Yes, bad economics even here -Credit, Shaund via Wikipedia

It has been said that the worst colonialism perpetrated was that by the British. By allowing the London School of Economics to teach the leaders of the newly emergent nations how not to run an economy. It would appear that the tradition lives on, for this is certainly bad enough economics:

Scores of opposition MPs on Friday supported Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP Shaun Ntlhaile’s motion and called out government to heed calls to introduce a decent living wage, as it is for the good of all workers in Botswana.

Selibe Phikwe East MP, Dithapelo Keorapetse said the problems Botswana is experiencing in its industrial relations include but not limited to the problem of wealth and income inequalities, the working poor and slave wages. “The lowest paid civil servant in our country earns about P1600 and the highest paid gets around P75 000 without including allowances and there is a huge wage disparity between the two, that is why we end up with the working poor,” he said.

Well, OK, yes that’s all fashionable now, inequality and so on. So, perhaps a living wage, something higher than just a minimum one, in order to reduce the inequality in incomes? Well, obviously, I disagree, but it’s not an entirely mad suggestion all the same. Except we’ve got this as the analysis, from the same politician, of what the problem really is:

According to Keorapetse there reason why there is the working poor in Botswana is primarily due to unemployment because there is excess supply of skilled labour and this has driven the living wage lower.

We’ve unemployment caused by an excess of skilled labour? Therefore we must raise wages? No, that is mad, isn’t it? So bad he could have studied at the LSE.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. “Living wage”? “Wealth and income inequality”? These clich├ęs come straight from San Francisco and it is ludicrous to apply them to Botswana, or to adopt the notion that a worker’s wage should reflect what he would like it to be, rather than what he can produce.

    Assuming that Dithapelo Keorapetse is democratically elected, it is preposterous for him to claim that economic aggregates are a problem, that the culprit is the only product (labour) of his constituents, and that the solution is for government to dick with the prices. If the price is right and there are no government hindrances such as mandated benefits, there would be no unemployment; everyone would drift toward the most profitable work he was able to do.