20 June 2008

Starvation

Ethiopia is in trouble, again:
The land is green but hailstorms, rains that came too late, then rains that fell too heavily, as well as infestations of insects, have left Goru Gutu starving. As you head deeper into the hills, the animals get thinner, the children more listless. The food in the market is too expensive, and there are no informal sales on the roadside. No one is eating. Where wheat and maize should have been growing in the terraces that slice back and forth along the slopes, there is nothing.
The article goes on to point out that the Ethiopian government bears much of the blame for exacerbating the damage from weather conditions thorough its crude controls on commerce and politics. Starvation is not inevitable -- according to Sen's Law,* famine and democracy do not coexist.

Bottom Line: When the rains fail, food gets scarce. When the government fails, people starve.

* I decided to call it that, but it may as well be a law.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, Sen's Law says: "Democracy and famine cannot coexist [insert expandable loophole]." (His original quote game him an escape hatch for non-free presses, non-"substantial" famines...)

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