Friday, November 23, 2012

Wade Bales

Not many people know Wade Bales.

Wade Bales is a wine connoisseur.

Wade might be a nice oak. He may be generous, friendly, intelligent and all the other flattering epitaphs one may ascribe to a fellow human being.

He is however also a poepol.

Why? In an article in the Business Times of 18 November 2012 it is reported that he believes that wine producers should establish a Chinese-focused producers' association. Nothing wrong with that. But then he uses the clincher "backed by the South African government". Does he not know that we have enough intervention by the state in the doings of civil society, that more government involvement means that my taxes are eventually used to prop up less than profitable initiatives, burocracies and other state appendices.

If China was this great profitable market why not go out there and exploit it like any other mature business person?

He says we, with the help of government need to "level the playing field with other competing countries". I agree with him that our wines should not be paying steep taxes on exports - frankly I did not know that we were so backward to have such a thing. Take it away - and free us from the heavy hand of the state.

But that is all - but "... for our government to get involved" in any other way (such as in subsidising, or through DTI sponsored trade missions, or anything else) is just wrong. If this what he means I stand by my epitaph - if not I apologise for the classification.

Charl Heydenrych

November 2012

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