09 October 2015

TPPA and Politics

"Welcome news for dairy farmers – deal falls over" was the absurd headline used by a newspaper reporting on the failure to reach agreement on the TPP talks in Hawaii. This is really rather revealing of the weird mind-set of some of our anti-trade activists.

Even if the deal had collapsed (they did not need to worry; people like Minister Tim Grosser just love the theatre of dramatically rescuing their 'deals' at the last moment and so it has come to pass), it is hard to see how the collapse of a global agreement, maybe not so great for dairy interests, could somehow become "welcome news" for dairy farmers. Unless one's main motivation is raw envy.

The absurdities of TPPA opponents don't end there. The Greens are in a fury about the deal not being optimal for our dairy sector. That would be the same sector that they rant against, calling it "dirty dairying" and going so far as to demand a reduction of the national herd. That's right, the Greens want to cull cows to reduce CO2 emissions, but complain that the TPPA is not good enough for our growth in dairy exports. Hypocrites.

They are not the only ones. The Labour Party's 'creative types' from Grey Lynn are in a froth about the intellectual property rights of authors receiving increased protections. Perhaps they prefer the Kim Dotcom business model of ripping off artists to enrich pirates. Or, they just support anything, anything at all, as long as it is opposed to the current government. Numpties.

The last category are ideologues, like Law Professor Jane Kelsey, who seems to have all the time in the world to build a career as an anti-trade activist. These people deny the evidence that international trade has, in only a few decades, lifted hundreds of millions of people from abject poverty. They prefer the self-sufficient North Korean route, where peasants continue to look cute in their rice paddies, eat tree bark produced locally and remain unpolluted by things like an education, decent housing and enjoyment of things made by evil multinational corporations based in (spit!) the United States.

Marxists and fascists who are opposed to 'free trade' never quite manage to articulate an argument against trade per se. What they really dislike is freedom, full stop.