Over the weekend I pointed out that National’s plans to review the Overseas Investment Act would lead to even more foreign control of New Zealand and, ultimately, even more of our national wealth sucked offshore to pay the dividends of overseas shareholders.
Murray Horton from the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa weighs in today, comparing National’s reliance on foreign investment – or more accurately, takeovers – to a desperate cargo cult mentality.
One glaringly obvious fact about the National/Act government is that it has only a passing acquaintance with reality. It seems to have escaped its notice that the global capitalist economy is undergoing a major crisis and that retrenchment and sheer survival are currently higher priorities for many of the very transnational corporations whose dominance of that economy has got us into the mess we’re in. Investing in NZ, regardless of how much easier it is made, is probably not on top of their To Do list at present. The global economic crisis is the reason that foreign investment in NZ nearly halved in 2008 (as compared to 07), not because of ‘red tape’ in the approval (read ‘rubberstamping’) process.
The Government’s actions in this area (as in so many others) are further evidence of its desperate cargo cult mentality. The original cargo cultists in the Pacific were so impressed with the ‘cargo’ that came from the sky during WW2 that after the Americans had long gone, they built ‘airstrips’ in the bush and patiently waited for the ‘cargo’ to come back and solve all their problems. That’s what the Government is doing with this proposed law liberalisation building the airstrip and waiting for the cargo to come back out of the sky and solve all our problems.
It shows no recognition of the fact that dependence on open slather foreign ‘investment’ (‘takeover’ being the correct word), free trade agreements and globalisation, by both National and Labour governments, has done nothing except turn NZ into a branch office economy, a country which has been recolonised by transnationals. Globally, the dominance of that voodoo economics has landed the world into the deep hole from which it is currently trying to escape. Countries such as the US are facing this painful reality, however reluctantly, and are re-evaluating previous policies (which is why it has indefinitely postponed negotiations with NZ on the proposed Free Trade Agreement another example of the cargo cult mentality). Not NZ though it thinks that even more of the same, only ‘better’, is the answer. Very similar to a drug addict who suffers withdrawal symptoms and insists that the best solution is to give him more drugs so that he can do it all over again.
The full piece is here. Worth a read.