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Old 03-15-2013, 07:29 PM
 
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I have to laugh at the idea of Botswana as a capitalist paradise. Have you ever been there? Violent crime is sky high. There are no decent restaurants or hotels or shopping. Plus, do you have any idea how much of their budget comes from foreign aid?
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Aville239 View Post
I have to laugh at the idea of Botswana as a capitalist paradise. Have you ever been there? Violent crime is sky high. There are no decent restaurants or hotels or shopping. Plus, do you have any idea how much of their budget comes from foreign aid?
No one ever said Botswana was a paradise. But it has had a better run economy compared to other African countries. Botswana does have issues with high unemployment which could account for the higher crime. Their high unemployment is the result of a lack of diversity in their economy which they have been working on.

Botswana doesn't get as much foriegn aid in comparison to other African countries because it has middle income status.

The Monitor :: Botswana Getting Little Foreign Aid
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Botswana was created as a safe haven for investment money, from white Rhodesians and South Africans fleeing from dimming prospects for security in their own countries. Botswana's economy still benefits mostly the white investors, who have an interest in the stability of its institutions. They knew they could manipulate Botswana more easily than Zimbabwe of post-apartheid South Africa.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Maryland
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Originally Posted by Motion View Post
The only post colonial African country that comes close to a capitalist economy would be Botswana. By capitalism I mean countries that have both the economic policies and legal systems that would support a capitalist economy. Few African countries would fit that description. In too many African countries their legal systems aren't developed enough to make a capitalist economy work. The rule of law and property rights are very weak in many of these countries. Capitalism won't work if it isn't clear on who owns what property and if people's property isn't protected by the legal system. This is why I've come to the view that many African countries need legal reforms more than anything else. Weak legal/judicial systems is one reason corruption is hard to deal with in Africa.
Ivory Coast under HouphouŽt-Boigny was right leaning and capitalist.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:56 PM
 
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Before Lenin, every country that ever existed in the world operated on a purely capitalist economy, regardless of the sophistication of their economic or legal systems. Capitalism is a pretty simplistic concept that has been around for many millennia, and was the only system in existence before a despotism was put in place in 1917 to enforce an alternative. Capitalism is a system in which wealth is accumulated privately and then used to multiply itself. Socialism, the topic of this thread, is one in which wealth is centrally planned and controlled, and not left in the hands of "capitalists".

It sounds like you want to say that if capitalism fails (for whatever reason), then it wasn't capitalism in the first place. Which pretty much guarantees that capitalism always successfully achieved economic bounty -- the term can only be applied retroactively to a successful endeavor.

You are also starting out with the given that capitalism is the only avenue to economic development, and the only thing one needs to do is to put in place a framework in which capitalism can yield a benefit. What, exactly, do you call an economic system in which wealth is in the hands of those who create it and who invest it at will in order to multiply it, but the legal system fails to regulate it properly? It still not Socialism, so obviously, socialism is not the shortcoming that dooms that economy to failure.

Which raises an even more contentious problem. Just who has the responsibility for establishing the legal structures that will direct a capitalist economy to favorable ends? The wealthy property owners, or the central office of state planning? The latter is exactly the objection you have to socialism, and the former is not happening because those with the wealth do not want their power to be diluted by civil codes (or criminal) that might favor the unwealthy.


cap∑i∑tal∑ism noun
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.


I don't see anything in there that limits the application to only states which have sophisticated Western-style legal frameworks.
Interestingly enough, I had to quote the very same definition few days ago to my fellow Russians, when they were trying to convince me, that what they have today is no way " true capitalism."
How about free and capitalist Ukraine for example, that suffered so much under socialism?

"Went out to a store. At the supermarket's vegetable department an old woman was weighing one!!! potato! The poor saleswoman was petrified. So was I. The old woman said she'd paid for the apartment, for utilities, medicines, and was now surviving on what was left. "

The Old Woman and a Potato: Ukraine’s Poverty Story Goes Viral ∑ Global Voices
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