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Green Tariffs On The Banks Peninsula?

"Green Party opposition to free trade and open investment between New Zealand and other countries raises the question: If protectionism is such a good thing, why not apply it within New Zealand?" asked Libertarianz Leader and Tauranga Candidate Russell Watkins today.

"Clearly Rod Donald has a huge problem with Aucklanders buying goods made in Indonesia at market prices. If his argument is correct, then surely Aucklanders must fear the insidious trade in goods made in the South Island as well?" says Watkins. "Or should we just apply it to ideas coming from Rod Donald's home in the Banks Peninsula?"

"Applying Green Party logic, the lower land prices in the South Island must mean that North Island manufacturers face "unfair competition" and South Island investors are hardly likely to care about communities in the North Island, so the Greens must logically advocate tariffs and customs barriers between the islands," Watkins surmised, saying there can be no other logical conclusion.

"In fact, following Mr Donald's arguments, there is no reason why Aucklanders should subject their own industries to the "unfair trade" from Northland and the Waikato, or "non-Auckland capital" which is bound to just simply want to make a "quick buck" from Aucklanders."

"If this all follows, then you have to be concerned that Aucklanders on the North Shore face unfair competition from producers in Manukau City, and those in Devonport face being undercut by those in Takapuna, so there must be restrictions on trade at the suburban level."

At this point Watkins concedes that the argument just gets silly, but says if it's silly for Takapuna and Devenport it becomes even sillier if we take Mr Donald literally: "Ultimately the Greens would argue it is unfair that anyone can produce anything outside your own house cheaper than you can, because they don't face the costs you face, and therefore we should all be 100% self -sufficient and live in subsistence agriculture. There goes the division of labour. There goes the industrial revolution. And there goes any claim to sensibility the Greens might once be thought to have."

Watkins asks in conclusion: "Do the Greens think domestic trade barriers are a good idea? and if not, why are international geographical boundaries sacrosanct? You can vote Greens and live in caves, or you can believe that people should be free to exchange goods and services where, and with whom they see fit. Governments exist only to protect property rights and ensure contracts are enforced" he concluded.

It's enough to make you vote Libertarianz!


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