HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Day of Action Oxfam vs Starbucks--results (38 msgs / 2073 lines)
1) From: Vicki Smith
http://tinyurl.com/yeecrxI can't get the results page to load, but there is information 
(including the results page) linked to from this page about Saturday's 
Day of Action during which 89,000 people in 70 countries contacted 
Starbucks, talked to their employees and sent faxes to the Starbucks CEO 
about appropriating the name of coffees like Harar and Sidamo and the 
status of workers producing the coffee Starbucks sells.
vicki

2) From: stereoplegic
not trying to start a flame here, just trying to make heads or tails of 
the situation:
i'm not taking either side until i know more, but at a glance this seems 
to me a situation where nobody but the ethiopian government wins. i can 
certainly understand certifying that a coffee actually comes from 
sidamo, yirgacheffe, or harrar (as blue mountain and blue mountain 
blends are  certified (in jamaica, not here in the u.s., that's a joke).
what i don't understand is, why a copyright for the name of a region? i 
see that they're offering a royalty-free agreement w/ *$, but what about 
everyone else? if these proposed copyrights have to be paid for by 
others (who's to say they won't), won't that drive up the price for 
everyone? won't that lead to fewer people buying and selling these 
coffees under these names (farmers, brokers and roasters who have to pay 
for the names to sell the coffees as such, consumers who pay the 
overhead, anyone who has to pay the price for these copyrights)?
i really don't see how this will help the farmers or the ethiopian 
people in the long run, just politicians and bureaucrats right now. i do 
agree that major companies (not just *$) should do much more buying 
directly from the farmers (i don't see how the middleman helps anyone 
but himself in these cases).
if i'm missing something (and i'm sure there's a lot on both sides) 
please help me understand. i love sidamo, yirg, and harrar coffees, and 
i do think the farmers should receive better wages for the wonderful 
beans they produce, but i don't think this is the means to that end.
that said, best wishes to all this holiday season.

3) From: Ken Bozarth
Hey, I have the solution.  We can call it "An Ethiopian coffee formerly
referred to as Sidamo".  How does that sound? 
Ken Bozarth
Roasting Realtor

4) From:
Vicki:
I muat have missed the day of action. I am not sure 89k folks really matter to starbucks.
If "they" take and use a name that is in common use, not much anyone can do about it.
The big guys can and will do it, period. You can write all you want but "they" do not care.
You/we are little voices likes fleas on a dog. 
g
---- Vicki Smith  wrote: 
<Snip>

5) From: Vicki Smith
My understanding, and I my be wrong, is that Starbucks applied to 
copyright the various names, i.e. Harar, Yirg, Sidamo and that the 
Ethiopian government acted to block that.
I think that Oxfam was building on that issue to speak to the larger 
issue of what people who work to produce coffee actually earn.
I'm not trying to start a war here either, just thought it would be 
interesting coffee news to many of us.
vicki
stereoplegic wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: John Blumel
On Dec 18, 2006, at 7:21 pm, Vicki Smith wrote:
<Snip>
This whole situation is no different than the French controlling the  
use of the names "Burgundy" and "Champagne". If it weren't for the  
fact that it's a big US corporation against a poor third world  
country, this wouldn't even be an issue. Of course, now, Starbucks  
has officially dropped their opposition, but is using a trade group  
to front that opposition for them.
The idea that no one will be able to sell coffee called Sidamo or  
whatever is simply not true. What is the case is that only coffee  
from Sidamo will be able to be sold as that and Starbucks won't be  
able to stop other retailers from selling coffee labeled Sidamo.
This practice of countries controlling origin or other traditional  
names is so commonplace that I can't believe this can even be an  
issue. As I said, if this were a European country, or not a company  
as rapacious as Starbucks, it wouldn't be.
John Blumel

7) From: Sandy Andina
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Much as I believe in a fair shake for farmers, for an Ethiopian (or  
any) coffee farmer to earn three cents for a cup of coffee--given the  
volume of drinks sold and the markup (not to mention the value added-- 
however lousy Starbucks' roast may be--by shipping, roasting,  
packaging, brewing and serving)--is a pretty darn good deal,  
considering how little coffee farmers have always gotten from the  
large vendors of the ground-and-canned stuff and from specialty  
buyers in the past, before Fair Trade.  What Starbucks charges for a  
cup of coffee is irrelevant (and that three bucks is not necessarily  
for a cup of plain brewed black coffee): what is relevant is the  
farmers' costs of production and living.  Now, given Starbucks'  
wealth, I hesitate to use the word "opportunistic" in connection with  
coffee farmers, especially in a poverty-stricken part of the world,  
but it seems to me that Oxfam may be taking advantage relative to  
what coffee farmers in other parts of the world, especially those in  
the Fair Trade and Cup of Excellence programs, are getting paid.  And  
since when do geographic names "belong" to a government (or are even  
capable of being copyrighted)? And what makes Oxfam think that the  
Ethiopian government would be altruistic enough pass any resulting  
revenues on to the farmers? Appellation control laws are supposed to  
ensure quality and truth in merchandising--that a substance labeled  
with a region's name actually comes from that region--not to be a  
cash cow.
Tom, care to weigh in on this? I welcome being corrected if I am  
factually incorrect.  I can't believe that I, a bleeding heart  
liberal, am taking this position--but reason and common sense are  
paramount.
On Dec 18, 2006, at 5:17 PM, pchforever wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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Much as I believe in a fair =
shake for farmers, for an Ethiopian (or any) coffee farmer to earn three =
cents for a cup of coffee--given the volume of drinks sold and the =
markup (not to mention the value added--however lousy Starbucks' roast =
may be--by shipping, roasting, packaging, brewing and serving)--is a =
pretty darn good deal, considering how little coffee farmers have always =
gotten from the large vendors of the ground-and-canned stuff and from =
specialty buyers in the past, before Fair Trade.  What Starbucks =
charges for a cup of coffee is irrelevant (and that three bucks is not =
necessarily for a cup of plain brewed black coffee): what is relevant is =
the farmers' costs of production and living.  Now, given Starbucks' =
wealth, I hesitate to use the word "opportunistic" in connection with =
coffee farmers, especially in a poverty-stricken part of the world, but =
it seems to me that Oxfam may be taking advantage relative to what =
coffee farmers in other parts of the world, especially those in the Fair =
Trade and Cup of Excellence programs, are getting paid.  And since =
when do geographic names "belong" to a government (or are even capable =
of being copyrighted)? And what makes Oxfam think that the Ethiopian =
government would be altruistic enough pass any resulting revenues on to =
the farmers? Appellation control laws are supposed to ensure quality and =
truth in merchandising--that a substance labeled with a region's name =
actually comes from that region--not to be a cash cow.
Tom, care to weigh in on = this? I welcome being corrected if I am factually incorrect.  I can't = believe that I, a bleeding heart liberal, am taking this position--but = reason and common sense are paramount. On Dec 18, 2006, at = 5:17 PM, pchforever = wrote:

=">http://tinyurl.com/yeecrxwww.sandyandina.comwww.sass-music.com=="=" class="3D"Apple-interchange-newline""> = = --Apple-Mail-276--785789488--


8) From: stereoplegic
vicki.smith wrote:
<Snip>
i think it's the other way around: ethiopia applied for the copyrights, 
and *$ acted to block them.

9) From: stereoplegic
well written.
sandraandina wrote:
<Snip>
<Snip>
johnblumel wrote:
<Snip>

10) From: Vicki Smith
I've done some reading, primarily the Times of London, but the story 
that talks about Starbuck's attempt to trademark a (not "the") Sidamo 
name is here:http://kathryn.garforthmitchell.net/?p‘Interesting article with stats from the Times with Oxfam's claim that 
"Speciality coffees in other regions of the world can get up to 45 per 
cent of the retail price, compared with the 5 to 10 per cent Ethiopians 
are currently receiving,”http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8213-2473189,00.htmlAlso from the article:
$11.2bn
Ethiopia’s GDP
$7.8bn
Starbucks’ annual revenues
12,400
Number of Starbucks coffee shops worldwide
15 million
Number of Ethiopians reliant on the coffee trade
54%
Percentage of Ethiopia’s GDP that is coffee
90%
Percentage of Ethiopia’s exports that are coffee
80%
Percentage of Ethiopians living on $2 or less a day
vicki (still not arguing, just putting it out there)
<Snip>

11) From: True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)
Better yet why not just list coffee from (insert name) plantation by the
wonderful coffee farmer (insert name here) grown at 3.63 deg South 36.45
deg East, Even the evil empire is not going to be able copyright the
coordinate system.
On a serious note, I would love to be able to pinpoint where my coffee
orignally came from on Google Earth.
Have place markers with reviews over a number of years you could really
see the changes... Ok I'm a tekkie I admit it.
Question: Why can't Tom or other coffee buyers, buy directly from the
farmers and bypass the entire (multi middle men) process? Giving a fair
price to the farmers enabling them to truly profit and improve on the
great crops that they already have. Of course I understand the need for
a government to have cash flow so a "reasonable tax" on profits of the
farmer and the sales tax on the sale, not to mention the Tarrif's and
duty should be plenty of money to keep the red tape flowing. Is there
more that I am missing or is it as simple as greed?
Dennis
AKA
FC1(SW) Dennis W. True
CS/CS-5
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)
FPO AE 09532-2830
HG/DB and Z&D roasting in the Arabian Gulf
 "On station and on point 136 and counting down..." 
Hey, I have the solution.  We can call it "An Ethiopian coffee formerly
referred to as Sidamo".  How does that sound? 
Ken Bozarth
Roasting Realtor

12) From: Sandy Andina
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How many Ethiopians are in the coffee trade (i.e., what is the actual  =
population of Ethiopia)? How many in the coffee trade are at the  
bottom of the supply ladder, i.e., farming and picking? How many in  
the entire coffee trade are living on $2 or less a day, as opposed to  =
the country's general population? And what does $2 buy in Ethiopia  
compared to the "First World?" I am no fan of megacorporations and I  
believe our own government unfairly favors big business over  
individuals; but Starbucks' revenues are due mostly to massive  
marketing, self-determined pricing, and creation and enhancement of  
demand, not on low raw materials costs.  It--as well as independent  
purchasers such as Intelligentsia and Sweet Maria's--pays Ethiopian  
and other coffee farmers far, far more than previous buyers such as  
the mass-market coffee manufacturers.  "To each according to his  
needs, from each according to his abilities" sounds noble--but it is  
also the guiding philosophy and motto of socialism.  (Charity, using  
that principle, should be voluntary, not mandatory). Direct aid to  
the country in the form of food and food money, medical services,  
schools, personnel to help it build its infrastructure and train its  
residents to do so would be more immediately useful, since I suspect  
that little of that proposed increase of coffee money would trickle  
down to the general populace, or even to the pickers and processing  
workers unless the government were to mandate that the farmers pass  
their increased income along.
On Dec 19, 2006, at 6:24 AM, Vicki Smith wrote:
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
--Apple-Mail-283--732467104
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	charsetNDOWS-1252
How many Ethiopians are in the =
coffee trade (i.e., what is the actual population of Ethiopia)? How many =
in the coffee trade are at the bottom of the supply ladder, i.e., =
farming and picking? How many in the entire coffee trade are living on =
$2 or less a day, as opposed to the country's general population? And =
what does $2 buy in Ethiopia compared to the "First World?" I am no fan =
of megacorporations and I believe our own government unfairly favors big =
business over individuals; but Starbucks' revenues are due mostly to =
massive marketing, self-determined pricing, and creation and enhancement =
of demand, not on low raw materials costs.  It--as well as independent =
purchasers such as Intelligentsia and Sweet Maria's--pays Ethiopian and =
other coffee farmers far, far more than previous buyers such as the =
mass-market coffee manufacturers.  "To each according to his needs, =
from each according to his abilities" sounds noble--but it is also the =
guiding philosophy and motto of socialism.  (Charity, using that =
principle, should be voluntary, not mandatory). Direct aid to the =
country in the form of food and food money, medical services, schools, =
personnel to help it build its infrastructure and train its residents to =
do so would be more immediately useful, since I suspect that little of =
that proposed increase of coffee money would trickle down to the general =
populace, or even to the pickers and processing workers unless the =
government were to mandate that the farmers pass their increased income =
along.On Dec 19, 2006, at 6:24 AM, Vicki Smith =
wrote:
I've done some reading, = primarily the Times of London, but the story that talks about Starbuck's = attempt to trademark a (not "the") Sidamo name is here: http://kathryn.garfor=thmitchell.net/?p=91 Interesting article with stats = from the Times with Oxfam's claim that "Speciality coffees in other = regions of the world can get up to 45 per cent of the retail price, = compared with the 5 to 10 per cent Ethiopians are currently = receiving,” Also = from the article: $11.2bnEthiopia’s = GDP $7.8bnStarbucks’ = annual revenues 12,400Number of = Starbucks coffee shops worldwide 15 millionNumber of Ethiopians reliant on the coffee = trade 54%Percentage of = Ethiopia’s GDP that is coffee 90% Percentage of Ethiopians living = on $2 or less a dayvicki (still not arguing, just = putting it out there) = What Starbucks charges for a cup of coffee is = irrelevant (and that three bucks is not necessarily for a cup of plain = brewed black coffee): what is relevant is the farmers' costs of = production and living.  = Now, given Starbucks' wealth, I hesitate to use the word = "opportunistic" in connection with coffee farmers, especially in a = poverty-stricken part of the world, but it seems to me that Oxfam may be = taking advantage relative to what coffee farmers in other parts of the = world, especially those in the Fair Trade and Cup of Excellence = programs, are getting paid.  = And since when do geographic names "belong" to a government (or = are even capable of being copyrighted)? And what makes Oxfam think that = the Ethiopian government would be altruistic enough pass any resulting = revenues on to the farmers? Appellation control laws are supposed to = ensure quality and truth in merchandising--that a substance labeled with = a region's name actually comes from that region--not to be a cash = cow. homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-283--732467104--

13) From: Leo Zick
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
isnt it a fair estimation that the creation and estimation of demand has
allowed the entire industry to flourish?  do you think intelligentsia would
be where it is without the helpful marketing of starbucks?
i dont know if the local pickers are making more than 2/day b/c of this, but
there are probably a lot more people employed by the industries demand b/c
of what starbucks has done to the market.
 
also, assuming the get paid 2/day, is that all that bad? maybe it only costs
1/day to live?
 
im not saying i like their coffee any more than anyone else here, but as a
business, they have a model to strive for. then again, i think walmart does
too.
 
im also guessing that the charitable proceeds of starbucks is nothing to
scoff at.  
From: Sandy Andina [mailto:sandraandina] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 1:35 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Day of Action Oxfam vs Starbucks--results
How many Ethiopians are in the coffee trade (i.e., what is the actual
population of Ethiopia)? How many in the coffee trade are at the bottom of
the supply ladder, i.e., farming and picking? How many in the entire coffee
trade are living on $2 or less a day, as opposed to the country's general
population? And what does $2 buy in Ethiopia compared to the "First World?"
I am no fan of megacorporations and I believe our own government unfairly
favors big business over individuals; but Starbucks' revenues are due mostly
to massive marketing, self-determined pricing, and creation and enhancement
of demand, not on low raw materials costs.  It--as well as independent
purchasers such as Intelligentsia and Sweet Maria's--pays Ethiopian and
other coffee farmers far, far more than previous buyers such as the
mass-market coffee manufacturers.  "To each according to his needs, from
each according to his abilities" sounds noble--but it is also the guiding
philosophy and motto of socialism.  (Charity, using that principle, should
be voluntary, not mandatory). Direct aid to the country in the form of food
and food money, medical services, schools, personnel to help it build its
infrastructure and train its residents to do so would be more immediately
useful, since I suspect that little of that proposed increase of coffee
money would trickle down to the general populace, or even to the pickers and
processing workers unless the government were to mandate that the farmers
pass their increased income along. 
On Dec 19, 2006, at 6:24 AM, Vicki Smith wrote:
I've done some reading, primarily the Times of London, but the story that
talks about Starbuck's attempt to trademark a (not "the") Sidamo name is
here:http://kathryn.garforthmitchell.net/?p‘Interesting article with stats from the Times with Oxfam's claim that
"Speciality coffees in other regions of the world can get up to 45 per cent
of the retail price, compared with the 5 to 10 per cent Ethiopians are
currently receiving,"http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8213-2473189,00.htmlAlso from the article:
$11.2bn
Ethiopia's GDP
$7.8bn
Starbucks' annual revenues
12,400
Number of Starbucks coffee shops worldwide
15 million
Number of Ethiopians reliant on the coffee trade
54%
Percentage of Ethiopia's GDP that is coffee
90%
Percentage of Ethiopia's exports that are coffee
80%
Percentage of Ethiopians living on $2 or less a day
vicki (still not arguing, just putting it out there)
What Starbucks charges for a cup of coffee is irrelevant (and that three
bucks is not necessarily for a cup of plain brewed black coffee): what is
relevant is the farmers' costs of production and living.  Now, given
Starbucks' wealth, I hesitate to use the word "opportunistic" in connection
with coffee farmers, especially in a poverty-stricken part of the world, but
it seems to me that Oxfam may be taking advantage relative to what coffee
farmers in other parts of the world, especially those in the Fair Trade and
Cup of Excellence programs, are getting paid.  And since when do geographic
names "belong" to a government (or are even capable of being copyrighted)?
And what makes Oxfam think that the Ethiopian government would be altruistic
enough pass any resulting revenues on to the farmers? Appellation control
laws are supposed to ensure quality and truth in merchandising--that a
substance labeled with a region's name actually comes from that region--not
to be a cash cow.Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com

14) From: Leo Zick
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
this is interesting..http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/pressdesc.asp?ids3 
more here toohttp://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/origins.asp 
From: Sandy Andina [mailto:sandraandina] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 1:35 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Day of Action Oxfam vs Starbucks--results
How many Ethiopians are in the coffee trade (i.e., what is the actual
population of Ethiopia)? How many in the coffee trade are at the bottom of
the supply ladder, i.e., farming and picking? How many in the entire coffee
trade are living on $2 or less a day, as opposed to the country's general
population? And what does $2 buy in Ethiopia compared to the "First World?"
I am no fan of megacorporations and I believe our own government unfairly
favors big business over individuals; but Starbucks' revenues are due mostly
to massive marketing, self-determined pricing, and creation and enhancement
of demand, not on low raw materials costs.  It--as well as independent
purchasers such as Intelligentsia and Sweet Maria's--pays Ethiopian and
other coffee farmers far, far more than previous buyers such as the
mass-market coffee manufacturers.  "To each according to his needs, from
each according to his abilities" sounds noble--but it is also the guiding
philosophy and motto of socialism.  (Charity, using that principle, should
be voluntary, not mandatory). Direct aid to the country in the form of food
and food money, medical services, schools, personnel to help it build its
infrastructure and train its residents to do so would be more immediately
useful, since I suspect that little of that proposed increase of coffee
money would trickle down to the general populace, or even to the pickers and
processing workers unless the government were to mandate that the farmers
pass their increased income along. 
On Dec 19, 2006, at 6:24 AM, Vicki Smith wrote:
I've done some reading, primarily the Times of London, but the story that
talks about Starbuck's attempt to trademark a (not "the") Sidamo name is
here:http://kathryn.garforthmitchell.net/?p‘Interesting article with stats from the Times with Oxfam's claim that
"Speciality coffees in other regions of the world can get up to 45 per cent
of the retail price, compared with the 5 to 10 per cent Ethiopians are
currently receiving,"http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8213-2473189,00.htmlAlso from the article:
$11.2bn
Ethiopia's GDP
$7.8bn
Starbucks' annual revenues
12,400
Number of Starbucks coffee shops worldwide
15 million
Number of Ethiopians reliant on the coffee trade
54%
Percentage of Ethiopia's GDP that is coffee
90%
Percentage of Ethiopia's exports that are coffee
80%
Percentage of Ethiopians living on $2 or less a day
vicki (still not arguing, just putting it out there)
What Starbucks charges for a cup of coffee is irrelevant (and that three
bucks is not necessarily for a cup of plain brewed black coffee): what is
relevant is the farmers' costs of production and living.  Now, given
Starbucks' wealth, I hesitate to use the word "opportunistic" in connection
with coffee farmers, especially in a poverty-stricken part of the world, but
it seems to me that Oxfam may be taking advantage relative to what coffee
farmers in other parts of the world, especially those in the Fair Trade and
Cup of Excellence programs, are getting paid.  And since when do geographic
names "belong" to a government (or are even capable of being copyrighted)?
And what makes Oxfam think that the Ethiopian government would be altruistic
enough pass any resulting revenues on to the farmers? Appellation control
laws are supposed to ensure quality and truth in merchandising--that a
substance labeled with a region's name actually comes from that region--not
to be a cash cow.Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com

15) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
i commend oxfam for provoking a conversation about this, but their 
arguements get pretty off base in 2 respects: a. in their details and 
b. in trying to "enlighten consumers"  by providing  window into the 
world of coffee. On the later, I have found it takes years and years 
to really understand and have perspective on how coffee is being 
produced, traded and bought on a transnational, global scale and 
frankly, I understand VERY, VERY little. I do know enough to catch 
errors in fact, and Oxfam is making them to promote this action, 
however they are much more accurate than any of Big Green's ads have 
ever been. I guess its just that we hold an NGO to higher standards, 
although when it comes to advertising and promotion, whether of a 
agenda or a product, pitching it to a public, both are in fact acting 
in similar ways, and gloss over details to make their pitch 
effective. Anyway, besides wrting long run-on sentences, i really 
have to get back to the order-packing battlefield here at sweet 
marias, but i wish i had more time for this topic. I will leave you 
with this counter-intuitive nugget:
the biggest issue right now for certified organic and fair trade 
coffees is that the market prices for coffee (meaning, those based 
off the new york "C"), accounting for differentials being paid for 
particular origins and grades, are better than base FT and FTO 
coffees. Meaning that a coop might get a higher price from internal 
buyer than they woill get from their FTO contract. what that has lead 
to, and will encourage, is producer groups to reneg on their 
contracts and sell off their coffee elsewhere, even without 
certification. nobody had a real plan for this: what happens when FTO 
brings in a lower price than standard market prices? odd situation. 
consider that we pay almost triple for Misty Valley Idido ethiopia 
than FTO, simply for all the extra work it takes to produce it. Just 
a comment....
Tom
How many Ethiopians are in the coffee trade (i.e., what is the actual 
population of Ethiopia)? How many in the coffee trade are at the 
bottom of the supply ladder, i.e., farming and picking? How many in 
the entire coffee trade are living on $2 or less a day, as opposed to 
the country's general population? And what does $2 buy in Ethiopia 
compared to the "First World?" I am no fan of megacorporations and I 
believe our own government unfairly favors big business over 
individuals; but Starbucks' revenues are due mostly to massive 
marketing, self-determined pricing, and creation and enhancement of 
demand, not on low raw materials costs. It--as well as independent 
purchasers such as Intelligentsia and Sweet Maria's--pays Ethiopian 
and other coffee farmers far, far more than previous buyers such as 
the mass-market coffee manufacturers. "To each according to his 
needs, from each according to his abilities" sounds noble--but it is 
also the guiding philosophy and motto of socialism. (Charity, using 
that principle, should be voluntary, not mandatory). Direct aid to 
the country in the form of food and food money, medical services, 
schools, personnel to help it build its infrastructure and train its 
residents to do so would be more immediately useful, since I suspect 
that little of that proposed increase of coffee money would trickle 
down to the general populace, or even to the pickers and processing 
workers unless the government were to mandate that the farmers pass 
their increased income along.
On Dec 19, 2006, at 6:24 AM, Vicki Smith wrote:
I've done some reading, primarily the Times of London, but the story 
that talks about Starbuck's attempt to trademark a (not "the") Sidamo 
name is here:http://kathryn.garforthmitchell.net/?p‘Interesting article with stats from the Times with Oxfam's claim that 
"Speciality coffees in other regions of the world can get up to 45 
per cent of the retail price, compared with the 5 to 10 per cent 
Ethiopians are currently receiving,"http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8213-2473189,00.htmlAlso from the article:
$11.2bn
Ethiopia's GDP
$7.8bn
Starbucks' annual revenues
12,400
Number of Starbucks coffee shops worldwide
15 million
Number of Ethiopians reliant on the coffee trade
54%
Percentage of Ethiopia's GDP that is coffee
90%
Percentage of Ethiopia's exports that are coffee
80%
Percentage of Ethiopians living on $2 or less a day
vicki (still not arguing, just putting it out there)
What Starbucks charges for a cup of coffee is irrelevant (and that 
three bucks is not necessarily for a cup of plain brewed black 
coffee): what is relevant is the farmers' costs of production and 
living. Now, given Starbucks' wealth, I hesitate to use the word 
"opportunistic" in connection with coffee farmers, especially in a 
poverty-stricken part of the world, but it seems to me that Oxfam may 
be taking advantage relative to what coffee farmers in other parts of 
the world, especially those in the Fair Trade and Cup of Excellence 
programs, are getting paid. And since when do geographic names 
"belong" to a government (or are even capable of being copyrighted)? 
And what makes Oxfam think that the Ethiopian government would be 
altruistic enough pass any resulting revenues on to the farmers? 
Appellation control laws are supposed to ensure quality and truth in 
merchandising--that a substance labeled with a region's name actually 
comes from that region--not to be a cash cow.

16) From: Justin Marquez
On 12/19/06, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
 wrote:
<Snip>
And it was worth it!  WOW, what a coffee!
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

17) From: John Blumel
On Dec 19, 2006, at 1:34 pm, Sandy Andina wrote:
<Snip>
Oxfam may have decided to frame this issue in terms of the effects on  
small farmers, for whatever reason, but, frankly, I think this aspect  
of the issue is entirely irrelevant. Nor does the Ethiopia's desire  
to trademark these traditional names have anything to do with  
socialism. But, yes, obviously, they wish to protect and control the  
use of these names to protect their country's financial interests in  
global markets. It's really none of our business how they choose to  
use the money they make by doing so. Do we tell the Saudis what to do  
with their oil money?
This issue is really all about how a large corporation, now using a  
trade group as a front for actions it is directing, can essentially  
block a poor third world country's ability to protect its identity in  
the marketplace; a subject that Starbucks is quite familiar with.
Ethiopia is treated with little respect by the US government because  
the US government knows that they can screw them to promote US  
economic interests with no fear of retaliation. Trademarking and  
control of place names associated with specific products in Europe  
has been going on for years, with the acquiescence of the US  
government. Why, now that an African country wishes to do exactly the  
same thing that trade organizations in Europe have been doing for  
years, does it suddenly become something that a US company can block  
so effectively? If this dispute were between the Kona growers and  
Starbucks, it would already have been decided in the Kona growers favor.
There's also the issue that Starbucks itself is an overly-aggressive,  
highly litigious company with a culture of stopping at nothing to  
crush anyone who gets in the way of them maximizing their profits.  
(What is it about these companies in the Seattle area?) Clearly they  
are using their financial and legal clout, and probably their  
political connections as well, to stop Ethiopia from gaining the  
customary protections in the marketplace that have been given to any  
number of products from other countries. Frankly, they look very much  
like a company run amok with its own arrogance that needs to be taken  
down a notch or two, just to teach it that the world doesn't revolve  
around them.
Well, I'm already boycotting Starbucks for other reasons, but,  
because of their behavior, I'm in favor of anyone who wants to put a  
stick in their eye.
John Blumel

18) From: Brett Mason
I agree with the disdain over Starbucks' behavior...
I also wonder about Folgers, Maxwell House, Hills Bros., and the other
much larger corporations...
  Folgers (P&G) makes $68B a year, according to Hoovers.
  Starbucks pales at $6B, although P&G have more non-coffee product
lines than Starbucks.
  Kraft is at $34B...
  Nestle is at $69B...
So I guess the charred coffee is just that much more in your face...
Cheers,
Brett
On 12/19/06, John Blumel  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

19) From: Sandy Andina
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I did not know that France, Italy and Germany have "trademarked"  
their regional place names--have they really done so, or have they  
merely passed appellation-control measures for commodities labeled as  
coming from there? Not the same thing. Please (and I mean it) correct  
me if I'm wrong, but I suspect it's the latter. Ethiopia has a  
perfect right to do the latter, and no private entity should be able  
to block that; but to copyright the name of a geographic region with  
no qualifiers such as an estate name seems a legal absurdity.  Can  
New York State copyright the name "Hudson Valley?" Can Illinois  
copyright "Chicago" or "Lake Michigan?"  Ethiopia has a perfect right  
to legislate that only coffee grown in Sidamo be labeled as such, and  
to prevent Starbucks from selling non-Sidamo coffee as "Sidamo;" but  
IMHO Starbucks is correct in contending that the region's name is  
generic, incapable of ownership and therefore of being copyrighted.   
I recognize that Ethiopia consistently gets the short end of the  
world economic stick, but to demand a fee for a vendor to use a  
regional name for goods produced there is extortion--which is immoral  
regardless of how badly the extorter needs the money and how easily  
the extortee can afford to pay it.  It is no more lawful than my  
placing a tollgate on the sidewalk on either side of my house and  
charging people to walk past it on the sidewalk.
On Dec 19, 2006, at 4:02 PM, John Blumel wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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I did not know that France, =
Italy and Germany have "trademarked" their regional place names--have =
they really done so, or have they merely passed appellation-control =
measures for commodities labeled as coming from there? Not the same =
thing. Please (and I mean it) correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect =
it's the latter. Ethiopia has a perfect right to do the latter, and no =
private entity should be able to block that; but to copyright the name =
of a geographic region with no qualifiers such as an estate name seems a =
legal absurdity.  Can New York State copyright the name "Hudson =
Valley?" Can Illinois copyright "Chicago" or "Lake Michigan?"  =
Ethiopia has a perfect right to legislate that only coffee grown in =
Sidamo be labeled as such, and to prevent Starbucks from selling =
non-Sidamo coffee as "Sidamo;" but IMHO Starbucks is correct in =
contending that the region's name is generic, incapable of ownership and =
therefore of being copyrighted.  I recognize that Ethiopia =
consistently gets the short end of the world economic stick, but to =
demand a fee for a vendor to use a regional name for goods produced =
there is extortion--which is immoral regardless of how badly the =
extorter needs the money and how easily the extortee can afford to pay =
it.  It is no more lawful than my placing a tollgate on the sidewalk =
on either side of my house and charging people to walk past it on the =
sidewalk.
On Dec 19, 2006, at 4:02 PM, John Blumel =
wrote:
On Dec 19, 2006, at 1:34 pm, = Sandy Andina wrote:How many = Ethiopians are in the coffee trade (i.e., what is the actual population = of Ethiopia)? How many in the coffee trade are at the bottom of the = supply ladder, i.e., farming and picking? Oxfam = may have decided to frame this issue in terms of the effects on small = farmers, for whatever reason, but, frankly, I think this aspect of the = issue is entirely irrelevant. Nor does the Ethiopia's desire to = trademark these traditional names have anything to do with socialism. = But, yes, obviously, they wish to protect and control the use of these = names to protect their country's financial interests in global markets. = It's really none of our business how they choose to use the money they = make by doing so. Do we tell the Saudis what to do with their oil = money? This issue is really all about how a large = corporation, now using a trade group as a front for actions it is = directing, can essentially block a poor third world country's ability to = protect its identity in the marketplace; a subject that Starbucks is = quite familiar with.Ethiopia is treated with little = respect by the US government because the US government knows that they = can screw them to promote US economic interests with no fear of = retaliation. Trademarking and control of place names associated with = specific products in Europe has been going on for years, with the = acquiescence of the US government. Why, now that an African country = wishes to do exactly the same thing that trade organizations in Europe = have been doing for years, does it suddenly become something that a US = company can block so effectively? If this dispute were between the Kona = growers and Starbucks, it would already have been decided in the Kona = growers favor. There's also the issue that Starbucks itself is an = overly-aggressive, highly litigious company with a culture of stopping = at nothing to crush anyone who gets in the way of them maximizing their = profits. (What is it about these companies in the Seattle area?) Clearly = they are using their financial and legal clout, and probably their = political connections as well, to stop Ethiopia from gaining the = customary protections in the marketplace that have been given to any = number of products from other countries. Frankly, they look very much = like a company run amok with its own arrogance that needs to be taken = down a notch or two, just to teach it that the world doesn't revolve = around them. Well, I'm already boycotting Starbucks for other = reasons, but, because of their behavior, I'm in favor of anyone who = wants to put a stick in their eye. John Blumel homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-289--715912521--

20) From: raymanowen
Where's Joe Valachi when you need him? -ro
On 12/19/06, Sandy Andina  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

21) From: Sandy Andina
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Actually, my husband's grandfather--a frugal Swiss married to a  
Scotswoman!--tried that back in the 1950s when his was the only house  
on his block in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.  The NYC  
Corporation Counsel quickly set him straight, though.
On Dec 19, 2006, at 6:26 PM, raymanowen wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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Actually, my husband's =
grandfather--a frugal Swiss married to a Scotswoman!--tried that back in =
the 1950s when his was the only house on his block in the Riverdale =
section of the Bronx.  The NYC Corporation Counsel quickly set him =
straight, though.
On Dec 19, 2006, at 6:26 PM, raymanowen =
wrote:
Where's Joe Valachi when you need him? = -ro On 12/19/06, Sandy Andina <sandraandina> = wrote: I did not know that France, Italy and Germany have = "trademarked" their regional place names--have they really done so, or = have they merely passed appellation-control measures for commodities = labeled as coming from there? Not the same thing. Please (and I mean it) = correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect it's the latter. Ethiopia has a = perfect right to do the latter, and no private entity should be able to = block that; but to copyright the name of a geographic region with no = qualifiers such as an estate name seems a legal absurdity.  Can New = York State copyright the name "Hudson Valley?" Can Illinois copyright = "Chicago" or "Lake Michigan?"  Ethiopia has a perfect right to = legislate that only coffee grown in Sidamo be labeled as such, and to = prevent Starbucks from selling non-Sidamo coffee as "Sidamo;" but IMHO = Starbucks is correct in contending that the region's name is generic, = incapable of ownership and therefore of being copyrighted.  I = recognize that Ethiopia consistently gets the short end of the world = economic stick, but to demand a fee for a vendor to use a regional name = for goods produced there is extortion--which is immoral regardless of = how badly the extorter needs the money and how easily the extortee can = afford to pay it.  It is no more lawful than my placing a tollgate on = the sidewalk on either side of my house and charging people to walk past = it on the sidewalk. = Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-295--710721746--

22) From: raymanowen
OMG!

23) From: John Blumel
On Dec 19, 2006, at 6:10 pm, Sandy Andina wrote:
<Snip>
Well, actually, I'm not sure if they have trademarked them or if they  
are recognized through some other international agreement. However, I  
will point out that this whole brouhaha started when Starbucks did  
attempt to appropriate these place names through trademarking. And,  
the names are not at all generic when applied to coffee. Of course,  
one could argue that Starbucks' name is generic since it was  
essentially stolen from Melville, but they'd argue to the death  
against that claim. I say, put the stick in their eye. They're a  
rogue company. They deserve it.

24) From: John Blumel
On Dec 19, 2006, at 5:16 pm, Brett Mason wrote:
<Snip>
Now, Brett, I don't recommend the stick in the eye for selling bad  
coffee, or making a lot of money. There aren't enough sticks to go  
around for that. But, if those companies behave like Starbucks, they  
should get the stick too.
John Blumel

25) From: Sandy Andina
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NOBODY--Starbucks, Ethiopia, whomever--should be able to copyright a  
place name without a proprietary qualifier such as an estate or  
roaster's name or other descriptor.  And while we all disdain  
Starbucks (well, at least disapprove of many of their practices) and  
agree they should not be above the law, they are no more culpable  
than is any other major corporation doing business globally.  Were  
Ethiopians any better off before Starbucks and other specialty  
retailers started purchasing their beans? I suspect they were far  
WORSE off. It is fashionable to diss Starbucks for raking in billions  
from the sale of products made from raw materials they purchase at a  
relatively low cost from those in poorer nations, but it is  
fallacious to insist a corporation pay higher prices just because it  
can--or pay prices that would negatively impact its ability to pay  
its own employees decently. The world does not operate in absolutes,  
and corporations do not exist in a vacuum:  between the source of  
materials and the final product lies a chain of middlemen,  
shareholders and employees (and even if the middleman is eliminated  
and we concede that most stockholders are greedy rich scum, there are  
still the employees who must be compensated fairly--which Starbucks  
does outstandingly, compared to most other American corporations).   
Are we willing to tell an airport or toll-plaza barista who may be  
supporting a family that she must take a pay or benefits cut, or even  
lose her job so that the coffee farmers can be better compensated?
OMG, I sound like a grownup.
On Dec 19, 2006, at 7:46 PM, John Blumel wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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NOBODY--Starbucks, Ethiopia, =
whomever--should be able to copyright a place name without a proprietary =
qualifier such as an estate or roaster's name or other descriptor.  =
And while we all disdain Starbucks (well, at least disapprove of many of =
their practices) and agree they should not be above the law, they are no =
more culpable than is any other major corporation doing business =
globally.  Were Ethiopians any better off before Starbucks and other =
specialty retailers started purchasing their beans? I suspect they were =
far WORSE off. It is fashionable to diss Starbucks for raking in =
billions from the sale of products made from raw materials they purchase =
at a relatively low cost from those in poorer nations, but it is =
fallacious to insist a corporation pay higher prices just because it =
can--or pay prices that would negatively impact its ability to pay its =
own employees decently. The world does not operate in absolutes, and =
corporations do not exist in a vacuum:  between the source of =
materials and the final product lies a chain of middlemen, shareholders =
and employees (and even if the middleman is eliminated and we concede =
that most stockholders are greedy rich scum, there are still the =
employees who must be compensated fairly--which Starbucks does =
outstandingly, compared to most other American corporations).  Are we =
willing to tell an airport or toll-plaza barista who may be supporting a =
family that she must take a pay or benefits cut, or even lose her job so =
that the coffee farmers can be better compensated? 
OMG, I sound like a = grownup. On Dec 19, 2006, at 7:46 PM, John Blumel = wrote:
On Dec 19, 2006, at 5:16 pm, = Brett Mason wrote:I agree with = the disdain over Starbucks' behavior... I also wonder = about Folgers, Maxwell House, Hills Bros., and the othermuch larger corporations... Now, = Brett, I don't recommend the stick in the eye for selling bad coffee, or = making a lot of money. There aren't enough sticks to go around for that. = But, if those companies behave like Starbucks, they should get the stick = too. John = Blumel homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-296--704445472--

26) From: John Blumel
On Dec 19, 2006, at 9:21 pm, Sandy Andina wrote:
<Snip>
Well, I don't see this leading to any of those things. Starbucks  
created their own PR debacle on this issue, so I have no sympathy for  
them.
John Blumel

27) From: Sheila Quinn
YES -  you said it! Starbucks, while we may not like their coffee, is 
very good to their employees as compared to many large companies. They 
are consistently ranked at the top among places to work. For this, they 
should be applauded. Obviously, we don't agree with the way they roast 
their beans - or they way they do some of their other business. But at 
least they are one of the few corporations that treats their employees well!
My husband works for a large corporation (which shall remain nameless) 
and I'm sorry to say that they don't treat their employees nearly as 
well. It's a shame.
Sheila
Sandy Andina wrote:
<Snip>

28) From: Brett Mason
I may disagree with you Sheila.  Starbucks MURDERS their beans, and
ought to be held accountable.   Such action, torture by fire, ought to
be banned, and the perpetrators held accountable.
And I am planning on patenting the name Chicago as well...
Brett
On 12/19/06, Sheila Quinn  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

29) From: Sheila Quinn
I never said they didn't do that - I agree that they ruin the beans. I 
just said they treat their employees well.
Sheila
Brett Mason wrote:
<Snip>

30) From: Brett Mason
OK, well then for their employees, I agree.  Those bean murdering,
name stealing, low-paying people do treat their employees well...
On 12/19/06, Sheila Quinn  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

31) From: Sheila Quinn
LOL!! ;)
Brett Mason wrote:
<Snip>

32) From: George Birchard
The coffee itself is a very small part of the overall cost of a *$ cup.  
A moderate increase in wages to field workers would have a tiny effect 
on *$ costs.
John Blumel wrote:
<Snip>

33) From: Sandy Andina
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Starbucks does not employ the field workers--the growers do. If  
Starbucks were to increase the prices it pays the growers, there is  
still NO way to compel the growers to pass the revenue along to the  
workers. For that reason Starbucks--and other vendors--have been  
channeling funds into programs like CoffeeKids and other hunger and  
Third World aid charities. Perhaps Oxfam might well have been one of  
their beneficiaries had they chosen not to pick this fight.
I am no fan of Charbucks, nor of globalization in general.  But the  
anti-globalist frenzy against them borders on the obsessive.  And  
socialism doesn't work.
On Dec 19, 2006, at 9:31 PM, George Birchard wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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Starbucks does not employ the =
field workers--the growers do. If Starbucks were to increase the prices =
it pays the growers, there is still NO way to compel the growers to pass =
the revenue along to the workers. For that reason Starbucks--and other =
vendors--have been channeling funds into programs like CoffeeKids and =
other hunger and Third World aid charities. Perhaps Oxfam might well =
have been one of their beneficiaries had they chosen not to pick this =
fight.
I am no fan = of Charbucks, nor of globalization in general.  But the anti-globalist = frenzy against them borders on the obsessive.  And socialism doesn't = work. On Dec 19, 2006, at 9:31 PM, George Birchard = wrote:
The coffee itself is a very = small part of the overall cost of a *$ cup.  A moderate increase in wages = to field workers would have a tiny effect on *$ costs.John Blumel wrote: On Dec 19, 2006, at 9:21 pm, Sandy Andina = wrote: = Are we willing to tell an = airport or toll-plaza barista who may be  supporting a family that she = must take a pay or benefits cut, or = even lose her job so that the coffee farmers can be better  compensated? = Well, I = don't see this leading to any of those things. Starbucks  created their own PR debacle = on this issue, so I have no sympathy for  them. John = Blumel homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-300--698543853--

34) From: Brett Mason
Sandy's just saying this because I patented the name "Chicago"....
On 12/19/06, Sandy Andina  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

35) From: Leo Zick
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
"And socialism doesn't work."
 
in what sense? unified healthcare seems to be putting canada ahead of us.  
From: Sandy Andina [mailto:sandraandina] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 11:00 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Day of Action Oxfam vs Starbucks--results
Starbucks does not employ the field workers--the growers do. If Starbucks
were to increase the prices it pays the growers, there is still NO way to
compel the growers to pass the revenue along to the workers. For that reason
Starbucks--and other vendors--have been channeling funds into programs like
CoffeeKids and other hunger and Third World aid charities. Perhaps Oxfam
might well have been one of their beneficiaries had they chosen not to pick
this fight. 
I am no fan of Charbucks, nor of globalization in general. But the
anti-globalist frenzy against them borders on the obsessive. And socialism
doesn't work.
On Dec 19, 2006, at 9:31 PM, George Birchard wrote:
The coffee itself is a very small part of the overall cost of a *$ cup. A
moderate increase in wages to field workers would have a tiny effect on *$
costs.
John Blumel wrote:
On Dec 19, 2006, at 9:21 pm, Sandy Andina wrote:
Are we willing to tell an airport or toll-plaza barista who may be
supporting a family that she must take a pay or benefits cut, or even lose
her job so that the coffee farmers can be better compensated?
Well, I don't see this leading to any of those things. Starbucks created
their own PR debacle on this issue, so I have no sympathy for them.
John BlumelSandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com

36) From: Sandy Andina
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On Dec 20, 2006, at 7:31 AM, Leo Zick wrote:
<Snip>
When it works, Canada's healthcare system is very good. But I have  
Canadian friends, and according to them there is the dirty little  
secret that utilization and coverage are very tightly regulated--you  
may not be approved for the services you want and the waiting period  
if the services are covered can be quite long.  And universal  
healthcare (misnamed "socialized medicine") is NOT classical  
"socialism," which mandates contribution according to ability to pay  
and grants services on the basis of need, both standards being solely  
at the discretion of the government; and touches all economic walks  
of life, not just health care--it makes all services the province of  
the government and not private industry.  If you want better health  
care than Canada can provide, you are always free to cross the border  
and go out of pocket (and in the UK, you can go outside the system at  
your own cost domestically as well).  A purely socialist system would  
decide whether you earn too much to qualify at all (and if so,  
mandate that you pay for the care of those who do qualify), and if  
you do qualify would give you no alternative to care you might find  
inadequate.
There is a quiet, not-so-dirty little secret Stateside.  Years ago,  
the Veterans' Admin. Healthcare system was universally regarded with  
contempt--a massive and inefficient bureaucracy staffed mostly by  
green-as-grass civilian medical interns and residents. Over the past  
decade or so, it has morphed into a model of modern efficiency,  
mostly via computer technology that has made its recordkeeping the  
envy of most civilian health systems, become the gold standard for  
inpatient pharmacological management, and even been in the vanguard  
in providing experimental treatment protocols that private insurers  
won't touch. Of course, it comes at a price:  standards for  
eligibility have been drastically tightened (not all veterans can  
qualify).   But it used to be held up as a warning, an object lesson  
of what would go wrong if the U.S. adopted universal health care; now  
even Canada is paying attention.
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
--Apple-Mail-308--641833276
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On Dec 20, 2006, =
at 7:31 AM, Leo Zick wrote:
"And socialism doesn't = work."   in what sense? unified healthcare seems to = be putting canada ahead of us.
When it works, Canada's = healthcare system is very good. But I have Canadian friends, and = according to them there is the dirty little secret that utilization and = coverage are very tightly regulated--you may not be approved for the = services you want and the waiting period if the services are covered can = be quite long.  And universal healthcare (misnamed "socialized = medicine") is NOT classical "socialism," which mandates contribution = according to ability to pay and grants services on the basis of need, = both standards being solely at the discretion of the government; and = touches all economic walks of life, not just health care--it makes all = services the province of the government and not private industry.  If = you want better health care than Canada can provide, you are always free = to cross the border and go out of pocket (and in the UK, you can go = outside the system at your own cost domestically as well).  A purely = socialist system would decide whether you earn too much to qualify at = all (and if so, mandate that you pay for the care of those who do = qualify), and if you do qualify would give you no alternative to care = you might find inadequate.
There is a quiet, not-so-dirty = little secret Stateside.  Years ago, the Veterans' Admin. Healthcare = system was universally regarded with contempt--a massive and inefficient = bureaucracy staffed mostly by green-as-grass civilian medical interns = and residents. Over the past decade or so, it has morphed into a model = of modern efficiency, mostly via computer technology that has made its = recordkeeping the envy of most civilian health systems, become the gold = standard for inpatient pharmacological management, and even been in the = vanguard in providing experimental treatment protocols that private = insurers won't touch. Of course, it comes at a price:  standards for = eligibility have been drastically tightened (not all veterans can = qualify).   But it used to be held up as a warning, an object lesson = of what would go wrong if the U.S. adopted universal health care; now = even Canada is paying attention.
Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-308--641833276--

37) From: Leo Zick
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
i dont think its (the va system) all that great.  the budget for va is ~23bn
this year.  sounds like a small amount to cover the expenses of "all" our
vets.  this is even more complicated with the war, and influx of troops
needing care. military spending has increased, but i dont think the va
budget is commesurate.
 
re: the gold standard, ive heard quote the opposite, VA, for the most part,
has been a laughing stock (as you mentioned) and there have been numerous
talks of closing it down b/c its so inefficient. while the budget is low,
administration has requested that it be doubled. i dont know whats worse, a
budget not big enough to cover its needs, or a request of 25bn dollars. 
 
personally, while its a good model for a socialized healthcare system, i
think it shows the flaws our govt has in managing this sort of effort.
needless to say, the social security fund is another good example.
 
there are flaws in any system managed on a large scale, canada included.
but, at least you are gauranteed some minimal amount of healthcare, with the
option of 'buying into' more if you feel its necessary..
 
if you want efficient modelling, computerized technology, and gold
standards, go to ucla and pay for it. by far the most impressive network ive
seen.  
From: Sandy Andina [mailto:sandraandina] 
Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2006 2:45 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Day of Action Oxfam vs Starbucks--results
On Dec 20, 2006, at 7:31 AM, Leo Zick wrote:
"And socialism doesn't work."
in what sense? unified healthcare seems to be putting canada ahead of us.
When it works, Canada's healthcare system is very good. But I have Canadian
friends, and according to them there is the dirty little secret that
utilization and coverage are very tightly regulated--you may not be approved
for the services you want and the waiting period if the services are covered
can be quite long. And universal healthcare (misnamed "socialized medicine")
is NOT classical "socialism," which mandates contribution according to
ability to pay and grants services on the basis of need, both standards
being solely at the discretion of the government; and touches all economic
walks of life, not just health care--it makes all services the province of
the government and not private industry. If you want better health care than
Canada can provide, you are always free to cross the border and go out of
pocket (and in the UK, you can go outside the system at your own cost
domestically as well). A purely socialist system would decide whether you
earn too much to qualify at all (and if so, mandate that you pay for the
care of those who do qualify), and if you do qualify would give you no
alternative to care you might find inadequate.
There is a quiet, not-so-dirty little secret Stateside. Years ago, the
Veterans' Admin. Healthcare system was universally regarded with contempt--a
massive and inefficient bureaucracy staffed mostly by green-as-grass
civilian medical interns and residents. Over the past decade or so, it has
morphed into a model of modern efficiency, mostly via computer technology
that has made its recordkeeping the envy of most civilian health systems,
become the gold standard for inpatient pharmacological management, and even
been in the vanguard in providing experimental treatment protocols that
private insurers won't touch. Of course, it comes at a price: standards for
eligibility have been drastically tightened (not all veterans can qualify).
But it used to be held up as a warning, an object lesson of what would go
wrong if the U.S. adopted universal health care; now even Canada is paying
attention.
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com

38) From: Vicki Smith
I moved to Canada about 6.5 years ago, and have first hand experience 
with both systems. It's a trade-off with both systems having strengths 
and weaknesses.
Most of the problems in Canada can be traced back to a period about 15 
years ago when funding for medical education (doctors, nurses, 
technicians) and facility/equipment expansion got drastically cut. Now 
many of the people in the system are retiring, and there aren't enough 
trained people to take their place. In some communities they actually 
have lotteries for people who need a general practitioner.
I waited six months to get in to see one of my community's three 
gynaecologists. I waited four months for a non-emergency MRI (routine MS 
thing). People have waited on lists for over 18 months for things like 
hip replacement surgery. Waiting lists for big procedures like hip 
replacement are rapidly being pared down now that once again, it is a 
government priority to do so.
In my community, there are very good walk in clinics all over the place. 
If you go to the same one all of the time, you can have the same doctor 
each time. No one doesn't get routine care because they are poor or have 
no insurance. Emergency care is just as good as it is in the US, and we 
have some of the best facilities in North America--facilities where very 
bit of the care is free to all Canadian residents.
The big log jam is in the middle, between routine care (think flu shots, 
  routine check-ups, monitoring of chronic illnesses) and out right 
emergencies. By the time you wait in line for high tech diagnostic 
procedures, you can be pretty darn sick.
It beats the heck out of the care I got in the US when I didn't have 
health insurance, but had too much money for government sponsored 
programmes. It falls short of the care I got when I had great insurance 
coverage, and money for deductibles and co-pays.
vicki
Sandy Andina wrote:
<Snip>


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