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In this brave new world the accumulation of personal wealth is dressed up in environmentalism. Both have one thing in common...they use political power to reward themselves.
It's the Africa kleptocrat tradition. Rooted in tribal rivalry and the ascendance of chiefs, institutionalized and technically perfected by the colonialists and transformed into the primary goal of political power by most New African leaders.Values matter. America's are better.
So wait - is the New York Times saying that the protestant morality and ethical code of the Afrikaans is the preferred standard?Or is this piece in the society section?
There is a huge difference between battling capitalism and battling kleptocracies. Africa should be rewarding capitalism and business through low tax policies and condeming and punishing the later.
There are many in the world who see working and accumulating wealth as no more than stealing from others. After all, if you work and accumulate you prevent others from simply having. Those who think that reveal themselves.
NYT has an odd concept of what is news.
Wait, aren't these South African leaders all ANC Communists?Communists, taking advantage of power for personal gain?Say it isn't so, Comrade... at my Dacha.
I thought white patriarchy was the problem. That's what I learned in Poli Sci 101.
@David, ever heard of robber barons? Or Enron, for that matter?Don't be too sure of Americans' exceptionalism on this.
The cradle of our species is a supremely dysfunctional place. Humanity has been running away from this malady throughout history with the U.S being the final escape, but it appears the dysfunction has finally caught up to us. My profound hope is that the Tea Party movement will succeed in turning us around and rebuilding our people's respect for independence and self determination. In other parts of the world from Sweden to China they have already turned and are beginning to taste the sweetness of moving in the right direction toward freedom and free market energy.The Tea Party has many shortcomings but the general idea of a weaker government and decentralized power is what is important and I hope that idea above all else gets traction. My entire life has been watching it go the other way and although that usually provides benefits early on, it inevitably weakens a people and we are now there where it can no longer produce benefits because it's dragged down by the earlier ones. That is the basic weakness of leftism; it is a zero sum game.
Being in government and "on the take" is not capitalism.
To be a wee bit generous...It would be incredibly difficult for someone in a position of power in these places to remain virtuous because everyone in your entire extended family sees you as the cash-cow and they will not leave you alone or take no for an answer. A push to investigate and kick out anyone caught too blatantly lining his own pocket could work because if the cash-cow loses his power, the whole extended family loses everything.
Unfortunately too many young people I know confuse kleptocracy with free-market capitalism that has full protection of property rights, intellectual property rights, banking system, etc. There is too much ignorance out there.
tg has it right: the Africans are missing the boat by not openly bragging about their excesses as good works in the church of AGW. $2M a year? Pshaw. Ain't nothin'. THIS is how a savvy politician blows that much graft in a weekend boondoggle:CBS NEWS:Pelosi spent at least $1.1 million of taxpayer funds ushering a delegation of at least 106 people to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (the “global warming” conference where nothing was decided) The entourage stayed two nights.(This accounting does not include all the Obama administration officials who attended: well over 60.)
This sounds fairly par for the course among African pols.
It is sad, though predictable, that South Africa is following the path blazed by Zimbabwe.
Marxists like to believe that robbery is the sincerest form of capitalism. At any rate, government expropriation is the most sophisticated form of robbery.
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