"Fair" Trade
Please read article below: I am very interested in comments, links to other more in-depth articles, etc.

One argument I have heard against the "Fair Trade" concept is that, like all price fixing attempts, it is unsustainable long term when it comes to the raw economics. If you guarantee farmers in country A "fair" prices on commodity X, eventually all farmers in country B will find that they can sell more of the commodity by undercutting... and the market drops out for country A. I am over simplifying, but you get the picture.
But one of the things this article points out is that subsidies - a rather anti-capitalistic and unsustainable tool themselves - granted to American farmers on cotton, for instance, are directly responsible for forcing the price of cotton down world-wide, which is - well - unfair to the poor farmers on the bottom who don't get fat subsidies from Uncle Sam.
One could see the concept of "fair trade" in these instances as a balancing out of this problem: buyers agreeing to pay more than the market would naturally bear to make up for the fact that the market was already unnaturally manipulated by another government's subsidies.

Another thing that's been argued, though, is that when there no guns involved it is hard to prove that there is such a thing as "unfair" trade: a fair trade is by definition one that takes place when the buyer and the seller agree on the price and make the transaction.

Is this a cop-out? An excuse to pay the lowest price that you can bully someone into accepting, even when you know the price is insufficient to sustain them, and you know you'll make a healthy profit on the transaction due to your greater access to markets, your refinement capacity, or whatever?

As Christians, what are our responsibilities in this area?
Link: Fair Trade
ROUS  Annette Collins, Wednesday, 2-21-07 12:26 PM
re: "Fair" Trade
sounds kinda like walmart...
ben, Wednesday, 2-21-07 12:53 PM
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