Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Why the WTO Isn't Bad

Not your usual ineffectual overpaid unaccountable international bureaucrat elites

The US is asking the World Trade Organization to step in to help enforce property rights in China. Usually Workers thinks international bodies are a waste of time and money (did you ever see that Stars Wars sequel number 39 or whatever one it was where the international - interplanetary - body UN style was so big all they did was talk at counter-direction to each other never agreeing on anything but blowing hot air around- which for the people- is probably a good thing as that means the government would just leave them alone because they could never agree on anything -usually counterproductive - to do). Besides nobody ever elected these international elites in a popular vote, or, for sure, never threw them out of office.

Anyway the WTO is pretty good because it keeps a check on the abuses of sovereign nations who get in the way of free trade, usually in support of local special interests who gain from keeping more competitive "foreign" products out of their country. If a nation is getting in the the way of trade other nations can ask the WTO to look into it. The mandate is clear; anything that prevents people from trading with each other for political reasons is counter to the WTO mandate.

Of course the rules and regulations are overly complex and it takes a Ph.D. in international double-talk to figure out the WTO rules but at least its a way to try to prevent nation-state special interests from stepping on the people who benefit from - but most importantly have the natural right to - trade and deal with each other freely.

Just as an aside and I'm not saying anything new here: The business model for intellectual property is changng. Time for people to get used to it (like all change). You can download films and books and movies, copy art and photography and other images, post them all on the 'net to be available instantaneously around the world. Maybe we will truly have anarchy where people will pay the creators of this content what they can, without the bureucrats taking a cut.

What is the point of enjoying someone's art if you feel guilty about it. Like passing the hat but in an, obviously, much grander scale. You can download the Stones or Chile Pepper's music. They need the money like a hole in the head. Other peoples arent so lucky. Maybe we can find ways to get them their money. Send it to them, trade them something of your own. Tell someone about it who can afford it. Go to their shows and buy the stuff they have for sale there. Anyway change is afoot. Artists will survive and "prosper." Maybe it'll just be the middlemen who get cut out of the deal. Thats too bad for them in the interim but they too will change and gain from change, we all do, its who we are.