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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

The Potential Economic Impact of Pandemic Flu on Poor Countries: More Serious than a Sneezing Pork Chop

This post originally appeared on the CGD's Global Health Policy blog. The impact of this pandemic flu outbreak has little to do with pigs. And a lot to do with people. Every time there is a global flu epidemic, we seem to want to blame it on something. In 1918 we called it the Spanish flu, though Spaniards had nothing to do with it. For the last few years we blamed it on birds, calling it the “avian flu” as if it were the birds’ fault. Now we’re blaming it on pigs, by calling it the “swine flu”. In an effort to appease the public, several countries have banned the import of pork! None of this makes any sense. When was the last time you saw a sneezing pork chop?

New Poll Confirms that Congress Doesn't Listen to Voters When Lavishing Subsidies on Farmers

When I was writing my book, Delivering on Doha: Farm Trade and the Poor, I came across a 2004 poll showing that Americans, including in farm states, support subsidies only for small farmers and only in bad years. Last week, another poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland was released showing that attitudes haven’t changed. The reality, as I discussed in my book, is that the top 20 percent of recipients receive 80 percent of all payments.