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Oceania LOL! Apparently, "Free" trade > culture

Discussion in 'Oceania Discussion Boards' started by Ender Sai, Nov 4, 2003.

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  1. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 10
    You've got to be kidding me

    It seems our industry is being seconded to pleasing Hollywood. Who's leading that movement? Oh that's right, the "who the ****" washed up has been Elliot Gould.

    Seriously this is really bad. Noone can justify this as anything less than trying to make Dubya happy. It benefits nobody except some c-words in Hollywood who, ladies and gentlemen, don't need more money. Yes, that's a judgement call, and I'm making it, but it also happens to be right, which gives it that little extra bit of oooomph it needs.

    **** "free" trade, it's "Free for US **** You Rest of World" Trade.

    E_S
  2. JediMasterKieca Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2000
    star 4
    This is unreal [face_plain]
    They can't honestly think we're going to accept it without some sort of protest...
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 10
    Hopefully Saintheart will know the answer to this:

    Can't, under the inherited common law principles of British Constitutional Law, the clear terms of a statute override a treaty, regardless of when the treaty was signed, ratified and implemented? Which means a law could be passed protecting future e-commerce ventures into the entertainment industry which would obviate the Free Trade agreement?

    ES
  4. Saintheart Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Can't, under the inherited common law principles of British Constitutional Law, the clear terms of a statute override a treaty, regardless of when the treaty was signed, ratified and implemented? Which means a law could be passed protecting future e-commerce ventures into the entertainment industry which would obviate the Free Trade agreement?

    *ahem* :D
    *flicks through his old, dusty law school papers*

    Seriously, it's been a while since I dealt with civil law, but it seems to me that's right. Where you have a clear statutory declaration on the subject, it overrides case law, common law, and treaties, I would've thought. A Free Trade agreement, provided that it isn't enshrined into a statute itself, is unlikely to stand against a clear statute on the same subject, on the basis that the statute unequivocally displays the will of the Parliament as expressed.

    Of course, the way around this little bump in the road is to enshrine the Free Trade agreement in law by amending various statutes such as the Trade Practices Act or its various equivalents which would otherwise protect the Australian entertainment industry.

    Why the hell is Howard looking for a Free Trade agreement on all US/Australian goods anyway? About the only thing we can sell them in, well, trafficable quantities is wheat and wool. I'm no economist, but Blind Freddy could see Australia's bound to get swamped.
  5. Raincloud Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2002
    star 5
  6. Protege-of-Thrawn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2001
    star 6
    To make himself and many morons in this country feel better about our country's rather minor power and importance on the world stage, Howard is literally selling this nation's soul so as to bring in a few more bob in the agricultural industries and a few resource industries, so Peter Costello can tell us a whole NEW bunch of pretty numbers that we know nothing about, but believe MUST mean things are looking good for us all.

    Nevermind that "Australian Made" will probably be some long-forgotten relic of a past marketing venture, that Australian Television, film, art, and cultural works will no drown in a sea of cheap, dodgy american imports fed to the all-consuming "Friends is quality TV" masses.

    Oh, and a warning not to get me started on what this will mean for our Medical and pharmaecutical industries. You thought the death of bulk billing was bad...whoa nelly, just you wait.
  7. Darth-Tom Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2001
    star 4
    Farmers are whinging idiots.

    I wish we had a government that would stand up to America.
  8. Silmarillion Manager Emerita/Ex RSA

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 1999
    star 6
    Farmers are not whinging idiots. The export trade is based on the US dollar and ever since the Aussie dollar's value has been rising, it's meant less and less money for them.

    Great for Aussie tourists visiting America, bad news for farmers.

    Honestly, there are so many farmers doing it extremely tough and they're not the kind of people to go to the government looking for handouts or help.
  9. Protege-of-Thrawn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2001
    star 6
    Yet the point is not whether or not we wish to villify farmers for some reason that now escapes me, but that they really aren't going to be all that much better off. No amount of "We lub j00 america" treaties from Herr Howard will stop the real problems facing farmers which he doesn't want to touch with a barge poll.

    Those being, Salinity and Global Warming which is inciting climate and weather change to the point where farming our "fertile lands" and "golden soil" has become a game of watching salt choked grit bake in long droughts and then drown in the increasingly rare yet violent rain episodes.

    Australian Culture isn't worth sacrificing for some two bit bandaid solution that'll struggle to last to the next poll, which is really only a powermonger like Howard cares about anyway.
  10. Silmarillion Manager Emerita/Ex RSA

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 1999
    star 6
    I agree. It must be said that a report earlier this year found that any projected gains on the part of Australia are based assumptions with no evidence.

    The agriculture industry, especially the beef, sugar and dairy industry, are the ones that are struggling at the moment and who are likely to benefit from a USFTA the most. I think the government should be more concerned with helping these industries prosper rather than binding us to an agreement that seems to hinder rather than help most of Australia.
  11. Darth-Tom Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2001
    star 4
    Farmer: "ohhh it's too dry! Nothing will grow. Give me government support."

    *rains*

    Farmer: "Ohhh it's too wet! Nothing will grow. Give me government support."

    I don't know about other states, but here in S.A all the farmers do in whine about the weather. Nobody forced them to start a farm in the dryest state of the dryest continent. Nobody forced them to ruin the soil to maximise profits.

    Farmers are whinging idiots.

    Now get your rope and hang me for being "un-Australian".
  12. Silmarillion Manager Emerita/Ex RSA

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 1999
    star 6
    If I could slap you upside the head from this computer, I would.
  13. Darth-Tom Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2001
    star 4
  14. stinrab Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 5
    Now get your rope and hang me for being "un-Australian".

    Only part of your post that I agree with ;)


    I'm all for helping out our farmers but a Free Trade Agreement is not going to solve all our problems.
  15. Nyder Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2002
    star 4
    Noone here seems to question what 'right' the Government has to set quotas in the first place. After all, shouldn't viewers, readers and listeners of media decide what they want to watch - not bureaucrats?

    Besides, Government can't preserve Australia's 'culture' when this country is multicultural. National culture is therefore what you make of it. Many Australians like Rugby, so should the Government support Rugby?

  16. Nyder Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2002
    star 4
    If there is free trade in e-commerce, then there can be no government regulations, subsidies, investments, procurements or other interventions that favour local producers over American producers, local musicians over American musicians[!].

    LOL! In other words what they are saying is that they want to be protected from competition by eliciting funds from the taxpayer. They want their jobs and income to stay safe - and keep us paying for them. What they fear is that they'll be driven out of the market or be forced to churn out products that people actually want to buy. [face_shocked]


  17. DarthAttorney Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2000
    star 6
    "They want their jobs and income to stay safe...."

    No job in entertainment is ever safe, I'm sorry to say.
    There's generally no staff situations (with holiday pay, sick leave, public holidays etc), no union protection, excessively long hours and a queue a mile long behind you if you don't agree with the conditions.

    There is no security of jobs and income in Australian entertainment and after this agreement is passed, there won't be any jobs at all. America recognises that Australia is a successful and cheap source of outstandingly high quality entertainment industry crews and facilities, so much so that Hollywood has had some huge protests over losing a large chunk of their regular production to us. The US Government does not need Hollywood offside so this is their solution. The real tragedy is that we're dumb enough to swallow it.

    I'm not a global economist by any means but if the Australian dollar is rising and we want to attract oversea's purchases, why doesn't the Government lower the sales taxes and tariffs on the products we need to sell? ?[face_plain]

    Edit: And I think the word you're groping for in your sig is actually proletariat, Nyder ;)
  18. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 10
    I can tell you now that Australian music is indeed popular. I sell it every day. So to argue we wouldn't buy it as consumers is absurd.

    Now, let's look at this carefully, without rhetoric.

    What do we stand to gain from this, Nyder? More US digital product. NOT necessarily cheaper US product. Just more of it. Your average radio and TV station plays a mandated 40% local content, right? In the new era of eletronic transmission - broadband and the like - this Agreement would remove that quota. Since quotes like that will act like radio airplay now - i.e. in creating demand - demand will drop because there is an almost market-saturation of US product. This dries up the resources for local talent, which destroys local entertainment industries.

    There is little good that can come of this, economically and politically. Economically, we're going to be faced with a reduction in an already fledgling industry. Politically, we had better not be naive enough to think that the United States will favour us for this act - they've not done it any other time. And how can you support free trade with the US when the US itself refuses to liberalise it's economy? You can't defend their protectionism on most of their industries - and they make our farmers look well hard done by, Nyder. Simply put, you can talk about how wonderfully rational economically this policy is, but it's basically no different from socialism. Rationalist economics and libertarianism is the socialism of the Right - i.e. impratical in the real world. Whilst trade liberalisation is more a good thing than not, we'd benefit far more from a free trade agreement with the EU or Japan or the PRC than the USA.

    E_S
  19. HawkNC Former RSA: Oceania

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 6
    When I read this, I got the image in my mind of the schoolyard bully threatening to beat the little kid up unless he handed over his lunch money. It's not so much that we stand to gain anything from this, but that we won't get beaten up while we continue to give Big George our lunch money.
  20. JediMasterKieca Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2000
    star 4
    No job in entertainment is ever safe, I'm sorry to say.
    There's generally no staff situations (with holiday pay, sick leave, public holidays etc), no union protection, excessively long hours and a queue a mile long behind you if you don't agree with the conditions.


    Damn it.

    :(

    :_|

    *chucks out all the uni media arts applications and looks for something else to do next year*
  21. The Gatherer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 6
    For once, I will have to agree with Darth-Tom.

    YES! Farmers are whingers

    They always complain about the weather, and put their hand out for Government assistance. Now here is the thing to proove that they are hypocrites, and it is actually quite a scandal. When times are tough, they beg for and take government assistance, ie: $$$ However, when times are great, do you ever see Farmers offering to pay the assistance back?! NO of course not!

    Does this happen in any other kind of industry, etc? NO! If I ran a small business and times were tough, do you think that the Government would help, NO!

    Nobody forced them to start a farm in the dryest state of the dryest continent. Nobody forced them to ruin the soil to maximise profits.

    Well said Darth-Tom.

    And don't forget, nearly a majority of farmers INHERIT the land, going back to the time of colonialism. They are WEALTHY landowners. They should only accept government handouts in tough times, ie: drought, if they pay that back when the land is bountiful.

    If times are tough, then they should sell portions of their land.
  22. Nyder Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2002
    star 4
    In that case they can get out a commercial loan instead of rorting it out of the taxpayer.
  23. Protege-of-Thrawn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2001
    star 6
    You both seem to be forgetting that agriculture is the backbone of our economy and without it we'd be teetering ever closer to the very real danger of slipping out of the first-world and into economic ruin.

    Selling their land when times are tough is impractical gath, not simply because of the obvious implications of resource downsizing when profits are in the most desperate need of maximising, but because there is only so much land left that is relatively fertile. (I say this not just in reference to salinity, but the fact that our soil is substandard to many other parts of the globe. Our farmers truly are making something out of nothing everyday, which is a miracle)

    The rural sector of our community puts in a hell of a lot more work everyday then some surfing school drop-out bludging on the Dole. I'd rather see reform to the moronic and incompetant throng of people who can't get themselves off the proverbial to find work then whinge - as you so elequontly put it - about Farmers asking for assistance when not even their sweat and toil can bring about a budget in the black.

    As a taxpayer I know they'd be one of the first ports of call should I have the chance to decide where my tax dollar goes.
  24. Silmarillion Manager Emerita/Ex RSA

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 1999
    star 6
    Oh deary, deary me.

    First of all, this is bloody personal for me, so forgive me if I fly off the handle a little. My father is a farmer and I grew up in a farming community. What's your connection, gath?

    They always complain about the weather, and put their hand out for Government assistance.

    Well, it's their perogative to complain about the weather, isn't it? Stable weather would be an absolute godsend, but in the past few years and decades our weather system hasn't been playing too nicely. Here, on our farm, it was the driest it's been for a long, long time. Yet, only 4 years ago it was the wettest on record.

    Now, any fool can see that any extreme weather is bad for farms. Not enough rain and the crops don't grow. Too much rain and the crop is water damaged, washed away or just basically useless. I'm no meterologist, but the way our climate is behaving at the moment is a nightmare for farmers.

    Secondly, no goverment assistance has been offered to any farm around my area. I'm pretty sure dairy farmers have been offered something (too lazy to look supporting facts up now!) and maybe wheat farmers as well, but out here on the sugar farm, we're doing it tough. Let me just repeat that: None of the farmers that I personally know have received or asked for a government handout.

    Farmers are proud people. If they're asking for government assistance you know that they're in a tough situation. My father is up every morning at 4:30am and finishes work around 5pm. It's not like he's slacking off, asking the government for money.

    When times are tough, they beg for and take government assistance, ie: $$$ However, when times are great, do you ever see Farmers offering to pay the assistance back?! NO of course not!

    Like I said, the only time when farmers are likely to help for assistance is when their backs are to the wall and they're in dire straits. In good times, most farmers put the money away so that in bad times (like we are in now) they have something to rely upon.

    It's not just the bad weather that is affecting us though, it's the rising Australian dollar which makes the value of our stock plummet. So those two things combined have put us in the situation we are now in.

    They are WEALTHY landowners.

    You seem to believe that all farmers live in glorious castles and laugh at everyone else. Speaking from experience here: my family owns a lot of land which is used for our farm and they're currently paying the bank loan back as we speak! Not much, but every little bit helps.

    I moved to Brisbane to attend university, so I thought about applying for Ausstudy. It turns out that I'm not eligible for it because of the "means test." Know what that is? It means if your parents own a certain amount of property they deem that you don't need assistance. You can see the conundrum here? All my parents money was tied up in the loan and they're certainly not wealthy. So I had to go out and get a job to support myself. Not so bad, I know. But it irks me when people think that because your parents are farmers it means they have a lot of money. How many farmers do you know that live in mansions?

    If times are tough, then they should sell portions of their land.

    That simply is not a sustainable strategy. If times are tough, farmers should explore many avenues to maximise profits on their land: different crops, different ways of planting, subsidy schemes etc. When times are really really tough (and I can assure you that if things don't turn around pretty soon, we are going to be up the proverbial creek) then they have every right to ask the goverment to help out so that they can get back on track.

    My father said to me the other day that if things don't improve in the next 2-3 years, 50% of the farmers in this area will have to sell up and move on.

    Please understand where I am coming from.

  25. The Gatherer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 6
    Sorry if I came off as insensitive, and in no way did I mean to offend you personally.

    However, please do see the other point of view. We city people always see the National Farmers Federation, etc... asking for handouts, etc... government aid... however, there is never reports in the media of them giving back money when times are plentiful.

    As I said, this doesn't happen in any other industry. Also, no one forces people to be farmers.

    This country has to get off the mythology that we live of the sheeps back. If it ever did, it probably last happened at leastr 75 years ago.
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