Why is the South African Economy Not Growing?

To be fair it’s not just the South African economy which is in trouble. We have seen elements of poverty and suffering in even the most “developed” countries around the world.

In August 2020 the world watched in disbelief as thousands of cars lined up in Texas to receive food parcels. In January 2021 South African police resorted to using water cannons to disperse thousands of elderly and disabled people who had gone to collect social grants.

The Minister of Social Development then defended police actions by saying “Nobody would ever want to use water cannons just for the sake of it. The bottom line is that the situation was getting out of hand and people were refusing to social distance and queue”.

What makes these incidents so intriguing is that the United States of America is supposedly the richest country in the world and South Africa is apparently the richest country in Africa. South Africa is also the world’s top producing platinum country … by far. Let’s not even talk of all the gold and diamonds which the country is blessed with.

Why are so many people so desperately poor in such rich countries?

For us to understand why there is so much inequality and suffering in the world we need to understand what exactly is “the economy”. The predominant economic system which is used in most countries around the world is called capitalism.

Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, a price system, private property and the recognition of property rights, voluntary exchange and wage labor.

In a capitalist system the main aim for every individual and business is to accumulate as much profit for themself as possible with no regard for the consequences. In fact, most of the problems which we face as a society – corruption, inequality, unemployment, excessive pollution, crime, labour exploitation, human trafficking, modern day slavery, price gouging, genetically modified food, poverty and general suffering all over the world are a direct result of capitalism.

The United States of America is the country which has gone the furthest down the capitalist road so if you want to see the future of South Africa and most countries around the world you only have to look at the United States of America.

It’s always amazing to see all the pictures of the large number of homeless people in California where a few miles away you have the headquarters of Google, Facebook, Apple, Oracle and some of the biggest companies in the world. These companies alone could fix the homelessness problem in California in a few months but that’s not how capitalism works.

Unfortunately, capitalism has some very powerful people who are happy with the system exactly the way it is. It is therefore unlikely that South Africa, the United States or any other country will switch to another economic system anytime soon despite the human cost.

So what can I do?

You have to work towards getting yourself out of the system and becoming self reliant. The frequent power cuts and rising food, medicine and accommodation prices in most countries are a sign of things to come.

Fortunately, there are only 5 things which a person needs to live:-

  1. Water
  2. Electricity
  3. Food
  4. Clothing
  5. Housing

As the capitalist system continues to grind along these are the things which will get more expensive and harder to access. Get yourself some land and start working on producing your own water, electricity, food, clothing and housing.

There are plenty of videos on YouTube about this just search for living off grid or homesteading to get inspiration from people who have started the journey towards living off-grid.

Oh and by the way, YouTube may not always be free so you may want to download these type of videos while you can.

The future will not be good for those who are not prepared.

All the best!

Related article: Why is Eskom always implementing load shedding?

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