Sunday, 17 June 2012

Trade v. invasion

From the Stuff website comes the observation that
If we were living in earlier times, our country would be a prime target for invasion and takeover.

Our combination of natural wealth and small population would put us square in the sights of a bigger, aggressive nation looking to expand. We would be Gaul to Caesar's Rome, England to Canute's Denmark.

Our luck in settling a fertile country watered by plentiful rain is envied by many.

As the foodbowl of the South Pacific, we are eyed by countries worried about their ability to feed a population growing in numbers and in quality of life. They show no inclination to invade, thank goodness.

The paranoid among us would point to a takeover by stealth through the purchase of farmland but I don't see that.

We are beneficiaries of the generations who fought to ensure a country like ours could thrive unmolested. And, befitting such enlightened times, we share our wealth with those who would formerly have enslaved us. It's called trade.
This notion is a version of the famous quote by  Otto T. Mallery,
If soldiers are not to cross international boundaries, goods must do so. Unless shackles can be dropped from trade, bombs will be dropped from the sky. (Emphasis in the original.)
This highlights yet another advantage of trade; it is cheaper and easier to gain what you want from others by trading with them than by fighting with them.

1 comment:

Alex said...

This is true, or as Churchill would say, "better to jaw than to war." Having said that, that doesn't mean we should slavishly follow bigger countries modelling the trading relationship (i.e the TPPA) just because they could blow us up.