A Parent’s Perspective on the TPPA

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?


Peace, Estwing

4 thoughts on “A Parent’s Perspective on the TPPA”

  1. Concise. Direct. So true. Thanks for putting into words what I’ve been thinking since it came about.

  2. Turn out well for those above the political process for sure…!

    We now live with the illusion of democracy, while being farmed…it may feel like free-range, but we’re being farmed.

    There’s been a big revolution going on since the 1980’s and even before then. It’s called industrial globalisation, as everywhere, citizens are being turned into consumers, and more and more ‘stuff’ is being used to buy us off and silence us.

    The entire dominant culture is adolescent, toxic, pathological, suicidal, by design. It significantly serves the corporations/banksters/elites that we are locked down behind the Golden Curtain of Consumption (shut up and shop, more is better, etc…).

    This insane dominant culture is killing us, our communities, and the biosphere at rates never seen before.

    Our task now is to wake up, grow up, act adult.

    Unless we decolonise our hearts and minds, and create a resistance culture to this insanity, MAD (mutually assured destruction) is a complete given.

    Even if collapse is now inevitable, our task is to do whatever we can for the continuance of life on our landbases, not just humans.

    Sure is an “exciting time” to be alive, eh?!

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