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Random Rants 7

Entry 719, on 2008-03-14 at 19:07:15 (Rating 3, News)

I can't believe that I'm really up to version 7 of my random rants already. It doesn't seem much more than a year ago I did my first. Oh yes, it was just over a year ago. Maybe my earlier blog entries (going back to early 2003) involved less ranting!

First a non-rant. Within the last week my personal web site got its 4 millionth hit. OK, I know that big sites get that many in one day but I don't publicise it in any way so I'm quite pleased that it is visited occasionally. On a similar subject, my blog entries went past 700 and the comments in my blog are around 1200 so there's steady activity going on there.

So now the rants - firstly about foreign investment. A current controversy in New Zealand is whether we should allow a Canadian investment company to buy a significant part in our biggest airport. The poll being run at the Herald newspaper web site indicated a small majority in favour of allowing the sale of shares to continue, but the government is currently indicating they might want to block it.

Why would we want to allow this to happen? Well the company might want to invest and make genuine improvements at the airport so that users benefited. As the popular advertising campaign goes: yeah right! Overseas companies don't invest to improve services or make the asset better, they invest to exploit the asset for their own financial benefit. I don't say this in a negative way - its an accepted fact of investment. You invest to make money and you invest overseas because the regulations are looser or the guilt associated with cynical exploitation of an asset is less.

So I think the government is right. And if this discourages future investment in New Zealand I say great. When have we ever really benefited from this anyway?

I'm deeply cynical about foreign investment and I'm deeply cynical about our economic system in general, which introduces rant number 2. The US seems to be entering a period of major economic slowdown, maybe even recession. Why is this? Well there's no real reason for it. Its just the way the cycle of the economy and the perception and reaction of investors works.

But what kind of crazy system is this? Should we allow an economic system to exist which is based on the whim of investors, cycles of panic and optimism, and commodity prices going up and down for no good reason? Of course we shouldn't. Its time all the insane money trading, banking, and investment systems in place in the world were shut down and economic activity was based on some sort of reality such as raw material availability.

Of course we couldn't just pull the plug on this sort of insanity right here and now, it should be shut down over the next decade. But until the monetary system can be made to work for human civilisation instead of the other way around we will continue to have an unstable, underperforming system.

All the world's problems could be so easily solved. Its just that people don't want to do this. I saw a report recently that said that world hunger could be fixed for well under one trillion dollars per year. Why not do it? Because capitalism is a system which thrives on disgusting greed and short sighted stupidity. I agree with some of the "new sins" I discussed in my last blog entry, so I guess financial traders, big business, and the extremely rich are sinners and deserve some appropriate torture in Hell!

Yes, I know I'm an atheist and don't believe in Hell, but its fun thinking about it. Maybe in a future blog entry I'll list some suitable tortures for the people who break the 7 new commandments. That should be fun!


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