Nezaposlenost na 80%

autora/ice cronomy

Razmišljao sam koji naslov da stavim, postojeći ili nešto u stilu “Velika Depresija je bila lunapark.” Ovo je podatak o nezaposlenosti u Zimbabveu. Koliko je precizan je sasvim nebitno. Za vrijeme VD nezaposlenost u Americi je dostigla 25% i stanje znamo kakvo je bilo. Sa situacijom gorom od te u Zimbabveu i godišnjom inflacijom od 150,000%, standard života je efektivno gori nego u kamenom dobu. Zanimljiv je podatak da je u Zimbabveu potrebno 96 dana za otvoriti poduzeće, a u Hrvatskoj “samo” oko upola manje. 45 po podacima Svjetske Banke. To “samo” je zapravo mala razlika…trebala bi biti veća. Ako u najrazvijenijim poduzetničkim zemljama zapada treba između 2-5 dana, u Hrvatskoj bi cilj trebao biti 15tak. Ali, Hitrorez je u kanti izgleda.

Iz današnjeg WSJ, predsjednički kandidat u Zimbabveu, Morgan Tsvangirai, piše o stanju u zemlji. Vrijedi pročitati.

Freedom for Zimbabwe

March 21, 2008; Page A13

As the March 29 election in Zimbabwe approaches, the cards are clearly stacked in favor of President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party. Draconian legislation has curtailed freedom of expression and association. Daily, the representatives of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the political party that I lead, are harassed, tortured, imprisoned without trial and even killed.

Economic mismanagement by Mr. Mugabe’s government is an even more serious problem. Zimbabwe’s inflation and unemployment rates are 150,000% and 80% respectively. Infrastructure is crumbling, and education and health-care systems have collapsed. Life expectancy is now among the lowest in the world, having declined, since 1994, to 34 years from 57 years for women, and to 37 years from 54 for men. Some four million of my fellow citizens have fled the country, taking with them both human and financial capital.

Out of the many reasons for Zimbabwe’s decline, three stand out. First is the ruling regime’s contempt for the rule of law. The government has repeatedly stole elections, and intimidated, beaten and murdered its opponents. It has confiscated private property without compensation and ignored court rulings declaring such takings illegal. Such behavior only scares away investors, domestic and international. Current circumstances make it impossible to have a growing economy that will create jobs for millions of unemployed Zimbabweans.

The government of Zimbabwe must be committed to protecting persons and property; and the restoration of political freedom and property rights is an essential part of MDC’s economic recovery strategy. This means compensation for those who lost their possessions in an unjust way. It also means striking a healthy balance between reconciliation and accountability by establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission along the lines of the South African TRC. And it means restoring the independence of the judiciary.

The second reason for Zimbabwe’s decline is the government’s destruction of economic freedom, in order to satisfy an elaborate patronage system.

Today, Zimbabwe ranks last out of the 141 countries surveyed by the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom in the World report. According to 2007 World Bank estimates, it takes 96 days to start a business in Zimbabwe. It takes only two days in Australia. Waiting for necessary licenses takes 952 days in Zimbabwe, but only 34 days in South Korea. Registering property in Zimbabwe costs an astonishing 25% of the property’s value. In the United States, it costs only 0.5%.

The MDC is committed to slashing bureaucratic red tape and letting domestic and foreign entrepreneurs improve their lot and, consequently, Zimbabwe’s fortunes. We will open economic opportunity to all Zimbabweans. Unlike the ZANU-PF dictatorship, which has destroyed domestic entrepreneurship, we consider the business acumen and creative ingenuity of the people to be the main source of our future growth.

The third factor responsible for the country’s decline is the size and rapaciousness of the government. Today, that size is determined by the requirements of patronage. But a government that provides hardly any public services cannot justify the need for 45 ministers and deputy ministers, all of whom enjoy perks ranging from expensive SUVs to farms that were confiscated from others.

The Central Bank too has departed from its traditional role of stabilizing prices. Instead, it dishes out money to dysfunctional, government-owned corporations that are controlled by the ZANU-PF and are accountable to no one. The result is runaway growth in the money supply, and the highest inflation rate in the world. Zimbabwe’s potential for economic growth cannot be realized without macroeconomic stability. Hyperinflation must be tamed, in part by taming the government’s appetite for spending.

The MDC plans a complete restructuring of the government, including a reduction of the number of ministers to 15. The government will have to live within its means. It will not be allowed to inflate its way out of trouble. To that end, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe must become independent of the government and given the sole task of fighting inflation.

Most state-owned companies are woefully inefficient, a strain on the budget and a much-abused vehicle for ZANU-PF patronage. They will be privatized or shut down.

This is, of course, not an exhaustive list of reforms necessary to set the Zimbabwean economy on a path to growth. Our tax code will also have to be made simpler and flatter to encourage thrift and enterprise, and our trade and investment regimes will have to be reopened.

The people of Zimbabwe hunger not just for food, but also for political change. MDC rallies draw enormous crowds — even in areas where the risk of being murdered by government agents is highest. A recent independent poll, conducted by the University of Zimbabwe, puts my candidacy in the first place, with Robert Mugabe’s a distant second and Simba Makoni’s third.

There is still a chance that the election results will reflect the popular will. Then the people will have the new Zimbabwe they deserve, under a government guided by the principles dear to free people everywhere.

Mr. Tsvangirai is a presidential candidate in Zimbabwe’s upcoming elections.

See all of today’s editorials and op-eds, plus video commentary, on Opinion Journal1.

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