Re. your article (No Place for Jingoism in Woolies’ Sell-Off of Dick Smith) – you make some really good points which I agree with, however you leave out any mention of “balance”.
Globalisation is here to stay and there is no doubt that Australia has benefited greatly from globalisation. Most material goods are now far cheaper than they have ever been, and that’s good!
However, there are some disadvantages.
For a start, I do support Aussie companies such as Westfield and Cochlear operating overseas. However, you would think if globalisation was to work ‘correctly’ that just as foreign companies own most of our famous brands here, we in Australia would own quite a few famous brands overseas. It hasn’t worked this way; in fact, virtually every famous brand or any product that is worthwhile is now foreign owned.
You also don’t mention the real reason why Woolworths are selling Dick Smith Electronics. It’s not that it’s not profitable – it’s the fact that there is no growth left in that sector.
When will the business community ever realise that our whole economic system is not sustainable? It is an economic system built on the perpetual exponential growth in the use of resources and energy, which is impossible in a finite world. We are now starting to hit against the edges of growth, and once we realise this we will have to re-tune capitalism into a system where there may be growth in efficiencies and quality of life but definitely not in using more resources.
Of course if we tried to change now and too quickly, there would be a gross surge in unemployment and economic mayhem.
However, the main reason I am concerned with the possibility of a foreign company owning Dick Smith Electronics is the fact that I have pushed the “Dick Smith” name to reflect Australian ownership. I have always sold the best products in the world, that’s why I sold electronics from Japan and China – they make the best – but Aussie farmers grow the best food.
At the present time, over 80% of products in a typical supermarket trolley are either imported or come from foreign-owned companies. This is not a healthy balance.
I’m afraid you are also a little behind the times; I have decided that I won’t rubbish the new owners of Dick Smith Electronics if they come from overseas. I am going to change my name so it won’t be seen that I support overseas companies when I really believe there should be a more healthy balance. That would mean the profits and wealth going out of Australia would be roughly balanced against the profits and wealth returning here.