By Martin Warburg
According to a recent letter from John Kane-Berman of the Institute of Race Relations –“We condemn and outlaw slavery because we don’t think any man should be able to confiscate another man’s labour. But we then introduce measures, such as minimum wage laws, restricting the rights of the poor to sell their labour. Either way, slave or free, they earn no money.”
What Kane-Berman could equally have added was the toxic role of trade unions and the effects of coercive labour laws, affirmative action and legislated BEE on economic growth and aggregate employment.
They all generate job losses, forgone opportunities and victims.
The sad fact of the matter is that the nation’s ruling establishment has no understanding of economics, the dynamics of a successful political economy, the creation of value and wealth, opportunity cost or what creates employment – or, conversely – unemployment.
It is when leaders and politicians with a capacity for rational thought choose to avoid the well documented and freely available economic truths in favour of ideologies, personal and/or party power and influence and self aggrandizement that they can justifiably be accused of promoting a devious and surreptitious form of slavery.
They rob individuals of their basic human rights through misleading them with discredited and delusional doctrines that they do not have the capacity to refute – and from which they (those with the capacity for rational thought) themselves often personally benefit.
Nowhere in our public life is this more obvious than in the national economy and state education.
Let us focus on the causes of ANC induced unemployment and bad education – those issues of most concern to rank and file South Africans.
In both areas ordinary people are held hostage by ANC vested interests (which – just incidentally – do not include the agents of “monopoly capital” as so many stooge politicians freely allege!). No; they are held hostage by black vested interests that have been enabled politically and endorsed by a cognitively inept voting corps.
UNEMPLOYMENT & THE ECONOMY
In survey after survey, the nation’s most pressing problem by far according to ordinary people is unemployment – which is directly related to economic activity and growth.
South Africa’s economic rate of growth peaked at just over five percent about ten years ago – when other emerging markets were growing at almost double that (since then it has declined steadily; we might squeeze out one percent growth this year, if lucky.) And through it all our unemployment has quite predictably climbed.
The reason for that is that our economy is incapable of working efficiently and is subject to artificial, ideologically driven constraints.
Whilst much of the developing world, including a number of African countries has grown sustainably at between 5 and 10 percent per annum, our focus has been on entrenching the politically privileged. These are the “haves” – the struggle elite and their fellow travellers – at the expense of the “have-nots” – comprising everyone else from potential business entrepreneurs to school leavers and those too discouraged to look for work any longer.
1. Many of those lucky enough to have jobs keep them whether deserving or not, because it is difficult to fire them.
The Primary Cause : Labour Legislation
2.Those who keep their jobs get paid more than they are necessarily worth because of high wage demands.
The Primary Cause: Powerful Trade Unions
3. The unemployment queues get longer because job seekers get few opportunities to prove themselves: the price you place on your offering is the only valid weapon you have if you are young and/or ill educated.
These people have thus been deprived of an economically viable life.
Causes: Powerful Trade Unions and Labour Legislation
4. At the top end, political patronage and corruption have ravaged the economy by inserting dead wood (cadres) into key positions; so society pays through inefficiencies and lost economic activity.
Causes: Patronage, Cadre deployment
5. State owned enterprises (SOEs) and the civil service have been loaded with politically supportive ballast to ensure continuing support at the polls.
Causes: Patronage, Cadre deployment, Affirmative Action, BEE
6. There are any number of failed entities concealing hidden costs to South Africans – such as the post office and SAA, poor service delivery in failed municipalities, failing water management, public transport and the shortcomings of the notorious electricity utility, Eskom. And these are but the obvious ones that we regularly hear about. Few are fully functional.
The Causes: Patronage, Cadre deployment, Affirmative Action, BEE
In relation to points 1 and 2, some might naively argue that protecting jobs should reduce unemployment – but they would be wrong.
Exchanging unproductive for productive and/or less expensive inputs (workers) enhances productivity, margins, cuts costs and encourages growth – which generates new, more productive jobs.
One might have hoped that voter intelligence could eventually overturn this state of affairs, but it has not. This brings us to the key issue of a wrecked State Education system and bleak future for the nation’s youth. Indeed, we could be justified in asking this question:
Has keeping the nation’s cognitive capacity as low as possible been a conscious strategy to secure the ANC’s on going tenure?
It certainly provides food for thought.
Countless international comparisons have put our state education at the bottom of the planetary pile. Whether we are universally rock bottom across all subjects (as with maths and science) is difficult to verify but the fact remains; we are extremely bad.
To make things worse, we stand no chance of digging ourselves out of that hole under the prevailing paradigm. For, amongst other ideological constraints we are literally enslaved by the doctrine of workers’ (in this case read also teachers’) rights as articulated by the trade union movement. And once again it is a case of vested interests (teachers, trade union members) eclipsing the interests of students and their parents.
That – as with being unable to find work because of enacted laws – is a pernicious form of slavery.
When told that our regime represents the poor; protects their rights; and serves the best interests of the underdog, it is lying because the deprivation of legitimate personal opportunities by the state is a form of slavery that negates the liberty of individuals and delegitimises personal merit.
It will hopefully one day be exposed as immoral, unconstitutional – and punishable. To pretend otherwise and lie to millions of people – as the ANC routinely does – is fraud on a grand scale.
If voters were less ignorant they might well discard the delusion and do something about it – but, as we have already suggested – that is not entirely their fault.
All of which again emphasises how very devious this form of slavery is.
- News 24 Voices