currency's Power to Enchant, Control, and Manipu

And since , the overall proportion of hungry people is also on the rise. Which leads to the inevitable conclusion: Malthus was correct to predict that as time went on, more people would starve to death. He just got the mechanism wrong. Lack of money, not lack of food—that was the new answer, and at the Rome hunger summit, money solutions abounded. Rent support, social security, and subsidized electricity had become part of the debate.

One group of delegates advocated price-fixing and tariffs; another argued for free markets and the abolition of tariffs. Decrease exports, demanded some; increase exports, pleaded others. Subsidize the rice trade; tax the rice trade. Purchase more grain from abroad; purchase less grain from abroad. Despite such an abundance of divergent tactics, the general understanding at the summit was that the old model of hunger management no longer worked; that the age of shipping surplus rice and wheat across the oceans was over; that handing out candy bars and sacks of flour was not a long-term solution; that direct food assistance was dead; that now was the time for a new conceptualization of the old problem.

Everyone could agree that when the price of your daily bread topped your daily salary, all the agricultural methodology in the world would not make a difference. Money, on the other hand, could help. But how much money? And what, precisely, should we do with it? In his opening address, the director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations made it simple. At which point Diouf requested donations. Later that afternoon, the president of Senegal put the problem more bluntly.

You will see. We will change everything. Perhaps the latter-day emperors were right. Nothing improved the human condition like cash. Which meant that the only way to understand world hunger would be to follow the money. A lthough food and coin made a nice pair, there was a certain irony to the betrothal, considering that years before the debut of shekels and bullion, there were plenty of bananas and coconuts. Indeed, many anthropologists who study pre-industrial societies have asserted that instead of slogging through a short, brutish life of paleolithic poverty, so-called savage hunter-gatherers ate better than we eat, worked less than we work, slept a lot more than we sleep, and spent a great deal of their time hanging out, doing nothing.

Perhaps there really was a golden age of plenty, a time and place removed from everything we know of the world, a time without money, a time without hunger: the ever fruiting plains of Ava lon and Eden, the big rock-candy mountain, and Cockaigne, where fish and fowl begged to be eaten and the rivers flowed with wine. Explorers who have sought such lands of primal satiation have more often than not found themselves floating around the South Pacific. Here they discovered Tikopia, an island where the natives feast all visitors with roi, upupu, and oka, rich and fragrant dishes concocted from great piles of almonds, cassava, breadfruit, sago, taro, and yams—all pounded together and slow-cooked over hot rocks until the ingredients have coagulated into a thick, sweet pudding.

Tikopia was living, breathing, ethnological proof of prelapsarian satiation. Then, half a century ago, the island hit a spot of bad luck. Back-to-back cyclones laid waste to huts, trees, and tubers. The almonds, cassava, sago, taro, and yams disappeared into the sea, along with every last betelnut and breadfruit. The big rock-candy mountain transformed into a wasteland, and the emaciated natives, once renowned for their generosity and kindness, turned kinsman against kinsman, tribesman against chief. What a fine lot of meat you have today! Of course, as Stone Age economies progress toward cash economies, warlocks and devils become poor people—which may be a step in the right direction. Perhaps the radical anthropologists of the s had let politics slip into their fieldwork, and had been wrong to vilify modern markets.

Perhaps the Congolese Pygmies, the Komu-Konda, and the Wugukani worked harder than we do, for much less. Not to mention the various and sundry other savages of Africa and Melanesia, whose famished gullets drove them to sorcery, senilicide, and cannibalism. But what about all those other golden ages, particularly the ones that featured money? When classical Athens descended into one of its periodic food shortages, long-forgotten celebrities like Xenokles and Archestratos would bestow hundreds of thousands of medimnoi of grain upon the suffering city-state and make things right. Like their modern equivalents, the ancient celebrities were rewarded with prime-time bronze statues, names carved in marble, and front-row seats at the games.

Of course, there was plenty of grain hoarding and price gouging, too. A couple thousand years ago, a Greek shipping merchant named Dionysodorus was hauled into court for promising to deliver grain to Athens but instead selling it to Rhodes, where buyers had offered more drachmas. In b. The standard reaction of the Roman plebeian in times of food shortage was to rush the Palatine and threaten to burn the grain-rich senators alive. When severe food shortages struck during the Middle Ages, merchants set up stalls in the open market and purveyed chops and steaks of human meat.

O n the third morning of the Rome hunger summit I sat in the back row of the Iran Room, where the United Nations held its press conferences, and listened to the remarks of Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Program. The WFP is the largest humanitarian organization in the world, part of the elite club of NGOs that have spent billions trying to end world hunger. Sheeran had just completed her first year as executive director of the WFP, and already rumor had it she might be next in line for president of the United Nations.

The World Food Program had been recycling agricultural surpluses and sending them across the world since Now, Sheeran declared, the program was facing the biggest challenge in its history, and if her organization and the famine-relief industry in general did not take immediate action, the number of hungry people in the world would soon double. It was the s all over again. By percentages, as bad as it got.

By real numbers, beyond the beyond. The press scribbled in their notebooks and tapped their laptops. And Josette Sheeran smiled. Bush Administration—and, finally, decided to feed the hungry. She commanded their vast fleets of barges, camels, donkeys, planes, trains, trucks, and elephants. Were not high food prices driving riots and famine across the globe? Were not there more hungry people than ever before? In the beginning, most of the contributions to the World Food Program came in the form of food, but as the years went by a growing proportion of the contributions came in the form of cash. Originally, the organization had focused on delivering its rice and beans directly to those who had the bad luck to inhabit the most cursed spots on earth.

But as grain surpluses went down and the price of shipping went up, the WFP took the logical step of purchasing food supplies from sources closer to the famine, in many cases even from within the borders of the affected country. And on that morning, Josette Sheeran revealed, the African presidents would be joined by none other than Bill Gates. Gates, Sheeran explained, was going to help the WFP expand its program of local purchasing to small farmers and grain traders in the farther reaches of their client nations. Such purchases, as logistically difficult as they might be, would increase and support the agricultural efforts of these so-called smallholders.

Grain purchases from small farmers and traders would put cash into the hands of hundreds of thousands of people and encourage farmers to plant and harvest more and more food. In addition, the WFP would put these farmers in contact with other groups, who would in turn help them acquire better seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, more advanced irrigation systems, larger warehouse facilities, and improved access to roads. Thus could a poverty-stricken peasant move from being a recipient of food aid one year, to creating a bit of surplus the next, to making a profitable business out of it a few years down the line—and supplying food for others.

In order to realize these plans, the World Food Program would guarantee a market where none might now exist. Such guarantees would give small farmers the incentive to plant more crops, since they could count on an eventual market for their goods. A WFP contract might even help farmers get credit from the local bank, or perhaps a bit of crop insurance. Josette Sheeran told me the acronym for her pilot program: P4P, which stands for Purchase for Progress. In its first year of forward contracting, P4P would commit the World Food Program to purchasing 40, tons of food from , small farmers. P4P was designed to mimic sophisticated global markets. Along with its purchase guarantees, P4P included plans to support countrywide commodity exchanges, which the WFP hoped would develop along the lines of the Chicago Board of Trade.

In Ethiopia and Uganda, exchanges have already opened. In the new paradigm, the smallest farmer can benefit from the biggest market. More mysterious than rice or millet, this slip of paper presented a number of intriguing possibilities. Henceforth, the rural farmer could follow fluctuating prices with the technology of his mobile phone. The once indigent peasant could become a commodity trader and peg his sale to any time of the year. In this way, he could forecast, model, and leverage more financing. No matter that commodity speculation and grain hoarding had helped trigger the world food crisis.

Of course, the WFP would take no responsibility for market peaks, valleys, doldrums, and crashes. The happy news was that the solution to world hunger would no longer have to be about the food. It could be about the money. And I imagined the sowers and reapers of Africa, Asia, and South America transformed into a massive cartel of grain dealers—leveraging, diversifying, and cornering markets, driv ing the price of rice and beans as high as the market could bear. The peasant-turned-trader could wait as long as he liked to go to market and, while he waited, place bets on which way the market would move. He could hoard in the great tradition of grain dealers, hedge in the great tradition of bankers, and eventually pull in enough profit to render obsolete every guarantee and support of the World Food Program, quit farming, and go into insurance and banking for himself.

Thus the new paradigm. Thus the end of world hunger. And thus the end of my conversation with Josette Sheeran, who had to run to her next meeting. Nancy Roman stayed behind, so I asked her about rising food costs and all those riots. Higher wheat and rice prices could conceivably help farmers, higher grocery bills might benefit agribusiness, and speculation in commodity markets might be a boon for investors of all shapes and sizes—but how did such financial fluctuations affect the urban underclass of Nigeria and the rural poor of Guatemala?

Housing, telecommunications, shoes. She had made her living explaining Washington policy to hedge-fund managers, and as a result she could situate virtually any political or social phenomenon within easily comprehensible financial constructs, and she could explain why, in the midst of the world food crisis, the Ospraie Special Opportunity Fund and the BlackRock Agricultural Fund had gone on their latest buying sprees, snapping up grain silos, grain elevators, fertilizer-distribution centers, and huge tracts of land. The solution to world hunger was more investment all the way up and all the way down the line, and all investments were speculative.

She gazed across the pressroom and she frowned. Of course, the purpose of transforming the international food-aid business into an international-business business is to foster entrepreneurial independence, not subservience. So in order to be truly transformative, the money gift cannot simply be a gift and nothing but a gift. If that money is not to create a perpetual state of subordination, the money gift must create business.

As in P4P, the cash might impel small farmers to purchase more loans, more pesticides, more seeds, more land; to buy low and sell high. Of course, when money has been deployed as a spur to action, the deployment becomes entangled in ideology. The money may eventually spark the widest variety of political and economic reactions. For example, Maori warriors believe that all gifts ultimately accrue to the giver, so that if you give a hungry man a fish he may rightfully gut and cook and eat the fish, but the spirit of the fish, its hau, will eventually become restless and return to the giver of the fish.

And if the gift happens to be the guaranteed-grain-purchase formulae of the World Food Program, the hau will journey through the spirit land of giftdom until it returns to its nativity, the warm, rich, capitalist womb of Bill Gates. By distributing food and other goods, the big man retained and increased his power. In Niger, following a spate of local purchases like those promised through P4P, millet prices rose by 13 percent in local markets, followed by a 7 percent uptick in the national average. Guaranteed sales had increased consumer prices, which would eventually send more people into poverty and starvation.

The money gift triggered all manner of unforeseen consequences. It may be best not to know the ultimate effect of your gift. Such knowledge might compromise the ideological romance that made the gift possible in the first place. Thus did a frenzy of cash pledges mark the end of the hunger summit in Rome, although no one at the conference really understood what would be done with their money. French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that his country would donate one billion euros. Perhaps Gates would consider the paradox that our efforts might be exacerbating the problem, that all we were doing was wrong.

Obviously, this was not the kind of thing I could vet beforehand with a publicist, or send over to [email protected] expecting a response. The nature of the question seemed to defy reason. Which was why I went to visit Amartya Sen. As a nine-year-old boy, Sen witnessed the Bengal famine of , the last Indian famine, which occurred only four years before the end of the Raj. Between 2 million and 3 million people died, and Sen watched them drop in the streets. When Sen grew up he became a professor of economics and philosophy. His specialties included the economics of poverty and famine, and many of his 26 books and articles deal with these subjects. Sen had crunched the hunger numbers as no one else had done before, not just for Bengal in and Ireland in the s but also for Ukraine in the s, China in the s and s, Ethiopia in the s, Bangla desh in , Somalia and Sudan several times over.

In he published a book called Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation that transformed the field. In , Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. Ross uses colour not only as a stylistic feature in Pleasantville, it is also used to symbolize the change in beliefs or attitudes of a character. The black and white is used to represent the oppressed and conformed times in Pleasantville. Individual thought was frowned upon, there was order in society, life was repetitive, and gender inequality was still prevalent. Mark Twain, well-known American author, ridicules the self destructive nature of greed upon man in his controversial novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry and Finn.

Mark Twain utilizes situational irony, farce, and exaggeration in order to compare two situations in the novel where characters illustrate upon themselves the negative effects of greed. Twain establishes a critical tone to bring attention to even modern day readers that greed will eventually result in punishments and consequences. First, Twain utilizes situational irony to analyze the ongoing feud between the Shepherdons and Grangerford family. Although the overarching storyline envelopes the underlying allusions, my peers illuminated hidden relationships beneath it. Not every citizen has always enjoyed the right of freedom of speech. Swift insulted the British government, society, and other important matters within England.

Swift used satire to expose the shortcomings within England. It just does not make sense to me why somebody promoting their country as being an attention wannabe and why they should be criticized for the taste of his. Shoveling snow and picking apples was how Gene and his classmates did there part for the war effort. He sounds ridiculous; war sounds ridiculous. Relating a grammatical structure to an oppressed race stands cold, yet sadistically comedic. Across Ireland, poor children, mainly Catholics, are living in filth because their families are too poverty stricken to keep them properly clothed and. The theme is one of sarcasm and parody, most prominently against the practice of writing political pamphlets and the concept of economic utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism had begun to take off as an ethical philosophy in England at that time. Utilitarianism is the idea that an ethical action is one that creates the most happiness or pleasure for the most number of people. It is obvious implications for social and economic policy, which was of course bad for the English self-image since England was an Industrial Revolution era colonial state and colonialism is by its very nature an act and system of violence by which one country forcibly imposes its will on another. Coercion is intrinsically harmful, either on the personal scale or the societal scale, meaning that accepting utilitarianism as a concept meant that English people had to construct theories and rationalizations for why their country was not an actively harmful force in.

A Weapon of Change Satirical writing is effective at challenging ideas and inciting change in issues society faces. Satirical writing has a powerful influence on ethical and moral issues or flawed ideas; satirical writing is used when there is a need to point out ideas and issues. The use of sarcasm in the following text by Jonathan Swift highlights the effectiveness of satirical …show more content… Rex Murphy uses a metaphor and memory of his childhood working in the blueberry patch to challenge the social issue of child labour, murphy explains this in the following quote. Rex Murphy uses metaphor to force the reader to think about their opinion on this social.

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