The Case For ISDS And Screwing Over Governments In Private, Secret, Courts

We have an international legal system which allows companies to take governments off to private and secret courts. To over-ride, using the mere fatuity of contracts and the law, democratic decisions. According to peeps like George Monbiot and Global Justice Now this is an appalling state of affairs. This shall not stand they say, we must make sure that ISDS doesn’t exist.

Yeah, right:

The government of Zambia has defended its efforts to kick London-listed copper miner Vedanta Resources out of the country, in an escalating row over tax and alleged underinvestment.

See More

Ghana’s Tax Mistake – Less On Cars, More On Telecoms

Ghana has just made a mistake with their taxation system. They’ve decided to abolish the supplementary tax on luxury cars while increasing the tax on telecoms services. Nope, wrong way to do it:

The government has increased the Communication Service Tax to nine per cent from the initial six per cent. Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced the increment in parliament on Monday, 29 July 2019 when he presented the mid-year budget review statement.

Mr Ofori-Atta told the lawmakers that: “The Communication Service Tax (CST) was introduced in 2008 at an ad valorem rate of six per cent.

See More

More Trees Is Good – But Is Ethiopia’s Target For 4 Billion Planted This Year?

That many countries have lost their forest cover as they developed is entirely true. That those which have developed have regained it is also true – the US now most certainly has more forest cover than it did in the 1920s – the low point in the development process and arguably more than it did in the 1300s, before the arrival of Europeans.

The process being that inefficient agriculture requires a lot of land, efficient much less.…

See More

Why Does The Observer Think Taxpayers Should Build Fibreoptic?

That government has a hand in making sure that infrastructure is built seems sensible enough. They are, after all, the people who control the planning system that allows infrastructure to be built. But that government must build it? Why?

Consider, for a moment. Whether a motorway, where it goes if there is to be one, OK, why not government? But there’s nothing which says that it should be government workers wielding the spades. Or, say, government has a role in regulating the spectrum over which mobile internet signals travel.…

See More

Zimbabwe’s Sunk To Armed Robbery For Loaves Of Bread

Bad economics will out you know. Adam Smith was right, there’s an awful lot of ruin in a country. But not an unlimited amount. As this shows:

So scarce is bread that 500 loaves were stolen in an armed heist last week from a delivery truck in Harare.

Armed robbers are stealing the bread.

Turns out that taking all the productive assets from people competent to produce with them and handing the goodies over to political favourites doesn’t work.…

See More

You Can’t Even Get A Passport To Leave Zimbabwe – No Paper

As we reported some 6 weeks back, we’ve an interesting sign of the incompetence of Zimbabwean economic policy. It’s not actually possible to leave the country as there’s no paper to print the passport upon that will allow some other country to take you in.

With Zimbabwe’s economy in shambles and political tensions rising, leaving the country seems the best option for many who are desperate for jobs. But those dreams often end at the passport office, which doesn’t have enough foreign currency to import proper paper and ink.

See More

What An Interesting Banking Situation In Ghana – Yes, It’s Politics

We do have to warn that our information source here is more than only slightly partial. But it does hang together, does make sense. Further, it does so in a manner that an independent number which is publicly known accords with the analysis.

So, how does a government get to buy lots of votes without pissing off the World Bank, IMF and so on, the people who are largely paying the government’s bills? The answer being to do the spending to buy the votes then not pay the bills for the spending.…

See More

Zimbabwe’s Dollar Problem – It’s Still Not A Free Market Exchange Rate

The government of Zimbabwe is complaining about how exporters are not repatriating foreign currency earned from those exports. The government of Zimbabwe manipulates the official exchange rate to keep it higher. The two points are not just connected they are the same thing. The exporters are not repatriating their foreign exchange earnings because the government of Zimbabwe manipulates the exchange rate upwards.

The Zimbabwean government is the cause of the very thing the Zimbabwean government complains about:

The current bank exchange rates for the RTGS$ today are as follows USD to RTGS$: 4.9516
RTGS$ to RAND: 2.9092
Data according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Black Market Rates:
USD to RTGS$: 6.95
USD to BOND: 6.75
RTGS$ to RAND: 2.07

That’s it, that’s the problem right there.…

See More

Zimbabwe’s One Sensible Economic Move – Abolishing The Special Exchange Rate For Fuel Purchases

Something that’s just so hard to get across to people is that special exemptions and treatments for certain parts of the economy just don’t work. People are interested in money and they’ll exploit any system at all to try and get it. Thus this move to using the basic market exchange rate for fuel purchases is a step forward for Zimbabwe’s economy – for it removes one of those exploitable special treatments.

Sure, it means that fuel prices have gone up.…

See More

Uganda’s Miss Curvy Contest 2019 Has A Winner – Belinda Nansaasi

A couple of months back there was a little disturbance in the space time continuum as Uganda decided to try to popularise itself as a tourist destination by running a “Miss Curvy” contest. Ample women having, so the local culture has it, ample charms so why not flaunt such to get people coming to the country?

To be sure, feminists didn’t quite see it as that:

Uganda has unveiled a new tourism strategy that focuses on promoting its “naturally endowed nice-looking women”.

See More