Monday, July 19, 2010

Deal by major miners undermines Australia's smaller miners

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The latest sage of the Resource Rent Tax debate sees the government playing favours with the large miners at the expense of the miners. It is a strange situation. Beyond belief. Here I am arguing principles of justice or political rights with an industry which divides itself into the "haves" and the "have-nots". The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) represents the big end of town. They fund the bulk of the organisation I guess, and account for the greater number of directors for the organisation, so they essentially control its debate. This has resulted in them 'selling out' smaller mining interests. Democracy is wonderful isn't it.
This has prompted small miners to establish their own body - The Association of Mineral & Exploration Companies (AMEC). This body tends to represent companies capitalised anywhere between $5 million and $500 million dollars, depending on how large and advanced their project is. There are so many of them, that they are not without influence. But they are going to have to get their TV adverts organised because there is just 3 more weeks left. No radio, TV or newspaper advertisements are allowed in the closing week.
They have a legitimate complaint - the government has essentially undermined their wealth. i.e. the government has ripped the profit upside from shareholders for its own use. The government is not even a good spender, so why would anyone want them. People think they will benefit, but governments don't create wealth, and neither do many of the recipients of the money.
The problem of course is that the Liberals are looking so bad with Tony Abbot. The guy is ranking at just 20% for preferred PM, compared to 55% for Labor's Gillard. I think a lot of people are thinking its too early for another Liberal leadership, and they will be thinking Gillard hasn't really had a chance. Women will be thinking the party needs a women for a 'good spring clean'. I've got a better your utter contempt for the constitution by not voting at all. It is all rhetoric to legitimatise extortion... in this case from small miners for the sake of Labor interests.
The deal done between Labor and the majors is of course good for the majors. The government has succeeded in dividing the industry. Fortescue, BHP and Rio Tinto get a special deal. You might ask why? Well, some years ago BHP was caught disbersing bribes for the sake of some Iraqi wheat deal. Is there corruption involved here? Who knows? But these people have no moral standing when they do deals at the expense of industry, at the expense of competition. These three companies have sought from the government special conditions, and the government has given it to them, to split the mining industry. The government will sell this as a 'compromise'. Its not - its a betrayal (by the miners) - its extortion (by the government) - its fascism. Its about time the public drew a line and stood for principles or otherwise accept that they caused fascism to develop. Voting for Liberal will not help. Don't vote or vote for smaller government. Libertarianism all the way! Throwing darts is your next best option. Preferably at the government and hard!
Andrew Sheldon
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