First and foremost. How many of you have heard of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement?
Officially it is a multi-nation free trade agreement (but not necessarily fair). The idea of it is to reduce trade barriers between nations to enable competitive trade with other nations.
This might seem common sense and in a society where money is not everything, perhaps this might be true. However in a monetized society where economic freedoms, growth and the deregulation that enables this are paramount, how many of you have stopped to think about why there are people opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. They are not there necessarily just because they do not like trade, but because there is much more than free trade at stake. Indeed in some countries there is national sovereignty on the line – something the citizens of each nation hold dear to them.
I live in New Zealand. I have severe hypertension, requiring an expensive range of pills that keep said hypertension in check. In 1989 that hypertension very nearly killed me – we are talking about minutes from death. I rely on Pharmac, the Ministry of Health purchasing body for affordable medication that would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars a year, affordable. I am talking about medication that is necessary for the day to day maintenance of my life. How can you, the reader realistically expect someone in that condition to fork out money that they might simply not have, or which they do have, but which they can reasonably justify spending on other things – food, petrol, medicine, clothing, whatever your child/ren may need – to be lost coughing up for multinationals that easily survive a bit of common sense?
Simply saying market economics knows best is not enough. Simply saying that the Minister of Trade, Tim Groser must know what he is doing when evidence is increasing that he is deliberately taking New Zealand for a very expensive and wholly unnecessary ride, is not wholly true. Some reasonable doubt Tim Groser’s sincerity must now be cast,when otherwise neutral professionals start chiming in. That line from the Pink Floyd song “Mother” comes to mind Mother, should I trust the Government?
Not totally. That is why elections are essential, as is a universally recognized outcome. That is also why organizations such as Transparency International exist –
There are worse things than Pharmac occasionally not seeing common sense by failing to support the most recent pharmaceutical research on cancer drugs and so forth. Just because it makes medicine affordable, does not automatically mean multinational pharmaceutical companies are going to go out of business overnight. They are far too resourceful, cunning and powerful for that. The idea that quickly developing a new strand of an existing product might be hugely expensive for something such as severe hypertension is also rather rich. It is rich because the monetary income from people rushing to buy the product would rapidly cover any losses.
And how many in high positions actually have sons/daughters, nephews/nieces, brothers/sisters living with a permanent health problem for which the only solution is pharmaceuticals? Perhaps they should talk to them first.
The protests on 07 March 2015 are for a good reason.