Friday, April 27, 2012

Destroying local markets; increasing hunger in the name of aid

Highly mechanized farms on large acreages can produce units of food cheaper than even the poorest paid farmers of the Third World. When this cheap food is sold, or given, to the Third World, the local farm economy is destroyed.
 If the poor and unemployed of the Third World were given access to land, access to industrial tools, and protection from cheap imports, they could plant high-protein/high calorie crops and become self-sufficient in food.
Reclaiming their land and utilizing the unemployed would cost these societies almost nothing, feed them well, and save far more money than they now pay for the so-called “cheap” imported foods.

World hunger exists because:
 (1) colonialism, and later subtle monopoly capitalism, dispossessed hundreds of millions of people from their land; the current owners are the new plantation managers producing for the mother countries;

(2) the low-paid undeveloped countries sell to the highly paid developed countries because there is no local market [because the low-paid people do not have enough to pay] … and
 (3) the current Third World land owners, producing for the First World, are appendages to the industrialized world, stripping all natural wealth from the land to produce food, lumber, and other products for wealthy nations.
This system is largely kept in place by underpaying the defeated colonial societies for the real value of their labor and resources, leaving them no choice but to continue to sell their natural wealth to the over-paid industrial societies that overwhelmed them.

To eliminate hunger:
(1) the dispossessed, weak, individualized people must be protected from the organized and legally protected multinational corporations;
 (2) there must be managed trade to protect both the Third World and the developed world, so the dispossessed can reclaim use of their land;
 (3) the currently defeated people can then produce the more labor-intensive, high-protein/high-calorie crops that contain all  essential nutrients; and
(4) those societies must adapt dietary patterns.

Invading Libya to Temporarily Save Imperialism and Theft-Capitalism

Libya broke free in 1969. Imperialists have repeatedly tried to regain control ever since. Though under imperialist embargoes and attacks much of the time, Myammar al-Gaddafi, the leader of that revolution, modernized Libya beyond the living standards of England.

Besides free education (including advanced education anywhere in the world), free health care, most adults owning a car, and providing each marrying couple a $50,000 interest free loan, large sums of Libyan money was spent to keep alive Africa’s post WWII dream of forming into “The United States of Africa.” Substantial funds were spent developing some of the smaller nations in central Africa. And Libya’s leader did all this without amassing personal wealth.

His latest proposal was to nationalize the oil companies and turn the massive profits currently flowing out of the country towards Libyan workers and the poor. These proposals were sitting in front of Libya’s citizen councils (their system of grass roots democracy) when imperialism attacked.

If put in force, she would have the highest standard of living in the world, and there would be no such thing as a “poor” person in Libya.

Ghadaffi was so revered for having gained Libya’s freedom, no ethnic group or political coalition could be found to fund, arm, train, and overthrow him.

However, under the umbrella of populist revolutions overthrowing puppets throughout the Arab world, and with the urgency of preventing such an example to the periphery of empire currently breaking free, such a group was covertly organized.

Only the most naive would believe a ragtag, poorly armed, untrained, motley mass would drive cars, pickups, and trucks several hundred miles West on a coastal highway openly declaring they were going to overthrow a government with a well-equipped and trained army.

Imperialism obviously informed this hotbed of Al-Qaeda recruits they would back a revolution to put them in power.”

A plastic gun shown to NBC reporter Richard Engle by an insurgent supposedly in battle, exposed this as a photo op by those covert organizers to gain the loyalty of the world for this assault on Libya by imperialism.

One hundred British covert operation forces inserted into the Benghazi area three weeks before their rag tag assault, quickly expanding to 350, and the man in charge of the uprising, Khalifa Hifter, having lived in Virginia, next door to the CIA for 20 years, is further confirmation.

Those insurgents were promised backing by the world’s most powerful nations for them to rule Libya. Meanwhile mainstream news, which surely has access to far more information than we do, told the world this was a spontaneous, homegrown, insurrection.

Even with NATO headquartered there, Germany recognized the moral hazard of the unjust collective assault on Libya and quickly withdrew from the coalition.

On April 1, 2011, Asia Times exposed the assault on Libya was part of an agreement between America and Saudi Arabia. In trade for the Saudis protecting America’s puppets in Bahrain and having their fully controlled Arab League vote yes on UN Security Council Resolution 1973, approving a no fly zone over Libya, America and NATO agreed to take out Ghadaffi.

The destruction of Ghadaffi’s Libya was to protect Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, and other puppet governments, from the populist Arab revolutions breaking out throughout the Middle East.

But these were only minor aspects of a much bigger problem for imperialism. Libya’s ongoing study on nationalizing all oil operations within their borders, their organization of several African countries for central banks independent of current world currencies, switching to the gold dinar as Africa’s common currency, and the selling of oil for those gold dinars.

All that, plus Ghadaffi’s outspoken efforts for true democracy within the United Nations, would lead to the overthrow of puppet governments worldwide, the potential success of the 60-year plan for a United States of Africa, and the end of theft-capitalism.

Communication superhighways are spreading truth so fast that most the leading thinkers of all nations realize this is imperialism’s attempt to keep the current populist revolutionists trapped within the imperial system.

Much of the world breaking free, in concert with the worldwide financial collapse, would mean the end of theft capitalism that we have been predicting. China, India, Russia, Brazil, Venezuela, and most other nations currently breaking free, are fully aware R2P is just as much to control them as it is to control those populist revolutions.

The absolute rule, to never share technology with anyone, was broken when imperial industries moved to China wholesale

As a result of that breach in the monopolization of technology, within one more generation, much of the world will be developed. Their development automatically leads to a demand for equality in world trade and they retaining their share of the world’s production of wealth.

R2P is imperialism’s effort to head off this oncoming disaster. Imperialism is getting steadily weaker while the periphery of empire is getting stronger and stronger.

All people are good and populations of the imperial centers would never accept their governments creating such havoc across the world if they knew the truth.

An honest look at history 200 years ago is very instructive. We all know that Napoleon was a megalomaniac dictator, right? Reading the cover story of the April 22, 1991 US News and World Report, History’s Hidden Turning Points by Daniel J. Boorstin, will quickly push aside the pure propaganda, pushed in all imperialist history books, on the subject of Napoleon.

He spread many of the rights declared for all men by the French Revolution throughout Europe. Known as the Napoleonic Codes, “they are the legal basis for over thirty nations of Europe today.”

Those codes were a direct threat to both Aristocracy and the church, the power structure of the time. Thus, even as those powers were severely proscribed, and because those they had control of the universities and would eventually regain control of the media, their dictatorial powers were not eliminated.

Thus Napoleon, who can only have been worshiped for many decades throughout those 30 plus nations he liberated, are recorded by imperialist historians as a megalomaniac and dictator, the very attributes of the current power-structure promoting themselves as peaceful, free, democracies.

The demonizing of Libya today, and every other nation threatening to throw off the yoke of imperialism, as we have demonstrated above, is the exact same process under which Napoleon’s reputation was destroyed.

Just as Napoleon freed most of Europe, communications superhighways and the rapid development of the peripheries of collapsing empires is freeing the world. That is, assuming those megalomaniacs do not destroy it first.

Imperialism will probably win this round also. However, most the emerging world realizes how close they came to being free—they have China, India, Russia, Brazil to collaborate with to further develop their strength—and sooner or later imperialism/theft-capitalism will lose this struggle.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Decentralizing Kenya: Four Paradoxes

These lessons are important for Kenya as it embarks on a massive decentralization program—

Devolution will reshape the country’s institutional architecture, not just because of the transfer of functions and finance, but also because it involves the creation of a forty-seven brand-new counties which will bring together deconcentrated offices of many national ministries, local authorities, and district administrations.

Kenyans have sky-high expectations of what devolution will bring, but decentralization is not in-and-of itself a panacea for development. Almost everywhere, at different times in history, decentralization has been driven by political imperatives, not by economic arguments.

The challenge for Kenya’s policy makers in the next year and beyond will be to manage expectations carefully because the risk of disappointment will be huge. To do this they will need to be mindful of four paradoxes that will characterize the decentralization process in this early phase of transition:

Paradox 1. What is politically desirable is economically impossible.

 Ideally, wealth and incomes should be distributed evenly across Kenya’s 47 counties. This is economically impossible because firms and individuals tend to locate where there are already clusters of economic activity—which is mostly in the cities—so they can benefit from “economies of scale.” Investments by companies also tend to be lumpy—think of establishing a factory—and thus geographically concentrated. This is why in Kenya most economic activity is concentrated along the Northern corridor—from Mombasa to Nairobi and onward to Kisumu and Kakamega—where the majority of Kenyans live

Paradox 2. To make decentralization work, you need strong central systems.

Some Kenyans want the central government to stay out of devolution and leave it to the counties to manage their own affairs. In fact, devolution requires sustained central coordination to be effective. Central systems serve two main purposes: to make sure weaker counties’ needs are being addressed through capacity building and that the spending and performance of county governments can be compared on a common basis thanks to accountability systems.

Paradox 3. If not managed well, decentralization may lead to greater inequality. Some counties will start at a relative disadvantage and it will take time to build up their capacity. They will be the least equipped in practice to make efficient and transparent use of their resources and retain the skilled staff that is essential to making services work.

Paradox 4.Despite decentralization, county governments won’t have a lot of additional resources to spend. Counties will receive transfers from the center but also inherit responsibility for delivering a wide array of existing services. The size of the transfers for each county will also be small. If the government would devolve 15 percent to sub-national governments, each of the 47 counties will only receive 0.3% of national revenues. Counties will have the latitude to shift funding to new uses but they will need to make cuts in other services that are currently provided.

In many countries, decentralization is associated with great hopes and disappointments. The disappointments resulted from a misunderstanding of what decentralization can realistically achieve in the short run.

One thing is clear. To address spatial imbalances in lagging regions while maintaining services where Kenya’s growth is generated, Kenya has to grow the cake while splitting it. This would make sure that each slice of the cake is bigger.

Friday, March 9, 2012

How to kick-start Kenya’s second growth engine

Last year, Kenya’s economy was behaving like a plane flying through a storm on one engine. After a lot of turbulence, especially when the shilling reached a record low against the dollar, the Central Bank intervened forcefully, and brought the plane back to stability.
But Kenya’s exchange rate woes are just the tip of the iceberg. Kenya’s big challenge is to reduce the gap between the import bill and exports revenues, what economists call the “current account deficit” (which remains large, even when services—such as tourism—are included). Last year, the deficit reached more than ten percent of GDP, approximately Ksh 400 billion (US$ 4.5 billion). This is larger than Greece’s.

In order to balance its current account, Kenya would have to more than double the volume of its three top exports—tea, tourism and horticulture. In addition, Kenya is vulnerable to shocks, like increasing oil prices. Oil is one of Kenya’s top imports, and the oil import bill alone rose from $2.7 billion in 2010 to $4.1 billion in 2011, further weakening Kenya’s fragile current account. A large current account deficit does not automatically translate into a falling currency, so long as capital inflows fill the gap. But in Kenya, capital inflows have increasingly been short-term (by contrast to Foreign Direct Investment which finances factories and offices). Short-term capital can leave a country as fast as it comes, and this uncertainty is an additional source of fragility for the national currency.

When the Central Bank increased interest rates sharply at the end of last year, it brought the airplane into safety, cooling the engine that was overheating. The price was some economic slowdown, as loans (which businesses rely on to invest), became more expensive. Now that the plane has emerged from turbulence, every attempt should be made to make it fly faster and higher. Kenya’s first engine—domestic consumption—which is fuelling vibrant service and construction sectors, has always been strong. But the second engine—exports—needs to perform better. If not, Kenya will continue to operate below potential, for years to come.

But how do you do that? What products could Kenya realistically export? Picking winners is typically not a good idea. The government needs to provide the conditions—such as infrastructure, the rule of law, and basic social services—for businesses to thrive, but not run them. At the same time, it is clear that Kenya needs to move into new products, because it cannot grow rich on tea and flowers alone. The natural starting point is manufacturing. Kenya has a good location and a skilled labor force, which is rapidly urbanizing. The global manufacturing market is also changing. Today, Asia is the world’s workshop, producing almost everything from clothes, shoes, toys and increasingly cars. But Asia’s economic success translates into higher wages, and many manufacturing jobs will soon leave its emerging economies. The World Bank projects that 85 million manufacturing jobs will leave China over the next decade. Where will these jobs go? Can Kenya get a share?

A new way to understand a country’s competitiveness is to look at the existing composition of exports or “product space”.

Ricardo Hausmann from Harvard University has been spearheading the global analysis of countries’ product spaces, and the World Bank recently hosted him in Kenya. According to him, some countries are richer than others because they have more productive knowledge, which they can use to make more and more complex products. In short, rich countries make a lot of products, including several which only few countries produce. Poor countries only make a few products, and the margins they earn are low because many other nations are also producing them. Realistically, a country will only be able to diversify gradually, moving first to products where a country can apply existing capabilities. Kenya is strong in tea and flowers, but it will have a hard time producing airplanes overnight.

What types of products are within Kenya’s reach, and which activities are most likely to create the conditions for industry to invest and expand? There is some light at the end of the tunnel. Kenya has started to diversify its export products and markets. Three sub-sectors stand out: textiles (exported mainly to the US), chemicals and machines (to Africa and Asia). In the 1990s, these exports accounted, on average, for about US$ 120 million in earnings. In the following decade, the figure was four times larger at US$ 480 million. On an international scale, these are still extremely small numbers, but they are starting to add up.

Still, Kenya is currently punching below its weight. According to simulations by the Harvard team, Kenya should grow at 7 percent a year. If it did, it would reach Middle Income status by 2018, and remain East Africa’s uncontested economic heavyweight.
We know that Kenya can grow at such levels. It happened in 2007, but the big question is how to sustain the momentum? Can Kenya really grow at 7 percent year after year, including through election turbulence? Can the second engine start pulling its weight? Once it does, sit back, enjoy the flight, and definitely buckle up!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Let’s face the reality

We keep on deluding ourselves that’s Kenya has a mature democracy,economy and very optimistic citizens ( optimism / religion is the opium of the lumpen proletariat)

In Moi era all ills were attributed to Moism- even when a cow can’t produce enough milk.
We promulgated the constitution (copied from USA wishing to be likethem) and attribute all to it and expect heavens from it but we ain t ready tobreak a sweat; even under the old constitution DCJ Baraza could have been investigated by the JSC- whats eats Kenya is impunity at all levels- we dont have respect for the law!!

We must wake to the reality the Kenya Electorate is ignorant, misinformed,and illiterate and highly disintegrated to tribal/cultural cocoons.
This is why we keep on voting back/in leaders who can’t deliver much;but remember the kind of political leaders a country has is a reflection of theelectorate; the kind of MPs is representative of the Kenyan population mindset,attitude, aspirations etal…..why do we have so many grouping in FB-Bunge laMwananchi, WMK, Kenya youth decide, tribe less Kenyan all with a seeking toreap from the ideological vacuum.
Only a few in such forums as WRK, tweeter, bar talk, other FB groupingswho tend to wear a face of reformist patriots but quickly ebb to their comfortzones in times of distress.

The question should be; how do we get out of this quagmire???

If look at the Arab revolution i.e. Libya, Egypt et al the general populace is highly enlightened and well catered for basic needs and wants. This is the reverse in Kenya-only 10% can afford three meals a day…
Back to pre-colonial times; the insurgences were successful since tribes were not that disintegrated and had a common foe; still they were tribal outfits fighting for tribal/clan interests.

The Kenyan populace is split into tribes , clans , and classes.
We need to raise the level of enlightment; campaign for increased uptake to FPE & SSE to reduce illiteracy,Voter education , start forums ( not on twitter or FB )but what can reach the common man like what PLO started in ‘’Moving the masses’’

Do we have true patriots in Kenya?
Is anyone ready to die or atleast loose his daily comforts for the sake of Kenya???
We must plant a tree that’s weshall never enjoy its shade

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The 6 Core Economic Principles

1. People Choose: We always want more than we can get and productive resources
(human, natural, capital) are always limited. Therefore, because of this major
economic problem of scarcity, we usually choose the alternative that provides the
most benefits with the least cost.

2. All Choices Involve Costs: The opportunity cost is the next best alternative you
give up when you make a choice. When we choose one thing, we refuse something
else at the same time.

3. People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways: Incentives are actions,
awards, or rewards that determine the choices people make. Incentives can be
positive or negative. When incentives change, people change their behaviors in
predictable ways.

4. Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices and Incentives: People
cooperate and govern their actions through both written and unwritten rules that
determine methods of allocating scarce resources. These rules determine what is
produced, how it is produced, and for whom it is produced. As the rules change, so
do individual choices, incentives, and behavior.

5. Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth: People specialize in the production of certain
goods and services because they expect to gain from it. People trade what they
produce with other people when they think they can gain something from the
exchange. Some benefits of voluntary trade include higher standards of living and
broader choices of goods and services.

6. The Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future: Economists believe that the
cost and benefits of decision making appear in the future, since it is only the future
that we can influence. Sometimes our choices can lead to unintended