King Rat (gkr) wrote,
King Rat

Eco 200: food aid

(individual) The nation of Somalia disintegrated in the early 1990s after the mlitary overthrow of its longtime dictator. Agriculture, commerce, and social institutions broke down, creating a threat of massive starvation.

  1. What would have been the quickest and most effective way for Western nations to alleviate the threat of starvation?

    Credit or money for the purchase of food or related items.

  2. Some relief agencies recommended that grain be taken from Western Europe's surplus stocks and simply dumped into Somalia in large amounts: left on the nation's long coastline, for example, and dropped from cargo planes in the interior. What do you think would have happened if this recommendation had been followed?

    The food would either go to people who lived very close by to the drop points. Those with the means to transport it (warlords, et. al.) would collect and hoard it. Others still would have no means of obtaining the food, because they still would have little to exchange for it, and they would have little means of transport to places that did have it.

  3. What do you think would have happened if, instead of sending grain, Western nations had used helicopters to scatter one-dollar and five-dollar bills all over the country? Would those bills have attracted grain from Europe?

    Yes. A fair amount of food would have been purchased and transported to Somalia. But a large amount of the money would also have gone toward protecting food from those with guns. Much of the money would necessarily have to be spent on paying for guns to prevent theft.

  4. Through what processes does cocaine move in large amounts from South American mountains to the streets of American cities despite the determined efforts of governments to prevent it?

    The price goes on the drugs goes high enough to cover the added cost of smuggling (compared to legitimate wares). The costs are higher, but the scarcity commands a higher price.

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