The myth of "the market" and Fairtrade | Eighteen Rabbit Fair Trade

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The myth of "the market" and Fairtrade

by Andrew Williams | July 07, 2014

There is an old rule about the internet which always bears repeating: "Do not feed the troll." Here goes anyway. 

Damien Grant writes for the New Zealand Herald, and seems to be one of those hacks from the Delingpole/Littlejohn school of saying the most provocative thing you can think of in the hope of generating valuable clicks for your employer. Here's one of his previous articles about why tax cheats are actually jolly nice people who we shouldn't be so nasty to. 

Now he has turned his razor sharp intellect to the subject of fairtrade and, surprise surprise, it's a bad thing. This is because in Damien's world (and see also the Economist yesterday), nothing can stand in the way of the capitalist, market driven approach to economics. Anything that gets in the way of competition, lower prices and greater profit is therefore to be opposed. 

We have had decades of this now - years of people like Damien telling us that we will all be richer in the long run, if only we allow the very rich to carry on getting richer today. Years of rhetoric that actually, people working in sweat shops are very happy to be there and are eternally grateful to have a pittance in wages at the end of it. Years of people like Damien telling us that fairness, equality and social justice are juvenile conceits we should have left behind when we went to join the grown ups in the bright, shining, market driven future of iPads, fracking and zero hour contracts. 

How is that working out for everyone so far?

Tagged: damien grant, fair trade, fairtrade, NZ Herald