This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our PRIVACY POLICY for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.
  • How you can save your country?

How you can save your country?

04 July 2016

Dawie Roodt , Chief Economist |
Charl Celliers, Managing Partner |

As you listen to politics or most of the political and economic commentators, you will find there to be quite a few “good” things that could be done to better a country. Usually poverty, unemployment, and inequality gets emphasised as the biggest enemies in a country that should be fought by some form of intervention from the authorities.  Jobs should be created, poverty should be relieved, and equality should be strived for – then all our problems will be lighter in an instant.  Of course this is all just a great farce!

Obviously I do not think that poverty, unemployment, and inequality is a good thing, but I do think that this approach is completely wrong.  For instance: is inequality a problem? i.e. Extremely poor people would rather be extremely poor in a wealthy country than extremely poor in a poor country. Even the poorest people in a wealthy country, who is far worse off than the wealthy people, still live substantially better than poor people in poor countries, even if the income difference is smaller.  The fact of the matter is that it is better to be poor in a wealthy country than to be poor in a poor country.  Inequality has got nothing to do with it, the wealth of the country has got everything to do with it.

The same goes for unemployment.  Unemployment is not countered by job creation, job creation actually leads to higher unemployment rates! It is relatively easy to “create” jobs; get 100 people to dig holes and 100 people to close the holes and two hundred “jobs” have been “created”. This is obviously a great farce, as no jobs/work were created, it just kept 200 people busy – it is not work!

Another manner of job creation is to ban all computers.  Force people to do all calculations, planning, accounting, Google searches, messages, and all the other wonderful things that computers enable us to do, by hand! Thousands of jobs will be “created” by writing letters by hand, transporting mail, writing and selling encyclopedias, and doing all the work that has been taken over by computers!  Thus, the ridiculousness of “job creation” is clear.

On the contrary, we should rejoice when a company lets people go due to technoligical advancement, as it makes the said company more profitable which in turn creates more wealth. The loss of employment due to changes in technology and other changes in an economy is a natural and welcome phenomenon. It shows a dynamic and renewed economy that is growing and increasing in wealth. Employment loss in one industry means employment gain in another – or that is the ideal, at least.

But in practice we are preventing our economy to make the necessary adjustments by laws and policies that makes implementing of technology and rotation of workers difficult. One cannot blame workers for being angry when they lose their jobs, but it would be much less of a problem if they were able to easily find alternative employment. For this, though, we need a growing economy and skilled workers. The problem is not the loss of jobs as such, but the fact that new jobs are not being allowed to naturally originate elsewhere in the economy.

What about poverty, do we have a poverty problem? Definitely not! The only way to have fewer poor people, is by having more wealthy people.

So what can you do? If you want to be a progressive, successful, and wealthy country that offers all the wonderful things that are good and right to its people, then there is only one thing that truly matters: get rich! Get rich by working hard, by working smart, by using scarce resources to the best of their abilities, and by taking risks, even if it means you become richer than someone else, or that you destroy jobs in the process.

Mother Thereza helped many poor people in her own way, and even though her intentions were good and pure, a thousand Mother Therezas will never lift as many people out of poverty as one Bill Gates has done – even if he became extremely wealthy in the process!