Site change, blog change

So not only did I change sites in my move from Ayacucho to Lima, but I also decided to change my blog up a bit.

The original title of this blog was Kyle Ayacuchupi, which reflected my time in Ayacucho. I’m no longer there, so I have decided to change the blog title. I thought on this one a lot and may be working through a few titles, but I finally decided on: Fair Trade, Free Trade: A YAV Year.

It’s not as catchy as the first, but it captures my YAV year very well. Plus, I’m fascinated by this juxtaposition. Other than the alliterative nature of the descriptors, I am caught up in the contrast they provide. In practice, free trade is often far from equitable, while fair trade adds regulation and restrictions to flow of trade. Yet on paper there’s really no reason these couldn’t be the same thing.

The issue is that economic theory does not have much to say about what is fair or unfair. The study of economics is positive, the concept of equity and fairness is normative. That is to say, economics aims (not always successfully) to say how it is, while equity and fairness come out of an opinion. We need both for various reasons and it frustrates me to see them cast as mutual exclusive.

So I’m going to spend a lot of time working through these themes and questions. For example, does fair trade make-up for the unfair allocations that cause unfair outcomes of free trade? Can the two coexist? How much does fair trade inhibit standard market mechanisms of classic economics? Can fair trade principles move beyond markets for non-essential purchases to operate in all commodity markets? And many more as they arise.

Given the emphasis in these subjects, this seems a perfectly appropriate blog title. I may attempt to spice it up with time, while maintaining the core theme though. We’ll see.

Otherwise, I’m hoping to maintain a similar blog. I took a brief hiatus in the last week or so following my departure from Ayacucho. The decision to leave was a complex one and required some notable self-reflection. I needed some time to rethink my blog. I needed time to rethink my place in Peru. I needed time to remind myself of my call here. I had that and I came to a realization.

Overall, this move was for the best and offers some amazing new opportunities for a fresh start in Peru. The title change, though symbolic, reflects that opportunity. Perhaps, I’m overemphasizing or making mountains out of molehills, but it’s my blog and my story, so I’m telling it how I want.

Now I’m ready to start sharing my thoughts, from the pedantic to the slightly profound, again.

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