The Null Device


A new book by three Australian academics predicts that the US Free Trade Agreement will cause widespread damage to Australia's national interests, wiping out local biotechnology industries and the use of open-source software, ensuring that wealth goes right back to head office, transforming Australia's economy into little more than a set of branch offices controlled from overseas, and making it all but impossible to get back what is lost. What's more, the onerous terms of the agreement were largely decided by the Howard government, and not the American negotiators. (Mind you, the fact that Labor decided to "recapture the centre" and let it through with a few Band-Aid laws, rather than risk being cruelly mocked in parliament for going on about boring "intellectual property" issues no dinky-di true-blue Herald-Sun-reading suburban battler would give a brass razoo about, damns them almost equally.

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