13 African countries now rank higher than SA in economic freedom

Posted 28 September 2017

Thirteen African countries now rank higher than SA in economic freedom. Two decades ago, SA stood head and shoulders above the rest of the continent, but it's been a backwards march since then.

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Former communist countries sail past SA in terms of freedom

Posted 14 September 2017

Former communist country Bulgaria and SA have swapped places on the economic freedom scales. SA has plunged down the rankings in the last 14 years, while Bulgaria has gone the other way. Bulgaria did it by scaling back the size of government, containing money supply growth and reducing taxes. SA did the exact opposite. Economic freedom is important not just to the general health of the economy, but to life expectancy and political rights.

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How the black market is saving two countries from their governments

Posted 11 March 2017

In desperate times, it is the black marekt that saves countries from their incompetent and rapacious governments. Two examples are examined in this article from TheAntimedia.org: Venezuela and Greece. To which we might add Zimbabwe and, increasingly, South Africa, where the shadow economy is reported to account for 25% of GDP. Governments traduce black marketeers as tax cheats and call them other horrible names, when they should be celebrated for pursuing the purest form of free enterprise. 

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SA cannot afford its over-sized government - Nedbank

Posted 22 January 2017

SA's debt burden has now reached 50% of GDP, and government has expanded the public service to the point where it is unaffordable. This is one of the factors weighing on ratings agencies as they contemplate a sovereign downgrade for SA to junk. If this happens, about R600bn will flow out of the country. 

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Don't sabotage SA's internet success story

Posted 24 November 2016

Social justice is a good thing so long as it remain within the bounds of sanity. When #Feesmustfall jumps to #Science mustfall and #Datamustfall, something weird takes over. Independent economist Luke Muller points out that campaigners pressing for lower data prices ignore the evidence that data prices are competitive and there are multiple suppliers. No conspiracy to look at here. Evidence of this is the fact that the percentage of South Africans accessing the internet grew from 7,6% to 52% over the last decade.

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Let's stop obsessing about income equality

Posted 08 September 2016

The government and its satrapies obsessess continuously about income equality. This is a convenient flogging horse for those who want more state power. Of course, we will never achieve income equality, which is exactly what government wants. It wants the power to tax and direct the affairs of others. The freeloaders in government will forever declare war on poverty, war on drugs, war on income inequality... So many wars to wage, none of them winnable. Instead of obsessing about income inequality, we should welcome it as a vital ladder of opportunity that everyone is free to climb.

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The West is travelling a road to economic ruin

Posted 05 May 2016

Economist Michael Hudson recently had plenty to say about the Panama Papers. He has a new book out called Killing the Host which explains how US banks set up branches in Panama and Liberia - where income tax rates are zero - as a way to attract criminal drug money to the US rather than Switzerland. And how international corporations can book their earnings in Panama at zero tax, meanwhile the cash is safely stowed in a New York bank. Paul Craig Roberts looks at how Michael Hudson has deciphered the world of international finance, revealing a thinly disguised ruse of global proportions aimed at enriching the 1% at the expense of the 99%.  

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The mental disease called socialism

Posted 23 March 2016

Socialism proceeds afoot despite more than a century of evidence that it is a catastrophic failure. Those who belong to this church are motivated by selfish interests, ignorance, or immunity from evidence, argues Leon Louw. All the stated objectives of socialism - especially uplifting the poor - are better achieved by free market principles. 

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Why the Swedish economic model won't work in SA

Posted 08 March 2016

Historian Johan Norberg recently explained in Johannesburg why the Swedish economic model will not work in SA. Sweden's wealth was not built on welfarism, but on a rigorous observance of free market principles.

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Here's a prescription to fix SA - first of all, figure out who runs the show

Posted 12 January 2016

John Kane-Berman of the Institute of Race Relations offers some advice on how to get SA back on the rails again. First of all we need to figure out who runs the country: is it cabinet, President Zuma, the ratings agencies or the financial markets? Right now, it looks like no-one is in charge. 

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You say you want a revolution? Here's a taste of what's in store

Posted 29 December 2015

If you want to stop being victimised by financial terrorists, stop using their currencies, says Charles Hugh-Smith. History is not on the side of the financial aristoracy who, like their Roman forbearers, are destined for wipe-out within the next 10 years. 

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Huge relief as SA relaxes visa rules

Posted 25 October 2015

The visa debacle that drove an estimated 150,000 tourists away so far this year at a reported cost of R2,6 billion to the economy has finally been relaxed. Visitors applying to travel to SA will no longer have to submit biometric information in person at our embassies. 

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The days of (nearly) free cell phone calls are upon us

Posted 31 March 2015

Here's how free markets, given the slightest opportunities, eventually demolish cartels and monopolies. Whatsapp is about to launch a (nearly) free voice call service to its 700 million users worldwide, and mobile companies are fretting about how this will impact their futures.

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There is a perceptible mood of panic in SA ahead of Budget

Posted 17 February 2015

There is a percepitble mood of panic in SA, accentuated by power-downs, chaos in Parliament and a limping economy. Business is urning finance minister to break the curse of negativity in his upcoming budget speech, but the chances of this happening are slim to zero.

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SA's miserable youth employment crusade

Posted 27 January 2015

President Jacob Zuma told the World Economic Forum in Davos last week that SA was a "country at work". Well, not quite. In fact, we compare miserably with other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and there is no real enthusiasm in government for reversing this trend.

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How to boost the SA economy: first, ditch the Insolvency Act

Posted 21 January 2015

The minister of finance has called for suggestions from the public ahead of the 2015 Budget due out next month. Here's a few suggestions from a Cape-based businessman on how to get SA into double digit growth figures within six years.

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The tyranny of political correctness is hobbling this government

Posted 29 October 2014

The tyranny of political correctness is hobbling this government, preventing it from doing what has to be done sooner or later: privatise not just parastatals but health care insurance and other areas of state incursion into the economy, writes Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation. 

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The US dollar just got a Zimbabwe-style make-over

Posted 26 October 2014

Given the recent tremors in world stock markets, future historians might regard the US dollar as an object of derision or a relic of some mad past. Either way, the world economy is headed for interesting times.

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To understand your future, study Zimbabwe

Posted 26 September 2014

When Money Destroys Nations is a new book by two Johannesburg-based economists. If you ever had the idea that what happened in Zimbabwe cannot happen here, you owe it to yourself to read this.

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India's Modi shows how to turn around a sinking economy

Posted 21 May 2014

India's new primine minister Narendra Modi achieved economic miracles while running the state of Gujarat. Now his has the entire country under his stewardship. He could teach our own Jacob Zuma a thing or two about turning around a sinking ship, writes Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation. 

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Regulation of financial markets is counter-productive

Posted 09 April 2014

High Frequency Trading (HTF) is blamed for market crashes and has invited the attention of regulators who are programmed to strangle anything that moves. While Wall Street-bashing has become popular and - in some cases - deservedly so, there is a positive side to HTF argues Leon Louw. 

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Currency casino market under investigation

Posted 20 January 2014

The US attorney general is investigating what many have long suspected - that the world's currency makets are manipulated by a group of financial insiders known as the "bandit's club."

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Only a fraction of fishing licence applications have been granted

Posted 06 January 2014

Only a fraction of the fishing licences applied for have been granted, leaving many well-established fishermen without a livelihood. The situation has been described as a "national disaster" by the Democratic Alliance, which wants the matter investigated.

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If Julius ever gets to implement the EFF manifesto, war and famine are certain

Posted 23 August 2013

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) founding manifesto is incoherent, contradictory and a recipe for war and famine. If even a part of this makes it into law, run for the hills. By Tom G Palmer.

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South Africa's silent revolution

Posted 16 August 2013

A silent revolution is taking place. When the regulatory over-burden becomes intolerable, people ignore those laws that inhibit their survival. The battle over e-tolling is an example of the silent revolution in action, and this is a battle government must win if it is to reclaim lost legitimacy, writes Ciaran Ryan

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