Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Eco-Economy: Looking back - with sadness



Looking back - with sadness

By Bob Anderson

It is well said, those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat the same mistakes.

Over forty years ago Nordmeyer seriously warned New Zealand to stay well away from the World Bank and the Internal Monetary Fund (IMF). One of our top economists, Wilf Rosenburg, said much the same. At the time these ominous warnings were given out we had 98% employment in our country and a "staggering" three hundred thousand dollar debt.

All over the world an apocalyptic vision of the world's future, formed by the destructive policies of the "New World Order," are causing grave fears in many nations. New Zealand is no exception. The global market will empower unaccountable corporate chiefs and dis-empower governments. The democratic values of her people will be warped by the economic imperatives of these giants encouraged and supported by the IMF. A pessimistic fear? I don't think so. Their chequered history of corruption and greed gives rise to a chilling realisation of what is to come. As Vandana Shiva, fighting for the poor farmers in the third world countries, said recently in an interview:

"No matter where you look, the IMF and World Bank is basically taking away the resources of the people, putting it in the hands of global capital, destroying the livelihoods of people in the name of efficiency and forcing destitution on millions of people. Its policies are nothing short of genocide."

In our own case, factories - unable to compete in the international market’ - close down at an alarming rate and ship out to use cheaper labour abroad. The Bendon factory, Clarks shoes, the South Island wool and paper mills - the list grows longer by the month. Matching this list, of course, is the dole queue, also growing correspondingly ever longer.

But we are constantly told by the WTO pundits that international boundaries and world trade make good sense. Good sense for whom? The 200 biggest companies in the world employ less than one-third of one percent of the global work force, but they control more than one quarter of the world's wealth .

As the corporations grow ever bigger and more powerful the planks of democracy begin to bend under the load of strict rules banning trade barriers - even when they protect the environment - and allowing even life itself to be patented. The TRIPS and other agreements, often put together in secret, ensure easy access for the transnational corporations to break down barriers and influence dramatically the democratic process of governments.

No wonder people are feeling helpless.

When travelling abroad I was always fascinated by the extraordinary diversity of people, goods, and their differing ways of life. No matter which country my aircraft touches down in today, I see folk wearing Nike shoes, drinking Coca-Cola and watching Days of Our Lives. Shops filled to overflowing with banal plastic rubbish and other "bargain" western consumer goods.

A rose red city half as old as time’is, of course, still there, but what of her people? The special smells and excitement of unknown places are marred by the flood of goods grown solely out of the need for corporate expansion. Having saturated their own markets, there is no alternative, but to conquer international ones in order to maintain shareholders’profit and growth margins. With the added bonus of a cheap labour force, they can't go wrong.

You do not require a first class honours in economy to predict the result.
It is clearly a no-win situation. Our unemployment list grows longer, our National debt increases, money is withdrawn from schools, hospitals and social services, and the overall state of the country follows the path of the third world.

As Sir Winston Churchill said, "charity begins at home." A government which is happy to let profits of its industries flow in and out of the country like the tide, will rapidly be left with only the mud flats of destitution for its people.

Robert Anderson Member Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Reese Erlich: Foreign Correspondent: Trump Plays Both Sides Against The Middle

Is he a hawk? Is he a peacenik? The President keeps us guessing . By Reese Erlich President Donald Trump has convinced Republican isolationists and hawks that he supports their views. That’s a neat trick, since the two groups hold opposing positions. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Waiting For The Old Bailey: Julian Assange And Britain’s Judicial Establishment

On September 7, Julian Assange will be facing another round of gruelling extradition proceedings, in the Old Bailey, part of a process that has become a form of gradual state-sanctioned torture. The US Department of Justice hungers for their man. The More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Sorry Plight Of The International Education Sector

Tourism and international education have been two of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. They’re both key export industries. Yet the government response to them has been strikingly different. There has been nothing beyond a few words of ministerial condolence and a $51.6 million package (details below) to get the sector through the pandemic...

Binoy Kampmark: Google’s Open Letter: Fighting Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code

Tech giants tend to cast thin veils over threats regarding government regulations. They are also particularly concerned by those more public spirited ones, the sort supposedly made for the broader interest. Google has given us an example of this ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Current Chances Of Re-Election

By now it seems clear that National have no fresh ideas to offer for how New Zealand could avoid the Covid-19 economic crisis. As in the past, National has set an arbitrary 30% ratio of government debt to GDP that it aims to achieve “in a decade or so,” ... More>>

The Conversation: Rogue Poll Or Not, All The Signs Point To A Tectonic Shift In New Zealand Politics

Richard Shaw AAP(various)/NZ Greens (CC-BY-SA)/The Conversation Strong team. More jobs. Better economy. So say the National Party’s campaign hoardings. Only thing is, last Sunday’s Newshub-Reid Research poll – which had support for the Labour ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>