Whilst the Group of Eight and the World Trade Organization chatter away to little effect, and Bill Gates ponders how to tweak capitalism so that the "one billion people [who] live on less than a dollar a day" can benefit from it, you may be wondering if there isn't a better way to organize society. In the 20th century the alternative most often put forward was communism. That doesn't seem to have worked out terribly well either though.
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Last week the World Trade Organization met again, this time in Geneva. They failed to agree….. again. According to the Economist magazine:
The round’s chief ambition was to straighten out some of the kinks in agricultural trade. This ancient activity, which accounts for only 8% of world merchandise trade, is the most heavily distorted by misbegotten policies. It is, therefore, in agriculture that an agreement could do the most good. But it was also in agriculture that the agreement came unstuck.
According to the BBC:
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