By syw on Sep 02, 2007
Back in the good old days, few hundreds years ago, civilized and advanced people colonized lands far away from home. With their government's encouragement, they mined ores, exploited natural resources, enslaved natives, and left the wounded land to recuperate, if ever.
Who were those cold-blooded people? British? Spaniards? Dutch? Portuguese? Chinese, it seems, joined the accused list. International Herald Tribune headlined on the miserable state of Zambia. China has invested millions into Africa, like Britain did India, to extract minerals and other natural resources it needs for development. When Africans became wealthier, China then sold them goods made in China, usually at the prices that wiped out the local industries. These countries then entered the vicious downward spiral that has only one ending.
What about the well-known economic theories on comparative advantages? The extreme form of this theory will reach the conclusion that colonization is only economically efficient. The exploited, after all, is more efficient in producing cheap labor and raw materials. Is this where economy fails humanity? Or should those economic theoreticians consider non-renewable resources different?