Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Racism the T-shirt

I was in K-mart last week looking for Sydney Swans Away socks, I figured what better way to showcase my delicious calves than in the candy cane white and red stripes of my surrogate finals team in the Carlton dismal years.
I ended up settling on St Kilda socks which I must admit caress my legs in a surprisingly delightful manner.
But those two points are irrelevent except that on the day I bought these socks Carlton got slaughtered by the Saints by 92 points.
The point which is not the point but in fact my introduction is that there was a shirt for girls that said 'my eyes are up here' on it and had an arrow pointing from the chest to the neckhole. I thought I should buy that shirt. I did think that but now I don't know why because I can't recall what the point of this observation was as an introduction. But I'm going to buy that shirt and fuck the consequences.
Anyway, people complain about rising petrol prices. My work is obsessed with Chinese copy product. Everyone is nervouse about the Chinese communist parties recent decision to allow the most populous nation in the world to participate in the economy.
Everyone feels uneasy as resource industries experience record sales ripping minerals out of the earth and other billion dollar corporations cry poor as their manufacturing costs are suddenly well above the global benchmark.
But seriously this mentallity is fucked up. I've been studying international trade for a semester now and all methods of intervention and prevention cost society a deadweight loss even in the best of circumstances.
And all methods of intervention and protectionism are infact racism. When motorists are outraged at the price of oil they are being racist. When mum & dad investors buy Telstra shares for fear of some multinational taking over we are being racist.
Because it's all based on the assumption that we are somehow more entitled to the worlds common resources simply because we are used to consuming them.
When I see Tasmanian loggers coming out in force to bitch about their livelihood being lost I never see them coming out in force to protest the lost livelihood of offshore manufacturers who aren't employed because of Tariffs or Subsidies.
Nobody gets indignant about who misses out unless its us that misses out. Possibly the source of all inequity in the world is the fact that occasionally people forget to even stick up for themselves.
But seriously. Why should we drive an SS Sports Utility with its inefficient fuel consumption and burn petrol that could have been split between 5 families worth of mopeds in thailand or indonesia? Sure we'll put our loose change into buckets and bins for ambiguous tsunami charities. We'll give two bucks to anyone foreign looking with a jar at times like those.
There's really no justification, no justification at all apart from racism to 'buy Australian' if you take a truly global perspective. Australian products don't sell to well against imports because they are expensive. They are expensive because due to inefficient processes we consume more resources producing them than another nation with a comparitive advantage in one of the factors of production.
Any resource wasted in production is a cost to society, generally because wasted inputs cost money (unless sold as by-product) and this cost needs to be recovered by the producing firm so is passed on to the consumer.
A consumer won't pay this cost if they can consume a more efficiently produced competitor product that fulfills the same need. So in free trade you purchase it off the countries that produce it more efficiently.
If you tax these imports consumers can not only consume less of the good than they want to they are forced to buy normally uncompetitive products. eg. You have a one legged representitive running for Australia in the melbourne commonwealth games so you bring the competition to their level by making all the other athletes tie their ankles together.
It's less enjoyable and we're needless throwing away POTENTIAL for the sake of national pride.
Nobody would say it was right for an Executive to employ his son over better candidates. Why do we make an exception when it comes to whole industries where surely it is more morally reprehensible.
For the record the Australian Made brand doesn't mean much to consumers, Australians aren't big on nationalistic buying opting for quality. Japanese consumers are yet they have started to take the right steps in their stagnant economy (Japan is my Jesus isn't it the moral always seems to come back to it) Sony corp has employed a british dude as it's global CEO a powerhouse like Sony has broken through one of the most jingoistically Xenophobic nations in the world.
Nobody thinks much of Australia, at least not as much as Australian media portrays maybe we could surprise them and open up. How can you invade and conquer a country with no defense?

No comments: