Mugabe O Mugabe, what have you done? You ruined us!
When I first heard of Zimbabwe having 217$ in its bank account back in February, I thought it was one of those fake onion articles.
How could this happen? Corruption, unscrupulous president, pressure from the west, bad policies, war?
Nope, it was Statism!
Statism is the concentration of political and economical power in the state at the expense of individual liberty. Statism has disastrous economical consequences, as well as moral and ethical ones. As Ayn Rand wrote more than a decade ago:
“Politically, the goal of today’s dominant trend is Statism. Philosophically, the goal is the obliteration of reason; psychologically, it is the erosion of ambition.”
Ayn Rand, Letters of Ayn Rand I, 12, 1
“The erosion of ambition”! Exactly what had happened in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Mugabe took farms from white Zimbabweans who had been there for many generations and turned them to locals. The government also decided to have cheap food policy so that everybody could get inexpensive grain. They set a low price for corn and forced producers to sell them. Supply plummeted and farms got ruined. As agriculture was the main driver of the economy the consequences were disastrous for the country.
The lack of expertise, low prices, shrinkage of investor confidence, paralyzed production, international sanctions and scared tourists caused Zimbabwe to deteriorate from one of Africa’s most prosperous economies to the world worst.
That is what happens in a statism regime!
You see, Inflation rose from an annual rate of 32% in 1998, to an official estimated high of 230 Million % in 2008. Yes, 230 Million %!
What that means is that as soon as money is printed it becomes worthless. What it also means is that tomatoes prices rose approximately 230 million % in 10 years. Must be very special tomatoes…
Surely, Mr. Mugabe does not recognize his role in his country’s bankruptcy. He blames Europe and the US. What has he done after all? He takes good care of his wife who goes on shopping expeditions across Europe, when more than 94% of her population is unemployed. If it were not so sad, it would be funny.
Hopefully, the world will recognize that Statism just doesn’t work. People should realize that they must fight oppression & control and that they must embrace an open society. The only way to achieve prosperity is by empowering the people, by educating the nation and unleashing the entrepreneur.