Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Mindless tv

I was watching Wide Angle last night (even had to endure an intro with Bill Moyers) regarding the "boarder jumpers" from Zimbabwe to Botswana. Without hope or a way to feed their families, Zimbabwians risk life and limb to work in Botswana (where they are treated like dirt.) They are rounded up and returned, of course. It was a hard program to watch. One man, in a detention facility awaiting repatriation said the following :

"If Saddam can be removed by force, why not Mugabe?"

Why not? All those men, women, and children wonder why the world cares nothing for them. They cannot leave, and they cannot live in the current situation. What is the world's responsibility?

Excellent read here between Bill Moyers (gag) and George Ayittey, a Professor of Economics. Ayittey here:

Now, if you want to understand why America is rich and Africa is poor, ask yourself, how do the rich in each area make their money? Take the U.S., for example, the richest person is Bill Gates. He's worth something like $64 billion. How did he make his money? He made his money in the private sector, by selling something, Microsoft computer software. He has something to show for his wealth. Now, let's go to Africa. Who are the richest in Africa? The richest in Africa are African heads of state and ministers. How did they make their money? They made their money by raking it off the backs of their suffering people. That is not wealth creation. It is wealth redistribution.

And this:

BILL MOYERS: Yours is a contrarian view to American philanthropy and liberalism. And in particular, let me read you something that Jeffrey Sachs, the economist who's writing about how we solve poverty in the world. Jeffrey Sachs, who's advising Kofi Annan at the U.N. on how to develop the third world, says, "The poor are poor because of failing infrastructure, poor energy sources, geographic isolation, disease and natural disasters that inevitably conspire to foil progress."

GEORGE AYITTEY: Well, if you go to an African village and you said something like this, very few villages will believe this. Because they can see where the problem is. If you want to understand why Africa is in such a rut, there's one word which describes it. And that's power. Power is what describes the condition of Africa. The inability or the adamant refusal of African leaders to relinquish or share power has been the bane of development in Africa. Look at Somalia. Somalia blew up because of the adamant refusal of General Siad Barre to relinquish or share power. Rwanda blew up because of the refusal of a general. Burundi. Zaire blew up because of a refusal of General Mobuto Sese Seko. Same thing, Sierra Leone, Liberia. All those countries would have been saved if those generals were willing to share political power. Zimbabwe would have been saved if Mugabe were willing to step down or share political power.

What does Ayittey think we need to do with Africa? Support independent judiciaries and free press, stop giving Aid and debt relief to tyrants (pull to the plug on Zimbabwe), and SUPPORT dissidents.