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Businessweek Archives

Why So Much Poverty Amid Plenty? (Int'l Edition)

International -- Readers Report

Why So Much Poverty Amid Plenty? (int'l edition)

Regarding "Backlash: Behind the anxiety over globalization" (Cover Story, Apr. 24): The U.S. economy is booming but the number of hungry people has not decreased over the past four years, according to a study released recently. "At the peak of the longest economic boom in our history, over 30 million people live in households that experience hunger and food insecurity--about the same number as four years ago," says J. Larry Brown, Director of the Center on Hunger & Poverty at Tufts University. Why are so many millions going hungry in the world's richest country? Corporate globalization is the culprit. The corporations are simply blackmailing the workers by threatening to take their jobs elsewhere.

Mahmood Elahi

OttawaReturn to top

The Third World Should Hang on to Its Talent (int'l edition)

I welcome Gary S. Becker's proposal for easing H-1B visa restrictions, ("Give me your yearning high-skilled professionals," Economic Viewpoint, Apr. 24): but I do not agree with his views favoring a lax U.S. immigration policy. The brain drain caused by attractive opportunities abroad will ultimately find most Third World countries in a downward spiral where ignorance and corruption feed on each other. An H-1B visa's six-year term is adequate for most Third Worlders to tuck away substantial savings that may be later invested in technology projects back home. Immigration, on the other hand, leaves little chance of the immigrant returning to his homeland while he is still productive.

Mohamed Habib


Gary Becker missed an opportunity to highlight the difficulty foreign-born professionals face when trying to establish themselves in the U.S. Few Americans may realize that little to no financial aid is available to assist international students who wish to attend U.S.-based graduate programs. Globalization of business should lead to globalization of opportunity. In this respect it does not. Why are nearly all financing programs in the public and private sectors marked "foreign need not apply"?

Barry Winer

WashingtonReturn to top

Who Profits from the War on Drugs? (int'l edition)

"Exacerbating misery to make money from it is unethical and illogical," writes Linda Bayer, of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), fending off calls for drug-law reform ("An unethical reason for legalizing drugs," Readers Report, Apr. 24). But in terms of crime, disruption of law and order, social and personal misery, and waste of resources, ONDCP's radical ideology of a drug-free world has caused immense harm. Hundreds of thousands are incarcerated throughout the world, 8% of international trade now consists of illegal drugs, and entire nations are destabilized.

Harry Bego

Utrecht, The NetherlandsReturn to top

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