4 augustus 2005

EU: bananas are not good for you (The Flemish Banana Eater)

Sigarettes are taxed heavily. That’s fair, because they are bad for you. Some would like to see higher taxes on fatty foods. Too much of these, are bad for you too. That’s not so fair, because what is too much? Besides, if no alternatives are available, or when those less fatty alternatives are much dearer, you have to pay more for your food. I bet that the poor will be hurt more when fatty foods are taxed. But taxing fruit? Is that fair? They are not fatty, they are healthy. Surely it’s not fair. But the EU nevertheless wanted to tax it. Heavily:

It had planned to lift tariffs on Latin American bananas from €75 (£52m) a ton to €230 from the beginning of next year

Now of course it’s about Latin American bananas and there is no reason to buy bananas from them. We have lot’s of former colonies in Africa and the Caribbean. And so it’s only fair to give them preferences and buy our bananas from them, isn’t it? Is it? Is it fair to force poor European mothers to pay more for their bananas because we want to be fair to our former colonies? Is it fair towards Latin-American banana-producers who can’t earn a living because of those tariffs? Are higher prices for healthy foods fair? It’s probably fair to grant banana’s from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific duty free access and bananas from Latin America not. But increasing tariffs on the latter ones certainly isn’t fair. Isn’t it fairer to grant them all duty free access? No, that would be free trade, not fair trade. And free trade is baaaaaaaaad. But in that case we would not have to pay so much for banana’s, and we would support those who are good at producing bananas not the ones who are better at seeking rents. My mind almost explodes from all this thinking about fairness. I think i’m going to have a banana to prevent that. That’s only fair. After all, it’s a "fair trade" banana.

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