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Miriam Leitao

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Miriam Leitao is a reporter and columnist for O Globo and Radio CBN in Brazil. She is also a commentator on Globo TV Network and runs her own blog, www.miriamleitao.com, hosted at Globo online at www.oglobo.com.br. She was awarded Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Prize in 2005. Close.

Miriam Leitao

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Miriam Leitao is a reporter and columnist for O Globo and Radio CBN in Brazil. more »

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Stop Wasting Corn on Ethanol

Rising food prices are partly the price of prosperity -- but the US ethanol program isn't helping things.

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All Comments (6)

JOAO DA ROCHA:

WE NEED SOVEREIGNTY, HOWEVER, TO FEED.

A retrospect of last the ninety (90) years in the ones of the one dimension of the advantages that the capitalist system left to provide to the world, on the contrary of the clamorous disparity that created between rich and poor, with the increase of the concentration of wealth.

Little more than 50% of the world-wide wealth are being usufructed for less than 3% of the universal population. A billion of people is almost living in state of subnutrição and malnutrition. The feeding always was relegated to a secondary plan, while world-wide the financial speculation did not leave to extend its jointed powers, in the oil, the Stock exchange and the Comodities, through the Tradings that more than control 80% of the Warehouses and Silos, in Brazil. E the world-wide governing still continue passive and tolerant with as many irregularities that they directly affect the daily life of billions of citizens. The speculators, unquestionably, are great responsible for the generation and the management of the crisis that some poor countries and in development are facing desumanamente.

In 1918, Vladimir Lênin, ahead of the Petrograd Soviet, worried about the abusive financial speculation, as she is occurring today, mainly with foods, suggested its abates impious, as she was facing herself and abating terrorist in a war field.

In recent interview, the president of Germany and former-president of the FMI, Kohler, charges of the agency that demands of the World-wide Central bankings, a more rigid regulation for financial the speculative system, as she charged Lênin has 90 years behind.

“For Kohler,” the wild search for profits, became the financial market in a monster that it quickly needs to be rank in the coleira'. Little capital and easy profits, without measuring consequences, for being if putting into motion freely, privatizing profits and socializing damages, and with immunity to any type of fiscalization, regulation or efficient control of the State, the monster comes growing and devorando the economy and the finances of the countries weakkest and becoming the stronger forts each time. Alert of the German president the sample that really is in the alias process of the governing to organize the Cartel that widely defends the primary interests of more than six (6) billion human beings. E the feeding is the main item. As it is is that the world cannot be.

We are seeing that until the proper general secretary of the OPEP, in well recent declaration, it condemned the speculators for the unjustifiable increases in the prices of the Oil. Germany, exporting greater and one of the five bigger world-wide economies, also have a great abyss between rich and poor and more than 20% of its population alone escape of the poverty because it receives I assist of the State.

Countries as Brazil, that has the biggest agricultável area of the world and responsibility with 184 million people, could never leave to lack, in abundance, the basic Rice and Beans and other foods in the table of the Brazilians. E we are seeing that on behalf of these two products, that can quickly be produced in entire Brazil, the Brazilian Central Bank justified the increase of half porcentual point (0.5%) in the Selic tax, causing, in nominal values, a cost the greater of more than R$ 6.000.000.00 (six billion) in the consolidated debt of the National Treasure.

With an immediate availability of appropriate areas for the plantation of the rice, the beans and other agricultural products, the Government never will decide the problem of the production of foods and other goods, if to continue adopting the politics of raised interests to contain the access to the consumption of a population that in its majority already is poor. The United States, countries of the European Union and Asia, on behalf of the world-wide crisis, are paying to never superior agios 1% for the clod roller of its debts and here, without crisis, the agio that we pay is of 7%. Statistical data of the Brazilian economy in show them clearly that in last the 30 years, the Brazilian government used the primary surplus of many billions of Reals, generated with the sacrifice and sweat of millions of Brazilians, to feed world-wide the financial speculation, in detriment of the production, the job and the income.

With all the billions of Reals of primary surplus, with the increase of the US$ exportations 73 billion in 2003 for US$ 160 billion in 2007, the Movable debt of Brazil passed of US$ 734 billion, in 2003 for more than R$ 1,200. trillion in 2007. Soon, the prescription of the highest interests to contain the inflation, stimulates the speculation, it sacrifices the production and it comes benefiting the concentration of wealth and becoming the poor persons poor and the IPEA it can and it must show this reality in last the 30 years. We are seeing the growth of the indebtedness of the Nation and that it is not reflecting directly or indirectly benefits in more roads, hidrovias, more railroads, ports, urban collective transports of quality and a infinity of other services, as education, health and basic sanitation and job for the young.

Soon, before if divulging the importance of the creation of a Deep Sovereign, to guarantee job, income and consumption in other countries, we must think seriously about amortizing and reducing the financial incubencies on our debt, that must pass of US$ 180 billion Reals, to the year, coming back part of these resources toward the financing of the industry, the production of the Rice, the Beans and too much products that never must lack in the table of all the Brazilians. After all, Brazil, of continental dimension, not yet has alimentary sovereignty much less, resources sobrando to apply in a Deep Sovereign.

JOAO DA ROCHA:

WE NEED SOVEREIGNTY, HOWEVER, TO FEED.

A retrospect of last the ninety (90) years in the ones of the one dimension of the advantages that the capitalist system left to provide to the world, on the contrary of the clamorous disparity that created between rich and poor, with the increase of the concentration of wealth.

Little more than 50% of the world-wide wealth are being usufructed for less than 3% of the universal population. A billion of people is almost living in state of subnutrição and malnutrition. The feeding always was relegated to a secondary plan, while world-wide the financial speculation did not leave to extend its jointed powers, in the oil, the Stock exchange and the Comodities, through the Tradings that more than control 80% of the Warehouses and Silos, in Brazil. E the world-wide governing still continue passive and tolerant with as many irregularities that they directly affect the daily life of billions of citizens. The speculators, unquestionably, are great responsible for the generation and the management of the crisis that some poor countries and in development are facing desumanamente.

In 1918, Vladimir Lênin, ahead of the Petrograd Soviet, worried about the abusive financial speculation, as she is occurring today, mainly with foods, suggested its abates impious, as she was facing herself and abating terrorist in a war field.

In recent interview, the president of Germany and former-president of the FMI, Kohler, charges of the agency that demands of the World-wide Central bankings, a more rigid regulation for financial the speculative system, as she charged Lênin has 90 years behind.

“For Kohler,” the wild search for profits, became the financial market in a monster that it quickly needs to be rank in the coleira'. Little capital and easy profits, without measuring consequences, for being if putting into motion freely, privatizing profits and socializing damages, and with immunity to any type of fiscalization, regulation or efficient control of the State, the monster comes growing and devorando the economy and the finances of the countries weakkest and becoming the stronger forts each time. Alert of the German president the sample that really is in the alias process of the governing to organize the Cartel that widely defends the primary interests of more than six (6) billion human beings. E the feeding is the main item. As it is is that the world cannot be.

We are seeing that until the proper general secretary of the OPEP, in well recent declaration, it condemned the speculators for the unjustifiable increases in the prices of the Oil. Germany, exporting greater and one of the five bigger world-wide economies, also have a great abyss between rich and poor and more than 20% of its population alone escape of the poverty because it receives I assist of the State.

Countries as Brazil, that has the biggest agricultável area of the world and responsibility with 184 million people, could never leave to lack, in abundance, the basic Rice and Beans and other foods in the table of the Brazilians. E we are seeing that on behalf of these two products, that can quickly be produced in entire Brazil, the Brazilian Central Bank justified the increase of half porcentual point (0.5%) in the Selic tax, causing, in nominal values, a cost the greater of more than R$ 6.000.000.00 (six billion) in the consolidated debt of the National Treasure.

With an immediate availability of appropriate areas for the plantation of the rice, the beans and other agricultural products, the Government never will decide the problem of the production of foods and other goods, if to continue adopting the politics of raised interests to contain the access to the consumption of a population that in its majority already is poor. The United States, countries of the European Union and Asia, on behalf of the world-wide crisis, are paying to never superior agios 1% for the clod roller of its debts and here, without crisis, the agio that we pay is of 7%. Statistical data of the Brazilian economy in show them clearly that in last the 30 years, the Brazilian government used the primary surplus of many billions of Reals, generated with the sacrifice and sweat of millions of Brazilians, to feed world-wide the financial speculation, in detriment of the production, the job and the income.

With all the billions of Reals of primary surplus, with the increase of the US$ exportations 73 billion in 2003 for US$ 160 billion in 2007, the Movable debt of Brazil passed of US$ 734 billion, in 2003 for more than R$ 1,200. trillion in 2007. Soon, the prescription of the highest interests to contain the inflation, stimulates the speculation, it sacrifices the production and it comes benefiting the concentration of wealth and becoming the poor persons poor and the IPEA it can and it must show this reality in last the 30 years. We are seeing the growth of the indebtedness of the Nation and that it is not reflecting directly or indirectly benefits in more roads, hidrovias, more railroads, ports, urban collective transports of quality and a infinity of other services, as education, health and basic sanitation and job for the young.

Soon, before if divulging the importance of the creation of a Deep Sovereign, to guarantee job, income and consumption in other countries, we must think seriously about amortizing and reducing the financial incubencies on our debt, that must pass of US$ 180 billion Reals, to the year, coming back part of these resources toward the financing of the industry, the production of the Rice, the Beans and too much products that never must lack in the table of all the Brazilians. After all, Brazil, of continental dimension, not yet has alimentary sovereignty much less, resources sobrando to apply in a Deep Sovereign.

Marcelo Lopes:

We cannot forget that the agricultural subsidies in the developed countries are contributing to the problem of the food production in the developing countries (specially in Africa). They discourage the agricultural production in these countries.

Uziel Nogueira -Buenos Aires:

Brazil's 30 yrs --highly successful - sugar-based ethanol program has nothing to do with worldwide sharp rise in food prices. In fact, as Miriam said, Brazil has the solution. Clearly, US corn-based biofuel production plays an important role in food price increases.

However, there is one important question left out, so far, in the discussion. Except Haiti, a special case in the Western Hemisphere, food scarcity is taking place in poor countries in Asia and Africa. Those countries were victims of the World Bank's change in lending policy in the early 80's. Instead of strong financial support to agriculture production, the WB embarked in the so-called structural adjustment programs such as trade liberalization and privatization of State enterprises. Agriculture was left without financing. Thus, it is no surprise what is happpening in poor Asian and African countries.

UN

Jan Thompson:

This article is so true, I just wish the government in the United States wasn't so corrupt to not see what suger beets and sugar cane could do over corn. The corn lobbyists are what's keeping this going, and it's time for a honest group in Washington for a change.

Anonymous:

Job wanted: Will run a hedge fund for food!

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