Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Zimbabwe: Global Example for Economic Disaster

Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, has set a wonderful example for how to destroy a country. I can only hope that when I am a benevolent dictator of some sleepy island in the pacific that I will have such foresight if i decide to rape my country.

His plan for developing the economy according to the NYT:

"[Mugabe's] legislation would establish a government fund to help citizens buy stock in public companies, and would allow the government to reject any corporate mergers, acquisitions, investments and other transactions in which so-called indigenous Zimbabweans did not hold a 51 percent stake. It was unclear, however, how Zimbabwe’s bankrupt government, beset by hyperinflation and a currency crisis, would finance the transfers."

What a wonderful idea. Rake the few remaining employers over the coals by essentially mandating a takeover and outlawing rational decision making. As any good politician would do, he is calling for patience. Thats because of the above stated hyperinflation problem. How bad is it? Comically bad.

"Prices change daily, if not hourly; one news report last week noted that golfers at a Harare country club were paying for their 19th-hole drinks before teeing off after discovering that prices were rising while they were on the course."

Yes, for only 400,000 Zimbabwe dollars you too can own a single American dollar.

I feel bad for the people of Zimbabwe. How do you rectify this problem? Elections? It is extremely difficult to defeat a person who has utilized such deep patronage politics for so many years and more difficult to find an honest candidate. Overthrow the government? Good luck.I guess the only answer is to move. A tough chore for a person with little money, education, and direction. The only positive is that it reinforces how lucky I am to live in the US despite the various faults.

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