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Petty politicking and the Xinyao tragedy

Written By: - Date published: 5:21 pm, December 10th, 2007 - 81 comments
Categories: national, workers' rights - Tags: ,

miners8.jpgReuters reports that the death toll from China’s Xinyao mine tragedy has now surpassed the 100 mark after 50 rescue workers were sent in without training and never resurfaced.

According to Chinese media the cause of the tragedy was the mine management’s failure to install a gas detection system and its storage of explosives in an underground storeroom. The rescue workers were sent in without any training and probably made matters worse:

“We never received any rescue training,” the newspaper quoted miner Mao Caoliang as saying. “We did not know what to do or what not to do when inside the mine. No one told us what to do when faced with an emergency. We carried oxygen masks with us but did not know how to use them. Many suffocated.”

This kind of tragedy is common in China, where the mining industry’s appalling health and safety record causes the deaths of more than 5000 miners a year.

These deaths are completely avoidable and show the real need for New Zealand to use its expertise in mine safety to help improve standards for Chinese workers and prevent the needless death and suffering we are seeing at Xinyao.

They also provide some perspective on National’s attempt just last month to score political points out of a Department of Labour funded initiative by the Council of Trade Unions designed to do exactly that.

Here was a decent, humanitarian gesture to the Chinese people that will help prevent similar tragedies and in time save hundreds if not thousands of lives, but National attacked it and threatened future funding because it suited their agenda to cast aspersions on the Government’s relationship with the unions and to stoke xenophobic outrage over New Zealand tax dollars going to the Chinese.

There are some things more important than petty politics, and in the light of Xinyao National’s cynical attack is all the more sickening.

81 comments on “Petty politicking and the Xinyao tragedy ”

  1. the sprout 1

    i wonder if National don’t value these lives because they’re Chinese, communist, or poor?

  2. Brilliant comic insight this afternoon, Tane. And whoever said women don’t have a sense of humour?

    “Petty politicking and the Xinyao tragedy”, and then Tane proceeds to make petty politics of a Chinese mining disaster, somehow tenuously putting the blame at the feet of the National Party.

  3. Gruela 3


    Just because you can’t understand a post, it doesn’t necessarily follow that no-one else can, either.

  4. Tane 4

    Prick, as you are well aware, the point of my post was to show that ideas have consequences. If National wants to play petty politics over people’s lives then they should expect to be held to account for it.

    It’s also interesting to see you reveal your sexism so openly. You know that I’m not a woman, but you’ve referred to me as a woman several times today on the assumption that I should somehow find this offensive. You’re not impressing anyone.

  5. Tane,

    While you’re at it, you might as well blame National for the holocaust, the crucifixion of Christ, the killing fields, and the loss of the World Cup.

    Especially the latter one. Helen Clark was at Cardiff. Why wasn’t John Key?

  6. Daveo 6

    It’s interesting to see IP couldn’t actually defend Kate Wilkinson’s behaviour on this one and chose to attack the poster instead. National is a disgrace and this whole affair just shows how little they care about labour standards.

  7. Quite the opposite, Daveo. The post was so objectionable–inferring that National is somehow to blame for a mining disaster in China–that it didn’t warrant a serious response.

    It isn’t the department of labour’s job to educate Chinese mining interests on labour standards. It might be a viable aid project. It says a lot about the department of labour, and the CTU, that it has to fund junkets for the CTU to go off-shore to find work to do.

    How many Mandarin-speaking labour educators work for the CTU?

  8. Santi 8

    “You know that I’m not a woman…”

    Tane, I could swear you were a Maori lass. Bugger!

  9. Daveo 9

    Quite the opposite, Daveo. The post was so objectionable&inferring that National is somehow to blame for a mining disaster in China&that it didn’t warrant a serious response.

    I’ve noticed a lot of people on this blog calling you a liar IP and I’m starting to see why. Nowhere in this post was National blamed for the mining disaster. The point of the post (in case you actually can’t read) was that National’s decision to attack a mine safety program and put future funding at risk was deeply cynical and in the light of this tragedy rather sickening. That you chose to misrepresent the argument to defend your party says a lot about the way you operate and explains why people don’t bother engaging with you.

    I also understand the CTU did not go offshore to run this program. If you look at the link provided you’ll see it links to a press release entitled “Chinese miners in NZ to learn about mine safety”, so that kind of blows that argument out of the water.

  10. Whilst trying to avoid a flame war with the usual suspects, I would like to ask why we are spending money helping a country that has an economy that has done more to put kiwi manufacturers out of business than any other. The CTU should be spending the department of labours money trying to help chinese workers get a reasonable rate of pay.
    Oh and these manufacturers that close or relocate offshore normally discard their kiwi workers!
    International trade is war without guns……. tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in NZ manufacturing in the last 20 years, many of them to China. A country that has an appalling record in human rights but labour seem to be bending over backwards to kiss their arse.

  11. Obviously you don’t understand, Barnsley Bill. The price of free trade with China, which the Labour Party has pursued aggressively, is not just opening up our markets to Chinese manufactured goods, but also New Zealand taxpayers have to subsidise the very clean, green Chinese coal-mining industry.

  12. Robinsod 12

    Bill – we’re doing it because we give a toss about human life.

    IP – the sad truth is that we have very little to lose from an FTA because successive govts with you ideological views have left us open to China’s exports If we get an FTA then at least we increase our primary exports and have a shot at enforcing patent law for the manufactured goods we design. Or are you gonna start arguing protectionism?

  13. ak 13

    “Or are you gonna start arguing protectionism?”

    Of course they are Rob – you know those tories, long history of opposing free trade – and the Foreshore and Seabed bill, mates of Winston and champions of the underclass – hell, they’re even spending millions defending the little man’s democracy from the rich.

    Top men. Natural partners for the Greens, Maori and Winnie. Ambitious. Classy, consistent and caring – and like IP, so full of that mad-cap joie de vivre.
    Simply irresistable.
    Got my vote.

  14. Kimble 14

    Trying to score political points off this tragedy, Tane? How callous.

    But to then complain about National doing the same is flat out hypocritical.

    Even if what you said is true, National would be scoring political points off the spending of the DoL. Whereas you are directly trying to score political points of the death of over 100 people.

    Thats some low Standards you are keeping. Real fucking low.

  15. Daveo 15

    IP I see you’re spreading your lies over at Kiwiblog now too. Shameless.

  16. Actually, Kimble, by Tane’s own peculiar argument, one could just as easily lay the mining disaster at the CTU’s fault.

    The government spends almost a hundred grand on a junket for the CTU to stop exactly this kind of disaster. It hasn’t worked. People are still dying down Chinese mines. Will the CTU give the money back and take responsibility for this calamity?

  17. Daveo 17

    IP I think you might actually be illiterate. I informed you earlier that the CTU did not go to China, a Chinese delegation came to New Zealand. I even provided you with a link for Christ’s sake. But you keep peddling lies about a junket. Why do you feel the need to constantly lie?

    And of course a $100,000 programme is not going to solve all of China’s mine safety problems, it’s a start that will help prevent this sort of thing in the future.

  18. Daveo,

    It’s a nice little junket for the CTU to go on at the taxpayers’ expense, which makes zero difference to the Chinese mining industry. When is the CTU going to refund the money for this sham? When is the CTU going to take responsibility for these dead miners? Does the CTU not care about them because they’re poor, communist, or Chinese?

  19. Michael.
    “Bill – we’re doing it because we give a toss about human life.”

    You bastard, wine fair shot out of both nostrils and barely missed lady Barnsley when I read that comment.
    You may well have scooped the 2007 sanctimonious dribble award with that comment.
    Does your “toss” extend to dashing for the phone when the sponsor a starving ad baby comes on the tv. How about spending Xmas day working at the city mission helping to feed the victims of 7 years of Labour, or maybe writing to the Chinese govt demanding an end to post partum abortions for women having unlicensed babies.

  20. Daveo 20

    Except that it’s not a ‘junket’ because the miners came to NZ and the CTU programme was conducted here. It was never intended to stop all 2000 mining accidents that happen in China every year, it was a start.

    But then you already know all that, you’re just deliberately lying because you can’t defend National’s position. How pathetic.

  21. Robinsod 21

    IP – you’re lying again. Chicks don’t like liars. That’s why you sleep alone.

    Bill – You have no idea what I do and don’t do. As for the “victims of seven years of Labour” – I have done a lot of beneficiary advocacy in my time and I can tell you there were a lot more “victims” under National. Oh and Bill, if you don’t start addressing me by my proper handle I’m going to out IP. It’s Bill’s choice now IP – good thing you righties work cooperatively, eh?

  22. James Kearney 22

    Just reading through this thread and I gotta say your lies are pathetic prick. No one here blamed National for the mining deaths. National was criticised for playing politics when people’s lives are at stake- and it was a fair call. You have no argument and your attempt to blame the CTU is absurd. You’re hardly covering yourself with glory tonight mate.

  23. Michael Porton, i know it helps your paranoia to believe that all the non left wing bloggers are part of some big right wing conspiracy.. But we are not, threatening to “out” somebody i don’t know is pointless.
    Anyway getting back to what we were talking about. Personally I would rather see NZ fund herceptin for breast cancer victims than spending money on Chinese miners. But I guess charity begins at home is not a very fashionable ethic anymore.

  24. Robinsod 24

    Bill – I never said you knew prick, I just wanted to see if the right had the decency to look out for each other (several lefties have defended my anonymity when I didn’t know them from a bar of soap). It seems you don’t.

    IP – I’m not gonna “out” you as I don’t believe in it but I could email you Bill’s deets once`I get them. Are you interested?

    Oh and Bill – the Herceptin debate is an interesting one but I doubt you have the subtlety of thought to engage in it. Sorry mate it’s just I think you’re too dumb…

  25. Tane 25

    Guys, I wouldn’t bother engaging with Prick on this one. His continual lying on this thread and others has shown he’s here not here to debate but to disrupt.

    When he refuses to consider other people’s points of view then wilfully distorts what they’ve said, well, I really don’t see much point in debating with him.

  26. Robinsod 26

    Hey Tane – I didn’t go too far by giving Bill the chance to out Prick did I? It’s just mate, I wouldn’t want to be stranded on a desert island with these bastards – they’d eat you in your sleep before they’d even think about working together. Hmmm, I wonder if that’s why National can’t do MMP…?

  27. the sprout 27

    “IP I think you might actually be illiterate”

    well, his arguments sound suspciously like they’ve come from Talkback

  28. Robinsod 28

    Or understand why few dollars toward Chinese mine safety is a good thing? Y’know I think I finally understand what’s wrong with the right now. They’re selfish and short-sighted! Man, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure it out…

  29. Tane 29

    Sod, you know my views on these things. The outing game is stupid and counterproductive and is often used as a tool to try and bully people. I’d rather you backed off with the outing threats, and the same goes for the right.

  30. You really are the epitome of hypocrisy, Tane.

    You write a post about National scoring political points, and you link it to a mining disaster in China. Well, you can’t have it both ways. You’ve deliberately tried to whip up hysteria about this. The only inference the ordinary person would draw is that you’re saying Labour is concerned about workers’ safety, but National isn’t. The conclusion to that is that National is happy that mining disasters take place. The proof of your dog-whistle is Sprout’s comment: i wonder if National don’t value these lives because they’re Chinese, communist, or poor?

    That is a disgusting link to make, and you should be ashamed, Tane.

    Kate Wilkinson made the very valid point that it isn’t the Department of Labour’s job to conduct safety training for foreign companies. That may be a legitimate ODA programme.

    The Growth and Innovation Fund has nothing to do with Chinese coalminer safety. I realise that after the last eight years, you’re quite comfortable for public accounting to become so blurred that political whims can be met from the public purse at will, but that isn’t an appropriate use of the GIF.

  31. Billy 31

    Yes, Robinsod. Those lefties are always sticking up for each other. Although sometimes it’s sticking ice picks in their trotskies.

  32. Robinsod 32

    Billy – I’d love to yack with you dear but I have to sleep now. Maybe by tomorrow morning you can come up with a more relevant line. X

    IP – that offer of Bill’s deets still stands.

  33. r0b 33

    “The only inference the ordinary person would draw is that you’re saying Labour is concerned about workers’ safety, but National isn’t. The conclusion to that is that National is happy that mining disasters take place.”

    IP, I’m sure that Tane can stick up for his own views. But I’d like to stick up for logic here. Even if your premise was true, there is no way (except in your fevered imagination) that the conclusion that you state then follows.

  34. “Brilliant comic insight this afternoon, Tane. And whoever said women don’t have a sense of humour?”

    insolent prickle- you have still not addressed tane’s question relating to this comment. please explain, when you know he is male, why you are calling tane a woman? are you using woman as a derogatory label?

  35. r0b 35

    bean – IP is pretty up front about his attitude to women. Right there on the front page of his blog “I’m a thirty-something, obnoxious single guy with two passions in life: making money and shagging hot chicks.”

    For his own sake I hope he grows up soon.

  36. Pascal's bookie 36


    Sounds like a fine blog he’s got going there. He should spend more time on it.

    Then he wouldn’t be cluttering up this place with crap like:

    Kate Wilkinson made the very valid point that it isn’t the Department of Labour’s job to conduct safety training for foreign companies. That may be a legitimate ODA programme.

    when she made no such point. Kate’s point was we shouldn’t be spending 1 cent of NZ taxpayers money on Chinese miner’s safety. He’s not just a liar, but as you point out, he can’t even construct a valid argument with the lies he makes up. There’s a university out there somewhere that wants it’s law degree back.

  37. the sprout 37

    “Sounds like a fine blog [IP]’s got going there. He should spend more time on it.”

    i guess there’s always hope.

  38. Pascal's bookie 38

    Yeah, I’m done talking to him. At a pinch I’ll talk about him instead.

  39. Gruela 39

    It’s pretty obvious from reading this thread that there’s no point in trying to engage Insolent rationally. Either he’s an incredibly subtle comedian and he’s winding you up, or he’s a moron.

    I’m going for moron.

  40. He actually made a very good point with his comment about the department of labour. Is this within their purview? I would suggest not.
    ODA quite possibly, although this money should really be targeted towards countries that are poorer than us. Not one of the largest economies in the world that is experiencing stellar growth.

  41. Wayne 41

    Bill: Last time I checked the Chinese were still considerably poorer than your average NZer.

  42. As a nation……. I think not.
    Individually? Undoubtedly. Wayne I think you are grasping here. Can nobody else see how wrong it is our dept of labour is in doing this?

  43. Wayne,

    NZAID is the government agency delegated with the responsibility for managing New Zealand’s overseas development programmes. They have professional staff who assess applications for projects, manage those projects, audit them, and rate them according to our international interests.

    I don’t know where how this particular project would stack up against all the other worthy international development assistance programmes that New Zealand runs. Suffice to say that the Growth and Innovation Fund has no expertise in international development assistance, and this is nothing more than an ODA project.

    It’s a disgraceful use of public money. Kate Wilkinson had every right to question it, and Tane’s peculiar obsession with it, and bizarre wolf-whistling just rings hollow.

  44. r0b 44

    “Can nobody else see how wrong it is our dept of labour is in doing this?”

    How wrong it is? Why, apart from knee jerk “Labour bad”, is this automatically a “how wrong” situation?

    The visit seems to have been a joint invitation from the EPMU, the Department of Labour and Solid Energy. Funding came from the Government’s contestable Growth and Innovation Fund, through a bidding process, and was related to ‘international collaboration’. Why is that automatically “wrong”?

  45. Wayne 45

    I’m not interested in debating with you Bill, Ijust think your logic is shoddy. By your reasoninig Luxembourg should not give any aid to Angola because Angola has a larger economy overall, even though Angolans are significantly poorer than people from Luxembourg. Clearly you can see the stupidity of that argument.

  46. Kimble 46

    If this was an international aid project, why did funding come from Growth and Innovation Fund? Exactly which word, ‘Growth’ or ‘Innovation’, means aid?

    How can it be a humanitarian project when it was touted to be related to ‘international collaboration’? Collaboration implies working together in a joint effort, which in turn implies that NZ would be getting something of value.

    It wasn’t a humanitarian aid project.

    If you want to say that NZ should contribute more in foreign aid, then yes, I agree with you. But if you say that individual departments should make up for this shortfall by running their own foreign aid programs and circumventing NZAID, then I have to disagree. They have their budget to do their job, not try and do everyone else’s.

    “There are some things more important than petty politics, and in the light of Xinyao National’s cynical attack is all the more sickening.”

    By the time Tane wrote this line he had surrendered any reasonable claim on the moral high ground he desperately craves.

    I mean, just read it. Dissect it.

    He says there are some things more important than petty politics, and then follows that up with a toxic dose of petty politicking! Truly repulsive.

    He wouldnt even be blogging about the mining accident, or poor working standards in China, if National hadn’t addressed the issue in some abstract way.

    He only begins to care enough to blog about dead Chinese people when they can be used as a political mallet to smack his opponents.

    Tane, you are swiftly becoming a truly disgusting human being. Do the decent thing an apologise for this post.

  47. Robinsod 47

    Kimble – I’ve seen the filth you post on the bog. Now you’re pretending outrage to attack Tane? I mean really Kimble, is it because he’s Maori or because he’s a leftie?

    Bill – I see you’re trying to patch it up with IP, good lad.

  48. Wayne 48

    Kimble your faux outrage is completely transparent. Kate Wilkinson said something stupid to score points and recent events have shown up the callousness of her position. Getting hysterical and demanding apologies does you no credit.

  49. Camryn 49

    This whole thread is a storm of stupidity in a very small small teacup. Stop wasting precious pixels. I won’t be back to see if anyone disagrees.

  50. Daveo 50

    Wat Tyler at Kiwiblogblog has answered your question Bill.

    “Its not a matter of cash, its a matter of expertise – we’re supplying expertise in mine safety training – the cost of supplying that expertise is $84,000 (that’s 2 cents per capita). China does not have the expertise to train its miners in safety procedures, and many mine owners don’t care anyway, so they wouldn’t pay for the training even if they could buy it.

    “The New Zealand taxpayer shells out 2 cents each and lives that would otherwise be lost are not.”


    That sounds pretty reasonable from where I’m standing.

  51. PhilBest 51

    Shouldn’t we be providing the Chinese, and the Indians, and the Africans, with assistance to go carbon neutral, not to dig coal out of the ground and burn it? I thought that saving the world was the paramount issue here.

  52. Tane 52

    Phil, improving health and safety in Chinese mines will not increase coal production. As Andrew Little pointed out at the time, if anything better health and safety tends to go hand in hand with greater environmental responsibility.

  53. insider 53

    “There are some things more important than petty politics.”

    Really? So the next time there is a problem at Wellington DHB over how it is managed and how the money is being spent, and how many people have died as a result, then everyone should just keep quiet because that would be petty politics. Is that the new standard?

    Surely politicians have an obligation to ask about why and how taxpayers’ money is being spent?

    You say “These deaths are completely avoidable and show the real need for New Zealand to use its expertise in mine safety to help improve standards for Chinese workers and prevent the needless death and suffering we are seeing at Xinyao.”

    It does no such thing, just as car crashes in China don’t show a ‘real need’ for NZ to use its expertise in road safety. All it shows is that there are issues with safety in China. It is purely your political interpretation that NZ should have a role in resolving it.

    And as for improving health and safety not increasing coal production, I can’t believe you said that. How productive is that mine now? Why do industrial multinationals invest so much in safety? It’s not just about welfare it is also about productivity.

  54. Insider,

    This is where Tane inadvertently smacks herself in the head with her own argument.

    The Growth and Innovation Fund was established to promote growth and innovation. That has everything to do with productivity. It has nothing to do with overseas development assistance. The New Zealand gives $84,000 to the EPMU to train Chinese miners, and then Tane turns around and says: “Hang on. This isn’t about growth, innovation, or making Chinese coal mines more productive. It’s an international aid project, for purely humanitarian purposes, even though it didn’t come out of the aid project. Shame on Kate Wilkinson for making a political issue out of it. She’s partly to blame for the deaths of these miners, for playing petty politics.”

    I don’t see why you have a problem with Tane’s position, Insider.

  55. Robinsod 55

    Prick – you are lying again. Please stop doing this. And Tane is a man, I’m not sure you understand the difference between girls and boys yet but if you continue in this manner I will give you a lesson in it by making you my bitch. Ok?

  56. the sprout 56

    i think prick defines gender by hair length.

  57. PhilBest 57

    Tane, I think my suggestion was even better than yours for increasing the health and safety of Chinese, and all of us too.

    It would take a lefty like Andrew Little to talk about enhanced health and safety and environmental responsibility going together, and leave out the elephant in the room: increased wealth.

    By the way, nothing satirical that I’ve said above is intended to contradict my own belief that the Chinese capitalist revolution that is now underway around 200 years behind the “first” world, is anything but a good thing.

  58. Robinsod 58

    Phil – I’m interested you see it as capitalism. Most business is owned or partnered by the government in China. Surely this is the success of communism?

  59. Pascal's bookie 59

    There is much about modern China that is to be encouraged. Though revolutions tend to be bottom up affairs. (no jokes about evangelicals please)

  60. Kimble 60

    Robinsod, how did things go when they were 100% owned by the government and werent following the profit motive?

  61. Robinsod 61

    Kimble you fool – the difference between communism and capitalism has nothing to do with profit motive. It’s about the means of production being held by the people. Communists can make as much money as they like (and they do) – it’s just that it goes into the hands of the state rather than the hands of capitalists. Then the state can use that money to do things that benefit the people (this is where china falls down a bit).

    I would suggest that the political power China is developing is entirely the result of a command economy. They have for instance managed to harness the power of their industrial wealth to put the US in a sticky situation vis-a-vis 90 day T-bonds.

    That’s a political outcome Kimble and it’s the result of a communist state. Brazil on the other hand has the eighth largest economy in the world and wields no power on the world stage because the benefits of that economy are not in the hands of its government.

  62. the sprout 62

    nicely put robinsod.

    could it be then that citizens reap half of fuck-all when private corporations control their nations’ economies?

  63. Dean 63

    “Brazil on the other hand has the eighth largest economy in the world and wields no power on the world stage because the benefits of that economy are not in the hands of its government.”

    I’d be interested to hear your opinion on why it’s a governments job to be holding power on the world stage.

  64. hi ip, i see you ignored me questioning your comment about tane’s gender and continued to refer to him as female:

    “This is where Tane inadvertently smacks herself in the head with her own argument.”

    it is really sad that you would undermine your credibility so swiftly by resorting to the female gender as an insult. i am really at a loss that someone can still believe this is a logical way of insulting someone. sure you find subtle sexism at kiwiblog frequently and many of the bloggers commenting over there delight in low key misogyny. your comments however are just so pathetically unbelievable especially in light of the fact that you describe yourself as ‘witty’ and ‘charming’. these comments are lacking in wit and are far from charming.

    i am also disappointed that more of those people who comment here and at other blogs -right and left included- are not pulling ip up on this. i don’t care if he is just doing it to get attention so you all think we should ignore him- it is behaviour that i thought died at least ten years ago.

  65. Kimble 65

    Robinsod, how did things go when they were 100% owned by the government?

  66. Robinsod 66

    I’d be interested to hear your opinion on why it’s a governments job to be holding power on the world stage.

    Because governments are more accountable to their citizens than corporations.

    Robinsod, how did things go when they were 100% owned by the government?

    That’s a stupid question Kimble, throughout the cold war China was unable to engage in trade with most of the outside world. Having said this China managed to take itself from a agrarian society into an industrial (and now toward a post-industrial) society in less than a century. I think you’ll find that it has been China’s increasing engagement in the world that has seen it’s most recent economic surge. Who owns what has had nothing to do with it.

    You really have no idea do you?

  67. Dean 67

    “Because governments are more accountable to their citizens than corporations.”

    Im sorry, did you even think about your repsonse before you posted it? Why doesn a government being more or less accountable to corporations mean it has to be a world power?

  68. Dean 68

    ” I think you’ll find that it has been China’s increasing engagement in the world that has seen it’s most recent economic surge. Who owns what has had nothing to do with it.

    You really have no idea do you?”

    If you think who owns something has nothing to do with it, then your ideas about China are so wrong that it’s clear that it’s you who has no idea. Do you?

  69. Draco TB 69

    The number of right-wingers who can’t see a business deal when it’s right in front of them on this blog is astounding. Considering that the National party fails to see it as well is very concerning – especially considering that they’re supposed to be the party for business. Of course they still haven’t really gotten out of the protectionist mindset yet so I suppose we really shouldn’t be surprised.

    The $84k grant came out of the Growth and Innovation fund because it’s a business opportunity to sell our expert services to China for a bloody great profit. Sure, in a few years the Chinese would have picked up that expertise and may not buy ours anymore but by then we should have come up with something new.

    PS. Communism is the better economic system because it actually allows for a free market which is impossible under capitalism. The protectionist BS stated by the right-wingers on this blog prove it. I can also point out the massive amounts of protectionism of the US and the EU as as proof as well. Scratch a capitalist and you will find a protectionist.

  70. Pascal's bookie 70

    Yep, they actually read Adam Smith, rather than just quoting the 3 lines they know.

  71. Kimble 71

    “throughout the cold war China was unable to engage in trade with most of the outside world.”

    The USA was involved in the cold war too, they managed to engage in trade quite well.

  72. Kimble 72

    “Because governments are more accountable to their citizens than corporations.”


    Did you just say that the Chinese government is more accountable to the chinese citizens than the head of a corporation is to its shareholders or customers?

  73. Dean 73

    “PS. Communism is the better economic system because it actually allows for a free market which is impossible under capitalism.”


    That just made my night. Thanks Draco!

  74. Kimble 74

    Yeah, Dean, didnt you know? Free-market proponents are really all about protectionism. So obvious!

  75. Dean 75

    “Yeah, Dean, didnt you know? Free-market proponents are really all about protectionism. So obvious!”

    I can agree as often at least in pinciple with many people on this site as often as i agree to disagree with them. I don’t mind that, healthy debate is educational for everyone involved.

    But Draco asserting that communism allowed for a free market is about as educational as someone trying to tell me.. actually I won’t finish that sentence. Draco just has an “educational gap”.

  76. Draco TB 76

    “Free-market proponents are really all about protectionism. So obvious!”

    There’s no room for a free market in a capitalist economy as it would destroy profits. A free market brings the cost of anything down to cost price and there isn’t a lot of profit at cost.

    “Draco just has an “educational gap””

    Economics is my strongest subject so I can assure you that there is no gap.

  77. The Double Standard 77

    “Capitalism is Man Exploiting Man; Communism is just the opposite”

  78. Dean 78

    “Economics is my strongest subject so I can assure you that there is no gap.”

    In that case, I would suggest that you kindly refrain from the idea of giving up your day job.

  79. Robinsod 79

    Kimble – you’re a moron.

    Dean – the main proponent of the “free market” is the US, their markets are as protected as Chinas (note: NZ is more likely to get a meaningful FTA with China than the US. Ask why)

    TDS – You’re being dull. Answer my simple question and maybe you’ll be worth responding to:

    Why did you name yourself after my little witticism?


  80. PhilBest 80

    EH?????????? COMMUNISM is behind the success of the Chinese Economy today? Sounds Like Orwell’s Ministry of Truth has been busy.

    Draco TB
    Dec 11th, 2007 at 8:36 pm SAID:

    “There’s no room for a free market in a capitalist economy as it would destroy profits. A free market brings the cost of anything down to cost price and there isn’t a lot of profit at cost.”

    AND: “Economics is my strongest subject”

    Sounds like the source of YOUR learning was a course of indoctrination in outdated, proven-wrong Marxism. You need to read Schumpeter, “Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy” (for a start). NO nation in the world has EVER reached Marx’s theoretical state of “vanishing investment opportunity” and none ever WILL. Schumpeter explains why.

    No TRUE free marketer is EVER against free trade. Some “Capitalists” are in favour of protectionism so that they can make more profit, while organised labour is also in favour as their jobs are protected thereby. The cost of both is borne, of course, by their fellow countrymen in their role as consumers.

    Another “must-read” is Friedman, “Free to Choose”.

    You can’t claim to know economics if you haven’t read ALL the classics, not just Marx and his supporters.

    By the way, Schumpeter is a quite palateable read even for a hardcore leftist. A lot of you guys make the mistake of looking up Schumpeter’s bio, and refusing to read him. “Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy” actually outlines the program under which Socialism is going to WIN, and it’s not for the reasons that MARX thought it was going to. Schumpeter actually looks increasingly like being proved right, to me, and like Schumpeter, I might not LIKE it but I can still SEE it just like a Doctor can see if a patient isn’t going to live. (Schumpeter’s own analogy, by the way).

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