|MANHERU: Civil Servants Pay: Goading the masses, cuddling the IMF - Economic lesson from a dog|
|Saturday, 16 July 2011 00:00|
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Economic lesson from a dog
Basic textbooks on economics will tell you that what makes this one curve stand out above all other curves - animate or inanimate - is its unique and stubborn trait of refusing to dive to the zero point of any graph, let alone to venture into the minus zone. It may meander and mend, twist and turn but no, it never hits point zero or below. When it comes to a downward trend, it is very stubborn, more stubborn than Minister Biti, with all his self-vaunted ghetto intransigence.
Its resilience is not hard to discover. Even a beggar whose pocket is totally empty, still incurs consumption-related expenditure. He must live, and the will to live compels that he borrows for survival, well beyond his savings.
This is why people get over-borrowed, including those living on or beneath the threshold, who thus should be reckoned as unable to spent.
Beyond the alchemy of dreams
Today he says he has recovered from the dashing idealism of those tumultuous days where the alchemy of militant idealism turned boys' toys into fuel-free Ferraris. He has discovered new bodies of knowledge, new rules of life, including one that politely advises that this earth has its guardians, all hailing from a clan of fairer, white skin colour. He has new teachers, new textbooks from some university called Bretton Woods.
He is also quick to add the real world is hard on the soft, harder on the dreamy. He says he is now a down-to-earth man, a hard-nosed politician-minister. I hope he is all that. For the sake of this article I take comfort from the sheer longevity of matters learnt in youth.
The one lesson in capitalism
Capitalism cannot deny its victim - the worker - the ability to reproduce his life and his class-kind, without imperiling itself.
Zimbabwe's national statistics are compiled by a department under Minister Biti's charge. He is about to replace that department's leadership, fortuitously giving its reigns to an officer who once upon a time was his high school teacher. This is the department which tells us what threshold earnings for our society should be, all to
The worker himself does not invent figures that gauge the poverty datum line. Biti's Zimstats -renamed after the old CSO, reshaped after a blueprint and on orders of the ubiquitous International Monetary Fund (IMF) - does.