Tag Archives: Africa

Africa’s Socialism Is Keeping It Poor, by Germinal G. Van

Stupid policies don’t discriminate. They lead to tragic outcomes regardless of the race, color, creed, or gender of those who implement them. From Germinal G. Van at mises.org:

It has been widely, vividly, but nonetheless wrongly believed that socialism is the appropriate system to improve the living standards of Africans. Worse yet, it has been misleadingly claimed that socialism is compatible with African culture because African culture is fundamentally a collectivist culture. However, one fact remains undisputable: socialism has failed wherever it was tried, and the African countries that have experimented with socialism were not exempted from its failure.

The undeniable fact remains that Africa has the lowest living standard of all continents after Antarctica. The reason why the living standard of the majority of African countries is so low compared to the rest of the world, is because socialism has impoverished the African continent. At the outset of the post-colonial era in the 1960s many African countries — such as Tanzania, Angola, Mali, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Egypt, Senegal, Guinea, Congo and many more — have embraced socialism as their economic and political system. These countries that have embraced socialism became significantly worse off by the 1980s. For example, Tanzania was one of the fast-growing economies in East Africa until Julius Nyerere implemented the “Ujamaa,” which means socialism and brotherhood in the Swahili language. Before the implementation of the Ujamaa; Tanzania had aGDP similar to South Korea . Subsequently to the implementation of Ujamaa, economic growth became unsurprisingly stagnant. The policy of collectivization impoverished the Tanzanian people. Food production fell, and the country’s economy suffered . This decline in productivity has made Tanzania one of the poorest countries on the continent. In Ghana, under the rule of Kwame Nkrumah, one of the foremost African political leaders of the post-colonial era; socialism was also implemented as the economic system of the country. Socialism, as a domestic policy in Nkrumah’s seven-year development plan, was to be pursued toward “a complete ownership of the economy by the state.” A bewildering slate of legislative controls and regulations were imposed on imports, capital transfers, industry, minimum wages, the rights and powers of trade unions, prices, rents and interest rates. Private businesses were taken away and nationalized by the Nkrumah government. The result has also been unsurprising. Resources were mismanaged, inflation rose, and economic stagnation occurred in Ghana. Zimbabwe has also suffered from the myths of African socialism under Mugabe’s rule. Mugabe collectivized the means of production in the late 1980s when he became Zimbabwe’s strongman. Rampant corruption, huge budget deficits, and mismanagement of resources have dragged the economy, hyperinflation, 60 percent unemployment, and a desperate shortage of hard currency. These examples clearly demonstrate how socialism had utterly stagnated the economies of these countries until a market economy was once again reinstated.

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Oil, Military And Nuclear Tech: Russia’s Influence In Africa, by Vanand Meliksetian

Russia, China, and the US are scrambling to secure Africa’s resources. From Vanand Meliksetian at oilprice.com:

Virtually all great powers have set their eyes on Africa as the continent’s global importance grows. Its population is set to double by 2050 and its economy is expected to expand significantly alongside its energy consumption. It is these projections that have driven Russia to invest heavily in strong relations in the region for when the continent’s explosive growth takes off. The Kremlin’s goal is to emulate China’s success in fostering economic, diplomatic, and military links with Africa. To become an important partner, Moscow is organizing the first-ever Russia-Africa summit on 23-24 October.

Sochi, Russia’s de facto capital after Moscow, will host the summit where Egypt’s President Sisi is invited as co-chair. The event is a major test for Russia’s corps diplomatique and the country’s rise as a global power. To showcase the ineffectiveness of Western sanctions and their failure in isolating Moscow, 50 heads of state are invited to the summit.

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Bad Law Keeps People Poor, by John Stossel

It’s amazing how few people ever ascribe pervasive poverty to bad laws, which produce bad governments and corruption. From John Stossel at townhall.com:

Why does most of Africa stay poor while other parts of the world prosper?

People blame things like climate, the history of colonialism, racism, etc.

But I say Senegalese businesswoman Magatte Wade gives the right explanation: too many rules.

“Once you hire someone, good luck getting rid of them for any reason,” Wade complains. Her government must approve every firing.

“Then the tax code is so complicated… worth at least two or three truckloads of paper.”

Wade started a lip balm company. Some of her ingredients are not made in Senegal, so she imports them. To “protect” Senegalese manufacturers, the government makes importing ingredients expensive.

“Some have a 70% import tariff on them!” she says.

President Donald Trump now threatens similar taxes on imports from China. In Africa, people sometimes escape such taxes by paying bribes. We hear a lot about African corruption.

“People complain about corruption as if corruption is a root problem,” says Wade. “I say no. Corruption is a natural consequence of stupid, senseless, idiot laws.”

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The Biggest Migration Since the Barbarian Invasions of Rome, by Doug Casey

This interview with Doug Casey is all kinds of politically incorrect, which means, as is often the case, that Casey is spot on. From Casey at internationalman.com:

International Man: Former Libyan leader Muammar Ghaddafi once warned that “Europe runs the risk of turning black from illegal immigration… it could turn into Africa.”

Since the United States and NATO helped overthrow Ghaddafi in 2011, millions of migrants from Africa and the Middle East have poured into Europe. Many transited from Libya.

This is all well known, and all signs point to this trend accelerating. What’s your take on where this is going?

Doug Casey: First, it’s a pity Ghaddafi was taken out. Another disastrous US policy decision. Not that he was a nice guy—no one running an artificially constructed nation-state can be. But it was at least a stable situation. Now it’s been replaced by a bloody and costly war. And it’s complete chaos. Nice work Hillary and Obama. But let’s talk about Africa at large.

Africa, or at least migration in and out of Africa, is going to be the epicenter of what’s happening in the world for the rest of this century.

Africa has gone from being just an empty space on the map in the 19thcentury, to a bunch of backwater colonies in the 20th century, to a bunch of chaotic failed states that most people are only vaguely aware of today. Soon, however, it will be continuing front-page news. This is because Chinese are moving to Africa in record numbers while Africans are leaving as fast as they can.

What we’re looking at is actually the biggest migration since the barbarian invasions of the Roman Empire. There will be tens of millions—scores of millions—of Africans trying to get into Europe. I don’t know how the Europeans will keep them out. I used to say Europe was going to be a petting zoo for the Chinese, but it may be more of a squatter’s camp for the Africans.

Africa is the only part of the world where the population is still growing and growing rapidly. Africa south of the Sahara was about 6% of the world’s population in the ’50s, now it’s about 16%. But by the turn of the century, it’s going to be 45%. Assuming there isn’t some kind of catastrophe. It’s not clear that the Africans can grow enough food for billions more people.

In fact, if the West stops supporting the continent with capital and technology, it could be in for very tough times. Wakanda, the country in “Black Panther”, doesn’t exist. On the contrary, the continent is full of Gondwana lookalikes. Gondwana is where most of the action takes place in Speculator, the novel John Hunt and I wrote. It’s the first of seven in the High Ground series.

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Our New Planet Is Going to Be Great! by Steve Sailer

Do nations have a right to exclude immigrants? From Steve Sailer at takimag.com:

The fundamental issue of the 2020 presidential campaign is rapidly becoming whether or not America’s whites, as exemplified in the person of Donald Trump, have the right to block the world’s blacks and Muslims, as exemplified in the person of Somalia-born Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), from immigrating en masse to the United States.

Or is the entire notion of white citizens democratically voting to keep out nonwhites too racistly triggering for more enlightened entities, such as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, to allow?

The United Nations’ publication last month of its World Population Prospects 2019 adds important perspective to this question.

For example, in 1991, when Omar’s family fled Somalia due to their complicity in the genocidal regime of the dictator Siad Barre, the population of Somalia was only 7 million.

Today, 28 chaotic years later, Somalia has more than doubled in size to 15 million despite immense outflows of emigrants. The U.N. forecasts that Somalia’s population will reach 35 million in 2050 and 76 million in 2100.

Alternatively, millions of Somalis (or, quite possibly, tens of millions of Somalis) might prefer to follow Rep. Omar to the Magic Dirt of the first world. According to a Gallup poll, at present one-third of the population of sub-Saharan African wants to migrate, and it’s unlikely that additional population growth will make Africa more attractive.

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Mapping the American War on Terror, by Stephanie Savell

Since terror is a tactic that can be used anywhere, the wonder is not the number of countries in which the US is fighting its war on terror, but that there are remaining where it is not. From Stephanie Sevall at tomdispatch.com:

In September 2001, the Bush administration launched the “Global War on Terror.” Though “global” has long since been dropped from the name, as it turns out, they weren’t kidding.

When I first set out to map all the places in the world where the United States is still fighting terrorism so many years later, I didn’t think it would be that hard to do. This was before the 2017 incident in Niger in which four American soldiers were killed on a counterterror mission and Americans were given an inkling of how far-reaching the war on terrorism might really be. I imagined a map that would highlight Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria — the places many Americans automatically think of in association with the war on terror — as well as perhaps a dozen less-noticed countries like the Philippines and Somalia. I had no idea that I was embarking on a research odyssey that would, in its second annual update, map U.S. counterterror missions in 80 countries in 2017 and 2018, or 40% of the nations on this planet (a map first featured in Smithsonian magazine).

As co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, I’m all too aware of the costs that accompany such a sprawling overseas presence. Our project’s research shows that, since 2001, the U.S. war on terror has resulted in the loss — conservatively estimated — of almost half a million lives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone. By the end of 2019, we also estimate that Washington’s global war will cost American taxpayers no less than $5.9 trillion already spent and in commitments to caring for veterans of the war throughout their lifetimes.

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China Won’t Be Taking Over, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

China’s got a lot of wood to chop before it can take over the world. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

In the New Year, after a close to the old one that was sort of terrible for our zombie markets, do prepare for a whole lot of stories about China (on top of Brexit and Yellow Vests and many more windmills fighting the Donald). And don’t count on too many positive ones that don’t originate in the country itself. Beijing will especially be full of feel-good tales about a month from now, around Chinese New Year 2019, which is February 5.

And we won’t get an easy and coherent true story, it’ll be bits and pieces stitched together. What will remain is that China did the same we did, just on steroids. It took us 100 years to build our manufacturing capacity, they did it in under 20 (and made ours obsolete). It took us 100 years to borrow enough to get a debt-to-GDP ratio of 300%, they did it in 10.

In the process they also accumulated 10 times more non-productive assets than us, idle factories, bridges to nowhere and empty cities, but they thought that would be alright, that demand would catch up with supply. And if you look at how much unproductive stuff we ourselves have gathered around us, who can blame them for thinking that? Perhaps their biggest mistake has been misreading our actual wealth situation; they didn’t see how poorly off we really are.

Xiang Songzuo, “a relatively obscure economics professor at Renmin University in Beijing”, expressed some dire warnings about the Chinese economy in a December 15 speech. He didn’t get much attention, not even in the West. Not overly surprising, since both Beijing and Wall Street have a vested interest in the continuing China growth story.

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