|MANHERU: Civil Servants Pay: Goading the masses, cuddling the IMF - Grazing around the tether.|
|Saturday, 16 July 2011 00:00|
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Grazing around the tether.
Even a marketer knows that it is repeat sales that make business. It is never the once-only sale. If our minister' derived advice is that Government is to exploit the current worker to the bone and then to the grave, all in a hurry, then what? Shut the doors of Government while opening the happy, bloody mouth of the IMF?
To expect so is to defy the laws of the consumption curve, is it not? The first instinct of any life is self-preservation, which is why very few - if any - hunger-related deaths have been reported in the public service, grossly underpaid though civil servants still are.
But he would have known from his temporary sojourn in rural areas that a goat on a tether eats around the enchanted circle marked by the reach of the rope that leashes it.
It has to bribe, kick back, motivate, do many other unseemly things for this servant who has to obey the dictates of survival consumption.
To please an outside auditor, he has created conditions where his bigoted remuneration ideas gnaw away the very moral fabric of this nation, indeed hack the very ramparts of probity behind which a brave new world must subsist. After such a sordid achievement, he retires to his party to whelp about "a party of excellence".
Salaries as an internal sanction.
Apart from being unproductive, in fact destructive, such a Service, itself the largest fraction of a dwindling workforce, cannot demand goods and services on the back of which any economy should and can grow. Simply, the workforce has no disposable income.
The minister behaves as if he has not heard of John Meynard Keynes and his post-WW1 theory on how governments should and do behave after major disasters like or akin to a major war.
After Versailles, defeated Germany was supposed to pay reparations to "the uttermost farthing". The victorious allies sought to exact from Germany reparations which were the value of another world war, something which gave proud Germany an easy choice between a humiliating peace and a second world war. Britain's Churchill whom I am sure Minister Biti knows and possibly reveres, castigated this foolish stance by the allies, one designed more to appease public sentiment than to build peace. He wrote: "The multitudes remained plunged in ignorance of the simplest economic facts, and their leaders, seeking their votes, did not dare to undeceive them.
The newspapers, after their fashion, reflected and emphasised the prevailing opinions. Few voices were raised to explain that payment of reparations can only be made by services or by the physical transportation of goods in wagons across land frontiers or in ships across salt water; or that when these goods arrive in demanding countries they dislocate the local industry except in very primitive or rigorously-controlled societies."He predicted that history "will characterise all these transctions as insane" as they laid the foundation for a resurging martial Germany and the economic blizzard we now know as the great depression.
Apart from the consequences of a second world war, Europe - Britain included - faced an era of unstable governments as the already squeezed electorate voted out one government after another, voted in one coalition after another. In Britain itself, the Labour-Socialist Prime Minister called Ramsay MacDonald proposed a programme of austerity and sacrifice for an already starving, war-weary nation. Wrote Churchill: "The mass of the people were asked to vote for a regime of self-denial." I don't think the minister would have got my point if I had quoted Mahatma Ghandi or any other non-European leader. Why is the Minister asking for a similar vote?