This a commentary from the social democratic newspaper "Det Frie Aktuelt" the 18/8-94


Are the welfare going to vanish into thin air?

by Ole Kreiberg

I have often heard the allegation that if the goods of the developing countries are permitted free access to the markets of the wealthy countries, it would be the solution to the poverty problems of the developing countries.

It is not that simple. Capital is usually, according the economical natural laws, invested where there is the greatest possible profit.. There is the greater profit in producing goods in a developing country where the wages only are e.g. 40 cent per hour, and then selling them in one of the wealthy countries, where there is the greatest possible spending power. Think of all those Danish companies that have moved their production to poorer countries. Have that meant much cheaper goods to the Danish consumers? Not likely; it has only meant greater profit for the invested capital. Therefore the ideal for developing countries would rather be, because they are able to produce with much lower costs, that they first and foremost sell their goods at similar low prices to their own population. This would mean a real improvement in the standard of living there. The demand from the wealthy countries contributes to increased prices in the developing countries while the low costs of production there create unemployment in the wealthy countries. This unemployment in the wealthy countries has a sweating effect. Danish politicians are already speaking of decreasing the minimum wage and thereby gradually create a new proletariat.

This trade is therefore neither beneficial for the poor in the developing countries nor for those that are worst off in the industrial countries. The only one that benefits is the capital and perhaps the useful fools of the political leftwing who thereby get more poor people to play hypocrite for.

I would very much like by this letter to ask the social democratic party and the trade unions whether the so-called new economical world order needs unskilled and badly off Danes at all. Are they going to scrape through as street vendors and shoeshiners and gradually sink down to the same level in which the majority of the population in the third world are living? Are the welfare that the social democratic party and the trade unions have fought for the last 60 years going to vanish into thin air in the new economical world order. Are all industrial production going to be moved to the third world and being carried out under slave-like conditions? I think that many of the social democratic voters would very much like to get an answer to these questions.