I must say that studying economics has corrupted/spoiled me, and that titles such as “RIM again urges Ottawa to review Nortel sale” makes me want to yell at something. The gist of the story is basically – Nortel is selling its wireless technology, Ericsson (Telefon AB LM Ericsson) is buying it, and RIM is bitching. RIM claims the sale of Nortel’s techonlogy to foreigners may hurt our national interest, and some enthused readers leave comments stating we are selling our industries to foreigners cheap (Nortel’s assets are being sold at $149 million instead for the $1.1 billion purchase price), or that Canadian benefits are at stake.
What do they want the Canadian government to do? Declare the sale of technology a national security risk and hand Nortel over to RIM on a silver platter? That somehow doesn’t seem like democracy or free market to me. Everything we have learned about inefficiencies of trade barriers go out window once we face an actual issue, and instead we will cheer for the blockade of a likely mutually beneficial deal for the purchasing parties (that $1.1 billion is a sunk cost, baby), so that we may continue to hail the greatness of Canadian technology. Yes, RIM has been named the number one most rapidly growing firm by Fortune, and therefore we are en route to conquering the world.
I think this is somewhat analogous to planting potatoes in Alaska – someone please hand me an aspirin.
Despite all the protest, I doubt Ottawa will sanction Nortel’s sale, and in my opinion quite correctly so. If we had wanted to adopt fascism, I dare say we would have done it a long time ago.