Russia ‘on the way to the OECD’

As Judith and I have argued before, the OECD, like a number of international organisations, should be closed. It’s past its use-by-date and is searching for a new role – expanding into new areas where it has no expertise and seeking to increase the number of members.

The last international organisation to be closed was the League of Nations, thanks to WW2. Surely we don’t need another world war to close a number of international organisations which are now serving the interests of their (tax-free) bureaucrats rather than their members?

As noted on the OECD website

In May 2007, OECD countries agreed to invite Chile, Estonia, Israel, Russia and Slovenia to open discussions for membership of the Organisation and offered a programme of “enhanced engagement” to Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa. … Chile became a member of the Organisation on 7 May 2010, Slovenia became a member on 21 July 2010 and Israel became a member on 7 September 2010. On December 9 2010, Estonia became a member, once necessary formalities, including parliamentary approval, were completed.

Of those five, then, four have become full members with the exception of Russia. In a speech on 15 January 2014, the Secretary-General of the OECD, Angel Gurría, spoke approvingly of Russia joining the OECD as a full member.

No. Surely it is time for the OECD to terminate its negotiations with the Russian Federation?

Australia should address the OECD Council and state clearly: if Russia is admitted to full membership, Australia will resign its membership.

About Samuel J

Samuel J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
This entry was posted in International. Bookmark the permalink.

77 Responses to Russia ‘on the way to the OECD’

  1. Tel

    The OECD mostly serves the process of collecting economic statistics. There’s no reason why not to also collect Russian economic statistics.

  2. Samuel J

    It does collect Russian economic statistics. We are talking here about Russia being a member.

  3. craig

    Have to take any numbers out of Russia with a grain of salt.

  4. David

    Have to take any numbers out of Russia with a grain of salt

    Ivan was pretty good at putting numbers into Siberia for the grains of salt.

    Talking of numbers – he seems to be MIA

  5. Demosthenes

    What does Australia get out of being a member, anyway?

  6. Squirrel

    Events in Crimea, and beyond, might cause a few complications with this.

  7. sabrina

    Interested to hear what Professor Ergas thinks about abolishing the OECD. With constant line of Canberra bureaucrats and their political mates queing up for tax-free positions in Paris, OECD is here t stay unless there is a deep deep GFC; ditto for other countries.

  8. Roger

    I’m missing something here, like…a reason? Is it because you don’t like Russia? Unlike China, their government is popularly elected, and considering the only organised alternatives are the Communist Party and extreme right wing nationalists Putin doesn’t look too bad . Please explain.

  9. Bruce of Newcastle

    The OECD are fascist global warmies. Russia is a fascist dictatorship. They go well together.

    We should withdraw from it.

  10. Roger, “Putin doesn’t look too bad . Please explain.”
    Ukraine, The Crimea, a few countries ending in ‘stan.
    Take your pick.

  11. Samuel J

    Roger – China is not a member of the OECD. It is supposed to be a club of countries that follow the rule of law, support property rights and have low levels of corruption. Russia is a fail on that score.

  12. I have no idea why people here are so anti-Russian, the Cold War is over, they won, Europe is now a one government socialist enterprise greater than even Stalin could have ever imagined, and the people here are railing against the one government that refuses to buy into the anti-sovereignty pro-socialism entity that is the European Union.

    For a grouping of libertarians you lot are remarkably silent to the anti-liberty forces and laws of the EU members states…

  13. Riverina Matt

    For a grouping of libertarians you lot are remarkably silent to the anti-liberty forces and laws of the EU members states…

    You ought to be ashamed of the moral equivalency you are drawing between the EU and Russia. The EU is hardly a libertarian state I agree but Russia is a fascist authoritarian dictatorship that invades its neighbours and kills dissidents (after robbing them first).

    I know on which side liberty lies, I am not sure you do …

  14. Riverina Matt

    Unlike China, their government is popularly elected, and considering the only organised alternatives are the Communist Party and extreme right wing nationalists Putin doesn’t look too bad .

    Bullshit – pure Putinista propaganda.

  15. “I know on which side liberty lies, I am not sure you do …”

    And the expansionist EU? Sure, it doesn’t need to use force, it uses coercion and economic influence and the promise of monies it doesn’t have to effectively deceive new members into joining, and once you’re in there is no leaving.

    If Putin wants the ethnically Russian and Russian speaking part of the Ukraine he can have it, after-all we gave Kosovo to the ethnically Albanian and Albanian speaking majority did we not? We gave the ethnically Kurdish and Kurdish speaking majority of Northern Iraq their own self-governing piece of dirt, and the oil underneath it. And on the list goes…

    Yes, Putin isn’t a nice guy, but, for better or for worse the Russians have chosen to stick with him, perhaps people need to realise that Russians don’t tolerate limp-wristed leaders like we do and they’re quite happy to tolerate a certain level of corruption and political violence. What they despise more than anything is the “democracy” and blatant plundering of their country that took place under Yeltsin.

    In France they’re talking about criminalising hand gestures that may be seen as offensive, yes, real libertarian and not at risk of becoming a fascist police state of their own…

  16. Ed

    For a grouping of libertarians you lot are remarkably silent to the anti-liberty forces and laws of the EU members states…

    You haven’t been reading here very long then. The bureaucratic fascism of the EU is a favourite punching bag.
    We can dislike Russia’s militarism and aggression against its neighbours and former USSR states and also dislike the suffocating utopianism of Brussels. The Americans have a phrase for it: “I can walk and chew gum at the same time.”

  17. Yohan

    I’m all for getting Australia out of the OECD, WTO and other useless organizations.

    but what is this nonsense about if Russia is admitted Australia should resign?
    If you are so uppity about Russia, shouldn’t we have resigned already because Turkey is a member? Turkey, an islamist, military dictatorship, with a history of repression against religious and political groups of all stripes, currently ongoing.

  18. Yohan

    @SeditionaryI – this is a good point I do not see made enough by libertarians and proponents of freedom.

    The Soviets have essentially won in Europe. The EUSSR. Look at all the current EU commissioners and politicians, almost all of them are former Marxists and socialists of some variant. The EU is their utopian dream, and planned and managed state run by technocrats.

  19. Gab

    I’m all for getting Australia out of the OECD, WTO and other useless organizations

    What exactly has the OECD done for us given all the money we throw their way? Ditto for the WTO.

  20. “You haven’t been reading here very long then. The bureaucratic fascism of the EU is a favourite punching bag.
    We can dislike Russia’s militarism and aggression against its neighbours and former USSR states and also dislike the suffocating utopianism of Brussels. The Americans have a phrase for it: “I can walk and chew gum at the same time.””

    Russia has every right to secure people who consider themselves Russian and wish to be recognised so, we created this precedent when we allowed a migrant community effectively annex a part of Serbia. Russians have lived in the Crimea for two centuries at the least, it does belong to them.

    As for militarism, we’ve been picking winners and losers at the point of bayonets since 1945…

  21. Yohan, we should be actively campaigning against the EU, and it takes allowing the Russians make it look as powerless in the international stage as it really is, then so be it.

  22. Bruce of Newcastle

    So Seditionary you were fine with Germany doing the same for German speakers in Sudetenland too?

    Hstory repeats. If you forget this I hope you enjoy your next holiday in Siberia.

  23. jupes

    Hmmm Russia vs the EU.

    Russia is much easier to understand. They may be heavy handed with fascist tendancies by 21st century Western standards but Putin puts Russian national interest first.

    The EU on the other hand also have fascist tendancies but seem to have gay-arsed and anti-nationalist policies as their priority. They are committing suicide. If many of it’s members haven’t ceded large swathes of their territory to the Caliphate within my lifetime, I’ll go hee.

  24. .

    Yohan
    #1210165, posted on March 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm
    I’m all for getting Australia out of the OECD, WTO and other useless organizations.

    No. The WTO and BIS are convenient or necessary (however we should have unilateral free trade or the BIS until there are very few central banks).

    The good countries of the UN should break off and form their own community as per John Bolton said.

    Everything else, ala the UN appendages like the UNHRC and other organs outliving their usefulness the IMF and World Bank, should go.

    We should remain in ANZUS and Five Eyes etc.

  25. duncanm

    I’m with Jupes.

    Russia has a future, as does China — ensured by their leaders’ (often ruthless) understanding of history.

    The EU is on the way to dhimmitude and wastage. Its only a matter of time; unless interrupted by a war such as seen in the Balkans only a decade or so ago.

    Re-absorption into mother Russia, or slow path to death with a violent escape plan?

  26. Bruce, were you fine with us doing it in Serbia/Kosovo/Yugoslavia? Putin is only doing what we’ve been doing actively for over 70 years. And now we have the nerve to say he can’t?

    To deny the Russian claim to the Crimea would be to accept the precedent that would rightly allow the Indigenous Australian nations to promptly tell us to leave and not come back and be able to enforce it with international support.

  27. .

    Russia has a future, as does China — ensured by their leaders’ (often ruthless) understanding of history.

    No they don’t.

    Putin survives because he oppresses the media and dissenters. China’s economic statistics are as dodgy as a medical certificate from Dr Nick Paltos.

  28. duncanm

    dot

    I don’t believe economics defines the destiny of a country.

    Sure, it helps not to go down the toilet.. but I don’t think it leads to dissolution.

  29. .

    duncan

    The six day war had antecedents in the Galilee water diversion and Suez blockade.

    Tell me economic history can’t set a country up to fail at a crisis either? No?

  30. Ed

    China’s economic statistics are as dodgy as a medical certificate from Dr Nick Paltos.

    They’re the largest trading nation in the world by imports and exports. That’s not dodgy numbers, that’s just reality. They may have dodgy internal statistics – in fact I agree with you that they probably do – but that doesn’t make their rise as an economic powerhouse any less real.

  31. sdfc

    There seems to be a few admirers of aggressive fascist states around today.

    Wars are decided by economics.

  32. Yohan

    As much as I would not prefer to live under Putin, Russia has now become the bulwark against an encroaching EU and NATO expansion.

    As has been mentioned, if its okay for Kosovo to be split off from Serbia because is mostly ethnically homogeneous Albanians, why can’t Crimea secede from Ukraine and join with Russia is they wish.

  33. Roger

    OK Samuel, but if they’re offering “advanced engagement” to China, why not membership to Russia? Relative to China, Russia is a democracy, has rule of law and a free market. I’m not for a moment suggesting Russia is Denmark! But relatively speaking…you know? Perhaps there’s more to be gained by engaging Russia than not, especially given that Russia is potentially the richest nation on earth in terms on natural resources. The Russian economy will continue to develop; it is vital that liberal influences are encouraged. Even the US had its “robber baron” period, and some would say crony capitalism continues there to this day. As for Russia’s imperialist exploits, as some allude to here, study their history to understand that -the same applies to the US. In regard to recent events in the Ukraine: have not the US & EU acted as provocateurs? Why wouldn’t Russia act to protect its national interests? As the saying goes, don’t poke a sleeping bear!

  34. Bruce of Newcastle

    Bruce, were you fine with us doing it in Serbia/Kosovo/Yugoslavia?

    Seditionary – Yes I was. You again forget your history. The NATO intervention into the Serbia/Kosovo crisis occurred when Milosevic started to expel the majority Kosovans over the border into Albania and Macedonia.

    So you support ethnic cleansing too, do you?

    If the Ukranian speakers started expelling Russian speakers over the border then Russia would be in the right. By grabbing off Crimea like they have with Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transdnieper they are emulating both Hitler and Stalin.

    If you want the correct formula I direct your attention to the peaceful rearrangement of Czechoslovakia.

  35. jupes

    The six day war had antecedents in the Galilee water diversion and Suez blockade.

    Yeah. It had absolutely nothing to do with Islam’s desire to destroy the Jews in their midst.

  36. jupes

    Wars are decided by economics.

    Sure. The Taliban’s economic output far outweigh’s the puny economic output of the US.

  37. Tel

    Sure. The Taliban’s economic output far outweigh’s the puny economic output of the US.

    Not the first war over Opium, probably not the last.

  38. jupes

    Not the first war over Opium, probably not the last.

    Oh right.

    9/11 was all about smack. Who knew?

  39. Tel

    Last I checked none of the hijackers were Afghan, unless you have new information. I seem to remember they were Saudi.

  40. .

    Err, the Suez blockade went on from the never genuinely ended conflict in 1948.

    I never said the Arab States did not want to destroy Israel.

  41. sdfc

    Sure. The Taliban’s economic output far outweigh’s the puny economic output of the US.

    There’s no doubt the full weight of US economic power would have smashed the Taliban. The will to continue fighting an ongoing guerrilla war is another matter.

  42. .

    Tel is right.

    I have a friend who is now a veteran of Afghanistan – two tours of duty. Most of his time to the end of the conflict (latter half of second tour) was being like a DEA agent rather than smashing the Taliban, otherwise assisting local police and the ANA to track down remnants of Taliban and al Qaida activity and removing unexploded ordnance to make the place safer for civilians – which they started off doing in the second tour and these missions were the focus of the first tour of duty.

  43. Ed

    Last I checked none of the hijackers were Afghan, unless you have new information. I seem to remember they were Saudi.

    Don’t tell me you’re a Truther.

  44. .

    Here’s the thing.

    The Talib don’t care about drugs, or Afghanis. They are a Pakistani rooted organisation of people smugglers and slavery merchants.

    They offer a farmer a price for opium (which is a core but side business). They pay a forward contract. They don’t give a shit about non delivery because the security is usually a child of the farmer.

    These kids either get used/sold as slaves or become sex slaves – if they are good at this awful of sexual servitude they actually become quite powerful as their role as a ladyboy lover for hire and end up having influence in the local strongman’s court.

  45. .

    Ed
    #1210254, posted on March 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm
    Last I checked none of the hijackers were Afghan, unless you have new information. I seem to remember they were Saudi.

    Don’t tell me you’re a Truther.

    Um, you don’t need to be a troofer to say they were disaffected rich Arab kids from good families, well educated and had personal problems – a lot were alcoholic and lonely and hence easily “programmable” for the lack of a better word.

    I thought most were Saudi, IIRC.

  46. Andrew

    15 Saudi 2 UAE, an Egyptian and a Lebanese walk into a bar…

  47. Ed

    Last I checked none of the hijackers were Afghan, unless you have new information. I seem to remember they were Saudi.

    This comment was given in response to the assertion that the Afghanistan war was about 9/11. (because Tel asserted it was about opium). The implication is that it couldn’t have been about 9/11…. after all, how many Afghans were involved in that? none!

    Yes, there were no Afghans. But the Afghanistan war was still about 9/11 and not opium. We all know the connection. Don’t play dumb.

  48. Ripper

    Interesting take on the whole thing by Jim Willie

    The Saudi gold in London will be totally gone in a few more months. To be sure, it is going mostly to China. The Saudis are being gutted. They will likely be on the run soon, their gold bars cut loose. They might be hunted.

    I am not saying He is right or wrong , but it is worth filing to see how thing turn out.

  49. jupes

    Last I checked none of the hijackers were Afghan, unless you have new information. I seem to remember they were Saudi.

    A brief history of the war:

    Saudi Muslims attack the Great Satan with commercial airliners because of Islam.
    Terrorist organisation responsible operates from Taliban controlled Afghanistan.
    US invades Afghanistan to destroy terrorist organisation and remove Taliban.
    US (stupidly) stays on to impose democracy.

    Or then again, according to Tel, the US invaded Afghanistan to control opium production.

    Riiiiiggghhhht.

  50. jupes

    Tel is right.

    Dot. Not for the first time, you have beclowned yourself.

  51. jupes

    There’s no doubt the full weight of US economic power would have smashed the Taliban. The will to continue fighting an ongoing guerrilla war is another matter.

    100% correct SDFC.

    However this contradicts your earlier statement that:

    Wars are decided by economics.

    Wars are decided by many factors but by far the most important is will. The Taliban has the will. The US (and Australia) does not.

  52. Combine_Dave

    To deny the Russian claim to the Crimea would be to accept the precedent that would rightly allow the Indigenous Australian nations to promptly tell us to leave and not come back and be able to enforce it with international support.

    Since when did an established ethnic group within a sovereign nation suddenly allow another nation to carve it up at will? I look forward to Mexico now claiming large swarths of the USA, or an Africa state claiming all Americans states where African Americans dominate the population percentages.

  53. stackja

    jupes
    #1210279, posted on March 2, 2014 at 9:03 pm
    Wars are decided by many factors but by far the most important is will. The Taliban has the will. The US (and Australia) does not.

    USA lost the will inside its own borders. Australia only went in as an USA ally.

  54. sdfc

    Fair enough Jupes. However the US won the war, just not the nation building exercise.

  55. Tel

    Last I checked none of the hijackers were Afghan, unless you have new information. I seem to remember they were Saudi.

    Don’t tell me you’re a Truther.

    I thought that was the official freaking story?!? What gives here?

  56. Tel

    Saudi Muslims attack the Great Satan with commercial airliners because of Islam.
    Terrorist organisation responsible operates from Taliban controlled Afghanistan.

    And many other places, even more-so in Iraq now that the US finished disrupting the regime that was keeping them out.

    All the while the Saudis remain allies of the USA, while the great majority of Afghans (who had nothing whatsoever to do with 911) now hate our guts.

    US invades Afghanistan to destroy terrorist organisation and remove Taliban.

    And totally fails to achieve this… and eventually hunts down the ringleader in a completely different country, without needing to invade that country.

    US (stupidly) stays on to impose democracy.

    Which also failed. Hearts and Minds! Hearts and Minds!

  57. jupes

    Fair enough Jupes. However the US won the war, just not the nation building exercise.

    If the US had have left as soon as they had destroyed the Taliban in Afghanistan, then they could have claimed to have won the war.

    By staying on they will lose.

  58. Ripper

    US invades Afghanistan to destroy terrorist organisation and remove Taliban.

    And then proceed to support al qaeda in Syria. Weren’t they supposed to be the enemy?

  59. Tel

    And then proceed to support al qaeda in Syria. Weren’t they supposed to be the enemy?

    That was a whole new bunch of boneheads… but yeah, not the brightest move.

  60. Ed

    And then proceed to support al qaeda in Syria. Weren’t they supposed to be the enemy?

    They didn’t “support al qaeda” in Syria. They supported the opposition, while at the time al qaeda was gaining control of sections of the opposition. Syria’s complicated but I think it’s unfair even to Obama to describe the Syria policy in that way.

  61. Tel

    If the US had have left as soon as they had destroyed the Taliban in Afghanistan …

    Errr, yeah about that… kinda didn’t happen.

    http://weaselzippers.us/170874-us-backed-afghan-president-hamid-karzai-calls-the-taliban-his-brothers-slams-us-presence-in-afghanistan/

  62. duncanm

    Wars are decided by many factors but by far the most important is will. The Taliban has the will. The US (and Australia) does not.

    Jupes — this nails it.

  63. duncanm

    The US should have gone Israeli on the Taliban. Targeted strikes on key figures: rinse and repeat until clean.

  64. Ripper

    They didn’t “support al qaeda” in Syria. They supported the opposition, while at the time al qaeda was gaining control of sections of the opposition. Syria’s complicated but I think it’s unfair even to Obama to describe the Syria policy in that way.

    Lol. The NSA knows everything.

  65. sdfc

    Democracy and prosperity would seem to be the best defences against fascism.

  66. “Since when did an established ethnic group within a sovereign nation suddenly allow another nation to carve it up at will? I look forward to Mexico now claiming large swarths of the USA, or an Africa state claiming all Americans states where African Americans dominate the population percentages.”

    We did exactly that in creating Kosovo against Serbia’s wishes. That and the US of A and Mexico have gone toe to toe over their territorial possessions, Mexico lost and hasn’t tried since. That doesn’t preclude Russia from acting in the interests of people who see themselves as Russian and by and large wish to remain so, if we can do it in Kosovo, they can (and likely will) in the Ukraine.

  67. jupes

    And many other places, even more-so in Iraq now that the US finished disrupting the regime that was keeping them out

    Yeah. Iraq was so much better with Saddam and his sons running the show.

    All the while the Saudis remain allies of the USA …

    Disgusting I agree.

    … while the great majority of Afghans (who had nothing whatsoever to do with 911) now hate our guts.

    That must be why many of them are were paying thousands of dollars to come and live here.

    And they did have heaps to do with 9/11. They gave succour to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Many of them still do.

    And totally fails to achieve this…

    Well not totally. Al Qaeda and the Taliban were booted out in the first few months. It was only later that they filtered back in.

    … and eventually hunts down the ringleader in a completely different country, without needing to invade that country.

    True. However by insinuating that the US shouldn’t have invaded Afghanistan, you ignore the need for vengeance after 9/11.

    The US was attacked by terrorists who had been given a base and support by a nation hostile to the US. If the US hadn’t have used the most powerful military in the history of the world to exact retribution for 9/11, then they may as well have disbanded every arm of the military right then and there.

    Which also failed.

    It was stupid to try impose democracy on Islamic tribalists.

    Hearts and Minds! Hearts and Minds!

    Counter Insurgency doctrine is seriously flawed and rarely wins hearts and minds. Far better to concentrate on the tried and true method of just killing the enemy.

  68. sdfc

    Far better to concentrate on the tried and true method of just killing the enemy.

    Which can be a problem if you don’t know who they are.

  69. jupes

    Which can be a problem if you don’t know who they are.

    On the other hand, it can be no problem if you are prepared to go hard after them.

    The Sri Lankans have set the standard for defeating an insurgency. The Tamil Tigers were utterly destroyed.

  70. sdfc

    So you want the US to set up concentration camps in Afghanistan?

  71. Yohan

    Of course Putin is a thug, Russia is a dictatorship, and I we would not want to live there.

    But you have to point out western hypocrisy. We are now quoting international law in our criticism of Russia’s invasion. This is while we still invaded and occupy Iraq, Afghanistan, daily bomb Yemen & Pakistan against the wishes of their government e.t.c
    Now don’t misunderstand me, I think we should be bombing the islamist’s, but don’t start quoting rule of law and democracy to us. It is what it is.

    Similarly, only a few months back we supported the overthrow of a democratically elected government we did not like, Eqypt’s Morsi, and the Egyptian military killed 600 people when they finally broke up the demonstrations (after letting them go on for a few weeks).
    John Kerry called this restoring democracy.
    Again, would I like to live in Egypt under Morsi? No give me a secular military dictatorship anyday, but I’m not going to delude myself about what the reality of the situation is with self righteousness.

  72. Yohan

    The Sri Lankans have set the standard for defeating an insurgency. The Tamil Tigers were utterly destroyed.

    A friend of mine is Sinhalese (the majority ethnic group in Sri Lanka). In late 2005 he took his young family back to Sri Lanka and said he was going back home for good, had enough of Australia. I then see him in December 2005, and he tells me the move is off, because according to his brother in the Sri Lankan government, they are going to have a war against the Tamil Tigers.

    A few months later, in 2006, the first reports of shelling occurs on the border between Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tiger territory (a truce has been in place with no violence since 2001). United Nations observers say it did not come from Tiger territory, but of course the Sri Lankan army responds against the ‘terrorists’, restarting the conflict. The rest is history.

  73. .

    jupes
    #1210275, posted on March 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    Tel is right.

    Dot. Not for the first time, you have beclowned yourself.

    No. My source is a SOA two time veteran of Operation Slipper who described to me in detail some of the work he did in Afghanistan (short of breaching the security act etc).

    You are simply wrong. The war is linked to drugs because they play such a large part of the Afghan economy.

  74. Demosthenes

    Well said, Yohan.

  75. .

    Yohan
    #1210459, posted on March 3, 2014 at 1:52 am
    Of course Putin is a thug, Russia is a dictatorship, and I we would not want to live there.

    But you have to point out western hypocrisy. We are now quoting international law in our criticism of Russia’s invasion. This is while we still invaded and occupy Iraq, Afghanistan, daily bomb Yemen & Pakistan against the wishes of their government e.t.c
    Now don’t misunderstand me, I think we should be bombing the islamist’s, but don’t start quoting rule of law and democracy to us. It is what it is.

    Yohan – the poor pro Putin fools are using the same principles to justify the Russian invasion, despite the quisling, illegitimate government having Russian SF shoot at Ukrainian protesters.

    But yes, well said.

Comments are closed.