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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    The Afghans’ bitter fruit

    For most Americans, Afghanistan is increasingly becoming the forgotten war in Iraq’s terrible shadow. But last week, The New York Times reported that the U.S. government has renewed its efforts to encourage Afghanistan to destroy what is essentially the country’s only cash crop, opium poppies.

    Afghanistan produces 93 percent of the world’s illegal opiates, according to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, but this money provides many of Afghanistan’s poorest with their only source of income. Before the U.S. invasion in 2001, the Taliban regime had, along with many other things, banned the cultivation of opium poppies. Since their ouster, the government of Hamid Karzai has been unable to stop opium’s rapid spread, and much of the country’s estimated 6,000 tons of opium produced annually is believed to end up on the black market … .

    … Addressing the opium issue is essential for Afghanistan’s security and development, and if flamethrowers and pesticides destroy what little livelihood the Afghans can claim, our country might lose the hearts and minds of yet another critical ally in the region.

    -University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Daily

    No match, no solution

    As the federal government seeks solutions to problems regarding illegal immigration and the employment of undocumented worke(rs) in the United States, it needs to make sure its methods are well thought out and legally and economically feasible. When the Department of Homeland Security announced in August it would send “”no-match”” letters to employers to inform them of workers whose Social Security numbers and employment information did not match up and of a new requirement for employers to resolve the issue within 90 days or fire workers – or else face legal persecution or sanctions – the Bush administration abdicated responsibility for finding a nuanced and responsible immigration solution.

    The plan to send no-match letters to employers appears to be a way for the government to use employers as proxy immigration officers, to solve problems it is unwilling or unable to address. Turning private-sector institutions into law enforcers is irresponsible and shows a complete lack of forethought for the economic ramifications of removing millions of people from the workforce within three months of the stalled plan’s start date.

    -Boston University’s Daily Free Press

    Fair-trade laws pose viable alternative

    Fair trade is about creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers as well as fostering transparency and accountability. Payment of a fair price for products, gender equality, safe working conditions and environmental protection are all hallmarks of the fair trade movement. It is a growing topic of conversation and should be explored at the highest levels.

    We are glad to see President Bush looking out for our country’s interest when he said “”expanding trade will help our economy grow”” and that he understands “”many Americans feel uneasy about new competition and worry that trade will cost jobs.””

    By providing more substantial funding for trade adjustment assistance to help Americans make the transition from one job to the next, he can take a step toward ensuring this happens. But when President Bush argues that freer trade serves “”America’s security and moral interests”” around the globe, does it really?

    If the president really wants to serve the United States’ moral interests around the globe, he should consider fair trade instead.

    -Baylor University’s Lariat

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