Friday, September 30, 2011

What Obama Can Learn From Mugabe that Ron Paul Did

Hard to imagine it was just four years ago that pundits across the globe were slinging harsh and vilifying attacks against Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. They asserted that Mugabe under the banner of populism and black sovereignty had run and was continuing to run the country's economy into the ground. Inflation's was at an unimaginable rate of 100,000 percent which eventually grew to 231 million percent.The shelves of many stores were almost empty and prices were constantly increasing due to hyperinflation. For the general population, it was estimated that four out of five people were unemployed and that the situation was so bad that about 3,000 people a day were reported to be crossing Zimbabwe's borders into neighboring countries.

This no longer is the case, thanks namely to policies put in place and established by the same supposedly villainous Robert Mugabe. No longer does the African nation suffer with the highest rate of inflation in the world. Now just a few years’ latter goods are back on the shelves of local stores. Why, because of the government's decision to replace the Zimbabwe dollar with the South African rand and the US dollar.

The Zimbabwe's economy has produced economic growth for two successive years due to positive policies and strong commodity prices, and this according to the International Monetary Fund. Although this southern African country's economy was beaten down by hyperinflation (drops in value) which reached 500 billion percent in 2008 and grew 5.7 percent in 2009, now as it stands, Zimbabwe has a budget surplus and demonstrates additional signs of improvement. The economy of Zimbabwe grew close to 8 percent in 2010 is expected to grow near 10 percent this year.

The question for many remains how did this happen after being vilified by the United States and Europe just 5 years ago for not doing enough to improve the economy and the nation’s policy for land redistribution from Europeans to native Zimbabweans? How is this possible when once the rest of the world was saying that the people of Zimbabwe were not capable of self-government? First higher gold and platinum prices have boosted exports and government revenues in 2010. In addition, not being the victim of severe droughts as other African nations around the horn have resulted in conditions contributed that have led to increase in agricultural output. The policies of Mugabe targeted several areas including but not limited to reducing rigid labor market constraints, establishing security of land tenure, clarifying ownership requirements under the indigenization legislation, and addressing concerns about governance in the diamond sector. They also implemented other reforms including actions that have resulted in a more than 50 % increase of livestock folds across the country. Last but not least, there were the strict reforms imposed in the banking system.

Given all of the aforementioned, I often wonder why have these occurrences in Zimbabwe and imposed by President Mugabe received vapid coverage in mainstream western media and not openly discussed and acknowledged by President Obama? After all it was just last year when the nation‘s central bank introduced a $50 billion note (at the time enough to buy just two loaves of bread). It was implemented to avoid cash shortages because like our dollar, theirs was virtually worthless. The simple lesson for the President should be to learn from what we observe transpire in Zimbabwe, but he will not. Some economist have suggested that with the Federal Reserve Bank incessant use of quantitative easing (printing fiat money willy nily), that the U.S. economy will enter “hyperinflation” similar to what we saw in Zimbabwe. Why because no matter what, the artificiality of the US economy will be subjected to the reluctance of the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. We are already seeing large increases in everything from commodities to basic goods and with government debt growing so much, inflation has to start to accelerate at a dangerous rate.

From a policy approach it is obvious that Obama doesn’t comprehend, understand or believe the aforementioned as being a tenable outcome. Dr. Ron Paul does since he understands and states that “a thriving economy is not the but the result of a free people.” The actions of the President and a House that currently only serves to manage economic forces in an effort to mandate how business should be conducted, fail to egage the larger picture. Although not completely flawless, Dr. Paul’s economic principles rest on the idea that humans have the right to choose how to interact with one another. The clearest example concerns how we conduct foreign policy as nation and how these actions inherently impact our potential for economic growth negatively. For him, there is no reason to provide $3 billion to Israel annually while at the same time give their Arab neighbors and enemies and $12. Paul is the only current politician who has stated the reality of the US economy being considerably in worse shape than Europe.

First we owe Japan more than a trillion dollars, not to mention we are in worse shape than Japan, even after their natural disasters since they do have major exports to lean on and higher rates of savings available. The question should be why are US politicians from the President on down not addressing the citizens of this nation honestly about our economic conundrum? What are we doing to maintain our competitive edge in the world while all other nations are acting? Nothing, we fuss and bicker and Obama doesn’t show the will or ability to work on this from a serious purview and neither do Republicans. While Zimbabwe is going through with their plans for a gold-backed currency and China Becomes World’s Largest Gold Buyer, our economy is slowing down and we applaud an artificial stock bubble like it means we are back on track. Things that Paul openly supports.

As opposed to trying to solve our problems, our federal government only attempts to spends, borrow, and print money our-way out of debt so much that the dollar is null. Why, because our politicians figure the best way to grow (which isn’t growth) our economy is by printing new money to pay its debts, and borrows hundreds of billions abroad in the form of Treasury obligations that someday must be paid. All of this even when they know such is in contradiction to the laws of economics. From what has been said and written, it is pellucid that Dr. Paul understands this as well as Robert Mugabe. The query is does or can President Obama and can he learn from them both?


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