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Friday October 7, 2016 was the end of the road for Ford in Australia. I wrote earlier this week that;

“..upon signing, the various free trade deals, we always hear about the upside and all the benefits. They sell the idea of free trade and the upside as opening formerly closed overseas markets to Australian exports. That’s a good thing.

What is left un-said is the downside. That among those exports go 100’s of thousands of Australian jobs exported elsewhere.

Due to the time lag we don’t hear about or experience the downside until years after signing the deal. Today, Friday October 7 2016 was D day for the employees at Ford.

In Australia, decades ago in the times of high tariffs and import duties, our choice of cars was extremely limited with +/- 4 different makes. Holden, Ford, Chrysler etc but all made in Australia creating employment, communities and national purpose. (In places like Newcastle and Wollongong it was steel that were the economic drivers of the local economy.)
In 2016 because of the elimination of trade barriers the choice of cars now approximates 60 or so different makes and models. And they’re relatively cheap…”

The car industry is a metaphor, a sentinel, for the way our pretentious and preening political class have trashed and vandalised not only our culture and society but also our economy.
In years to come it will be the stuff of text books on how to wreck, vandalise and deal yourself out of the game.

If the motor vehicle industry should be left to wither and die for the want of taxpayer subsidies and are regarded as inefficient and therefore inherently a bad thing, then why aren’t they a bad thing for the renewable energy sector. At least the subsidies to the car manufacturers contributed to the employment of 100’s of thousands of Australians both directly and indirectly where as the billions of dollars in subsidies to foreign owned big wind and big solar outfits employ far fewer probably numbering in the hundred or low thousands. They are mainly undynamic and static industries requiring only basic maintenace once manufactured and installed.

I guess the question in all of this is whether what we’ve gained is the equivalent of, or better than what we’ve lost?
Listening to this interview on Friday morning I found myself getting more and more angry, agitated and enraged with the way these free trade deals have been done.
We’ve been played for mugs and sold out by the elites and the political class. Alan Jones and Joshua Dowling