Monday, 22 April 2013

NZpower and the flight of capital

i've just posted at the hand mirror about some terrible advertising by masterchef australia.

there are a lot of other topics i'd like to write about tonight, but i'm going to have to get some rest.  just quickly, regarding the mighty river power share sales & the NZpower policy announced by the labour & green parties in response: it's hardly surprising to see threats from JB Were today that there would be significantly less investment in the local share market by them.

it's one of the constants in the struggle for social justice that any measures which seek to reduce income inequality are met by the "flight of capital" threat.  ie if a society doesn't quietly consent to the elite increasing their wealth even further at the expense of the poorest or even the average person, then that elite immediately threaten to destroy the economy by taking their wealth elsewhere.

it's really time for countries to stand up to that threat.  it would be even better if many countries across the world could do that as a collective action, but the neoliberal ideology permeates across nations as much as it does within them, so that collective action for the good of the majority is somehow seen as an evil thing.

but i have no doubt that nz could withstand this particular threat - after malaysia managed to do it, and some south american countries have also survived pretty well.  no, there's a threat bigger than the "flight of capital" one, and it's our free trade agreements.  particularly the trans-pacific partnership deal, but possibly others as well, which might hamper our ability to regulate our own economy for the benefit of our people.  the free-trade agreements tend to undermine our ability to do that, and favour corporate interests to detriment of the people's right to self-determination and the ability to run their economies as they choose.

i really hope that our government doesn't sign us up to something so restrictive, merely as a vengeful act in retaliation to this policy announcement by labour & the greens.  if they do so, it will harm our country for generations.

this is also a good read on the subject, as is this and this.

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