The commodities that poor countries are left to export are even more of a dead end today than in the 1950’s. Because of oversupply, prices for coffee, cocoa, rice, sugar and tin dropped by more than 60 percent between 1980 and 2000. Because of the price collapse of commodities and sub-Saharan Africa’s failure to move beyond them, the region’s share of world trade dropped by two-thirds during that time. It was only a few decades ago that globalisation was held by many, even by some critics, to be an inevitable, unstoppable force. In practice, this often meant that industry would move from rich countries, where labour was expensive, to poor countries, where labour was cheaper. People in the rich countries would either have to accept lower wages to compete, or lose their jobs. But no matter what, the goods they formerly produced would now be imported, and be even cheaper….    read more