Q) Imagine you work for a large organization. As part of your job, you sell something your organization doesn’t own. The stock is unavailable for replenishing, and your buyer cannot pick up the product anyway. What is your job title, & what are you selling?
A) Politician. The product is land:
wassa, Ethiopia — We turned off the main road to Awassa, talked our way past security guards and drove a mile across empty land before we found what will soon be Ethiopia’s largest greenhouse. Nestling below an escarpment of the Rift Valley, the development is far from finished, but the plastic and steel structure already stretches over 50 acres* — the size of 20 soccer fields.
The farm manager shows us millions of tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables being grown in 1,500 foot rows in computer controlled conditions. Spanish engineers are building the steel structure, Dutch technology minimises water use from two bore-holes and 1,000 women pick and pack 50 tons of food a day. Within 24 hours, it has been driven 200 miles to Addis Ababa and flown 1,000 miles to the shops and restaurants of Dubai, Jeddah and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Ethiopia is one of the hungriest countries in the world with more than 13-million people needing food aid, but paradoxically the government is offering at least 7.5 million acres of its most fertile land to rich countries and some of the world’s most wealthy individuals to export food for their own populations.
Having trouble maintaining enough food for themselves with the land they have. Yet it’s being sold, by the government, for food for other countries, worked by imported labor. The only way this could avoid failing a laugh test for “free trade” would be if your definition of it was “I free you of your shit at gunpoint, then trade it”. There’s more, read the whole thing.
Props. BTW: Eerily I had the same reaction upon first reading it, w/r/t comparing it to Kelo. Spooky…