PALI LEHOHLA | No growing the economy with government’s dwarf-like policy

Promoting private control of strategic sectors over state ownership flies in the face of fast-growing economies’ experience

14 August 2022 - 20:06 By PALI LEHOHLA

South Africans are engaged. Electronic platforms have enabled a rich exchange of ideas. Though the translation of these into action is painfully slow, their diversity is encouraging. The rudimentary modalities of communication of rich ideas that prevailed in Europe and spawned the creation of the Soviet Union were based on the exchange of ideas between its premier, Vladimir Lenin, and other intellectual revolutionaries in the Pravda. Author Isabella Weber, in How China Escaped Shock Therapy, says in the ’80s that country was angry at its backwardness. It took its leader Deng Xiaoping’s anger at this to commit to changing China. But at the heart of it was a set of policy actions with science-based outcomes that, in the main, defied US economist Milton Friedman’s shock therapy, which Xiaoping saw as plunging Russia into a backward economy, reversing all Soviet gains that held the US in awe at the height of the Cold War. Russia may well be picking up the pieces and remembering the dismemberment it suffered through the veiled respite of the March 1918 Brest-Litovsk Treaty Lenin signed with Germany to preserve the six-month-old 1917 October Revolution. So Russian President Vladimir Putin might now be retaliating with the gas squeeze on Germany as he begins to rebuild Russia and shift influence from the dollar...

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