When I look in the mirror I see three things: a researcher, an educator and a parent.
As a researcher I am data driven. My mind seeks out robust arguments supported by evidence, and discounts arguments that lack evidence.
As an educator I try to keep my message simple and relevant. There is a vast amount of information in the world, but people relate best to that which relates most closely to them.
As a parent I am focused on safety. Many times each day my toddler daughter strives to engage in behaviours that could negatively affect her health and wellbeing.
From these three perspectives, I’ll keep my comments on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) as evidence-based, simple and prudent as possible.
The purpose of a corporation is to return maximum profits to investors. Anything that impinges on profits – Pharmac, the Resource Management Act, the Treaty of Waitangi – can be seen as a “barrier to trade.” The TPPA seeks to remove barriers to trade, and will allow corporations to sue sovereign governments.
At the same time, it appears that the purpose of my 18 month-old daughter is to put herself in peril by climbing on anything available, playing with electrical cords, and eating as many sweets as possible. As a parent, it is my responsibility to keep her impulses in check.
The same can be said of governments in relationship to corporations. In other words, we have laws that keep corporations in check because their ‘natural urges’ have been shown to cause harm to significant numbers of people worldwide and degrade environmental quality, not to mention crash the global economy.
In other words, the government is the parent and the corporation is the child. But the TPPA seeks to reverse this, letting corporations set the rules and punish governments for laws they do not like.
This would be like my daughter telling me she is going to spend the afternoon in a candy store full of ladders and electric leads. Oh, and by the way, if I disagree with her she will take me to a secret court made up of three of her friends.
Are there any parents that think this will turn out well?