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Government intervention in the economy simply does not work. It is a mystery, then, why so many otherwise intelligent people keep calling for more of the same. After years of low growth (12 years now) concurrent with government fiscal deficits and various stimulus packages, we are now faced with retrenchments across the economy. The latest of which is Massmart announcing that it is considering retrenching 1,400 people.
An essential component of the rule of law is the existence of impartial courts where disputes are resolved fairly without favouritism to one of the parties. This is important for the economic welfare of individuals in a country because no modern economy can survive without individual property rights or contracts.
Following the discussions about the NHI (National Health Insurance), I am struck by how little regard is given to self-ownership. To preclude the possibility of ownership by someone else, self-ownership is a necessity. Black Africans were enslaved in the Americas because their self-ownership was not recognised.
Labour unions are undoubtedly the biggest obstacle to any positive reform, not because this particular group of individuals is somehow more evil than the rest of us. It is simply a rational response to the particular set of incentives that union bosses are faced with.
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 20 June. The speech was filled with rousing language as well as conciliatory offers to work together with members of the opposition. Unfortunately, no new details of his ostensible reform agenda were released, including details of how his dream for South Africa will come about.
Stats SA’s April Statistics of Liquidations and Insolvencies paint a very grim picture. The number of business liquidations increased by 53.1% between April 2018 and April 2019. The number of insolvencies increased by 30.1% between March 2018 and March 2019.
The latest GDP numbers show that the South African economy declined by 3.2% for the first quarter of 2019. This comes after President Ramaphosa announced a R50 billion stimulus package in September 2018. Since that stimulus followed on a decade of stimulus spending instituted since the 2008 global economic crisis, we must now ask whether Minister Pravin Gordhan’s decision to choose stimulus over austerity was the right one.
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a crime against the poor of this country as it absolutely forbids them from accepting any compensation below the floor set by government. It is reasonable, therefore, to assume that some people who could be working are not employed because of the minimum wage.
In South Africa it is well known that women suffer the brunt of our many socio-economic issues. This is largely how females are viewed across South African culture, rather than as a matter of law. According to the Economic Freedom of the World index, South Africa scores 1.0, the highest possible score, according to the gender adjustment variable.
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