LET’S EMBRACE THESE P-WORDS
Those who hold political power in SA, and far too many of their supporters, are still drunk with romantic ideas about socialism and communism. Even those who proclaim themselves as leaders of society have blatantly refused to, or are unable to, embrace the real world in which we all live. This is particularly so when it comes to investigating the best instruments for delivering that so-elusive “better life for all”.
But it would seem the many opportunities to learn and study the best possible mechanisms have passed our lot by, unnoticed. These esteemed leaders have refused to acknowledge the benefits of the two important terms that can make life comfortable and deliver plenty for their followers. “Profit” is the first tenet that the people must embrace with great enthusiasm. The second is “privatisation”. In the SA context at this juncture, privatisation is more urgent than ever.
At 44%, the real unemployment rate — which includes what is termed “discouraged workseekers” — is at crisis level. Of course, this number is too embarrassing for government to acknowledge, so it recognises the “official” rate of almost 28%, which is still much higher than in any comparable economy.
This stubbornly high unemployment, whichever definition you choose, is a result of the failure of the choices we have made as a people. Yearly, we throw billions in much-needed resources into companies that, under the control of the state, will never be anything other than a wasteful drain on those resources.
Last week we focused on SAA, but that is only one of far too many such companies whose job is only to enrich the connected few.
The world is full of great examples that are everefficient at freeing human potential. Of the major economic systems that have been employed, the best that has delivered the goods is free-market capitalism. At the centre of this is private initiative, where the groups of individuals concerned have to each perform and deliver according to their abilities.
The reward for these efforts is profit for the private entrepreneur, from which he pays taxes to the state to distribute according to the needs of those of limited abilities or circumstances.
But the basic and fundamental fact of life is that only profits provide the tax benefits to be distributed to the poor. No amount of romantic theory about any other system has proven this reality a lie.
For “the people to share”, there must first be something to share. And that something is tax money levied on private profit. After racking up their annual losses, the worst of our state-owned companies are themselves bailed out by tax money. Only profit delivers.
It should be the duty of every citizen — regardless of their economic station in life — to pursue and embrace profit. Big and small.
In the real world, any progressive government’s duty should be to create a conducive environment in which to release the potential of every man and woman to pursue emotional and material success in every legal way possible. And for every man and woman — collectively and individually — to employ their agency to the maximum of their abilities.
The problem, however, with a successful and independent citizenry is the inability of the state to control it. The power-hungry politicians we have chosen have falsely turned profit and privatisation into dirty swear words, all for the sake of their own selfish personal power over the gullible people.
This is the kind of politician we should never have anywhere near the levers of state power. The servant leader should advance the real interest of the people without coveting personal fame and power.
It should be the duty of every citizen, regardless of economic station, to pursue and embrace profit