Zimbabwe Down To $217 In Bank Accounts

200px-mugabecloseup2008280px-Sparschwein_Haspa02We have previously discussed the corrupt regime of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his globe-trotting wife. So Mugabe and his friends and family have reportedly stolen hundreds of millions (particularly from diamond mining), but they decided to leave $217 in the bank for the rest of the country — that is far more restraint than they have been known for in the past. Now In the meantime, many are celebrating the world’s first female billionaire. She is Isobel Dos Santos. A considerable achievement to be sure until you learn that she is the daughter of Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos, the second longest-serving leader on the continent and like Mugabe has been openly draining the country of wealth for decades for his family and friends.

Zimbabwe’s finance minister Tendai Biti admitted that “[l]ast week when we paid civil servants there was $217 [left] in government coffers.” He then added the most understated observation in history “We are failing to meet our targets.” I would have to agree since a single lemonade stand could double the national finances of Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe is largely responsible for the economic meltdown with his seizure of thousands of white-owned farms without any serious planning or preparation. The result was the gutting of the agricultural foundation of the country. His runaway corruption and lack of economic planning then triggered hyperinflation. In August 2008, inflation reached 11,200,000 percent. The country actually issued Z$100 trillion notes. Throughout this period, the Mugabe family continued to live in grotesque luxury while robbing the country of its resources.

The situation over in Angola is hardly better, but not surprisingly Isabel dos Santos has claimed the title of the world’s first billionaire woman — ignoring outcries over the systematic looting of that equally poor country by her family. The 40-year-old is often referred to as “the princess” in Angola and acquired this wealth through such enterprises as an Angolan bank and control of a cable television company. Her wedding reportedly costs millions with fine wines and food flown in from France. In the meantime, those unfortunate to live under the yoke of her family make an average of $2 a day.

Forbes found that Isabel dos Santos’s shares in several Portuguese firms, including a cable television company and an Angolan bank, put her on the billionaires’ list for the first time. Most of the population in the southern African nation live on about $2 a day. That of course did not stop various “you go girl” stories as people reported that the world’s finally has a billionaire woman.

The continued corruption in these countries raises the continual question of our spending aid that is used to prop up these regimes. These leaders hold their people hostage. If we cut off aid, the people starve. Yet, our aid is used to sustain what are simply criminal enterprises by these families.

Source: Atlantic Wire

41 thoughts on “Zimbabwe Down To $217 In Bank Accounts”

  1. Zimbabwe Down To $217 In Bank Accounts

    Well at least they aren’t $16 TRILLION in debt…our country has REALLY been looted!!!

  2. Malisha: From my point of view, when predators are walking amongst us in disguise, we need to pay attention to the predators first.

  3. Darren S, yes. They are cyborgs; they are shells. So we need to pay attention to the care and feeding of the rest of us.

  4. I know there is certainly no scientific basis for what I am about to say, but from another point of view I often thought that sociopathic persons lacked souls, being a mere hollow mind, consisting of only neurological switches in their brains acting automaticly and without empathy or kinship of fellow men.

    While some of these people resemble other persons on the outside, something inside them is a void, dark, and dead. Machine like in their thinking and having as much of a soul as one.

    Sad in a way it is. Almost as if at some point in their life the disturbance was so great, they lost their spirit yet the body lived on.

  5. Bron,
    It is not complicated. Ayn Rand was an emotionally stunted sociopath who was devoid of empathy for her fellow human beings. The case of Zimbabwe is illustrative of the end result of a government being run by sociopaths.

  6. Bron: Rights mean nothing without a society to enforce them. You can claim a “right to life” all day long, your right means nothing if you can be murdered and nothing happens to your murderer. It is the real threat of punishment by society that makes your right to life mean anything at all.

    You can claim a right to property to anybody that will listen, it means nothing if thieves and vandals are not prosecuted for stealing or wrecking your property. It is the threat of investigation, arrest, trial and incarceration that protects your property and makes your “right” mean something.

    Rights are meaningless if they cannot be enforced, and rights are meaningless if you must enforce them yourself; that is just survival of the best fighter, which is anarchy. Rights only have meaning if the weight of society has the obligation to have your back, and as a member of society you have the obligation to have their back.

  7. Bron: You are welcome to Marx and Engles,

    God you are dense. I didn’t say I agreed with Marx (and I do not, Marxism idiocy), I said property rights are not inherently dependent upon a right to life, and a right to life is not inherently dependent upon some kind of property rights. That is what Rand claimed in your quote; and Rand is wrong, the rights are independently formulated.

    For 99% of the history of modern humans, a male born in a tribe did not have any particular right to life. He was expected and required to give his life in defense of the women and children of the tribe; because men are largely expendable in the future of the tribe (all the women can still get just as pregnant if a lot of men are lost in battle, and the next generation is no smaller for it) but women and children are not (every women or child lost shrinks the count in the next generation).

    In that situation they often owned property without having a right to decide whether or not they engaged in war: They had a right to property WITHOUT having a right to life.

    The reverse can also be true, no right to property, but with a right to life.

    The point is that Rand’s logic is stupidly wrong, formulated from thin air with apparently zero knowledge of any history of how man came to be in societies in the first place. It is poorly thought out declaratives of facts that are not facts, it is made up, fictitious, badly reasoned, junior high philosophy for the gullible that accept silly absolutist claims without even a moment’s suspicion that they might be false.

    I am neither a Marxist or a Lockean; certainly not Aynish, and anybody that is, well I presume they are just incapable of independent thought altogether.

  8. Bron,

    “I’ll take Locke, Jefferson and Rand . . .”

    This must be a philosophical version of rock, paper, and sissors!

  9. Bron,

    Actually, no. Civil rights are a part of the social compact and they come with reciprocal duties. Human rights are innate. Don’t confuse the two. Also, the Constitution covers far more than just protecting property rights. I know it’s an affront to your Objectivism, but it has the merit of being true.

  10. tONY c:

    I just disagree with all of that. You are welcome to Marx and Engles, as for me I’ll take Locke, Jefferson and Rand, they know a good deal more about rights and where they come from than your Mr. Marx.

    What I quoted Rand saying above is hardly different from Jefferson and Locke. If you refute them, well there isnt much I really can say.

    Anarchy and tribalism does suit you well though.

  11. Bron: The right to life is the source of all rights

    No, it isn’t. Your right to free speech can be restricted without affecting your right to life, your freedom can be restricted without killing you. Rights are not in a tree with a single source, they are independent of each other. We restrict the mobility and privacy of sex offenders without doing anything to shorten their life.

    “—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible.”

    More BS. You can have the right to life, to free expression, to vote, to congregate, to marry as you please, to work where you want, all in a commune without the right to permanently own any physical property of your own. This is a silly statement.

    “Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life.”

    More BS. A man can be entitled to food and shelter, and a man can be obligated to work, without any direct connection between the two. He does not need any right to the specific product of his effort at all, in fact most employees and contractors in the USA do not have the right to the product of their effort, their employer does. They do not sell the product of their effort to their employer, they work for a fixed salary no matter how much their work may be worth millions to their employer.

    But the point is broader than that; the means to sustain life can be provided communally even to those unable to work (like children, the disabled, the elderly). Those people can have rights too, no matter whether they own property or not.

    “The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.”

    More BS. I was not a slave to my daughter when she was disposing of my “product.” I am not a slave to my mother as she disposes of my “product.”

    A slave is a person that is forced to work without pay; period. A man is not a slave if he chooses to work, and as part of that choice, incurs obligations to a society that protects rights (including property rights), provides for those unable to work, and provides an infrastructure that allows more people to choose work.

    The Aynish misunderstand rights because Rand misunderstood rights. There are things we naturally believe should be rights, but in truth nature grants us no rights at all, it is red in tooth and claw. Some rights are consequences of other rights, but that does not mean ALL rights are consequences of just one right.

    A right springs from the society, a right is an agreement by society that the mass will defend the individual’s right, or will punish the violator of said right.

    The right to one’s life is coupled with the obligation to do one’s fair share of protecting everybody else’s right to life, or finding and punishing the criminals that violate somebody’s right to life.

    The right to free speech is coupled with the obligation of doing one’s fair share of protecting free speech, or finding and punishing those that deny it.

    Every right is a simultaneous obligation; it isn’t free. In the USA, we tend to meet those obligations with money in the form of taxes we use to hire full time specialists, but other forms of obligation apply too (like Jury Duty).

    Rand treats the “right to life” and the “right to property” as if they are mystical givens, they aren’t. Early warriors did not have the “right to life,” they were expected to fight and risk death to protect their tribe or be put to death summarily, that whole “shoot the deserter” or “shoot the coward running from battle” was not a standard developed for voluntary warriors, it was implemented with arrows and gut slings.

    Early hunters did not own the large game they killed, it belonged to the tribe, or in many cases to the chief or king, who had the obligation to divide it fairly. What the hunter got was the prime cut, the other 95% was tax. In return he got praise, prestige and gratitude, and he and his family ate from the kills of others, when he came up empty. In return for praise, prestige and gratitude.

    Rights are a societal agreement, a privilege balanced by an obligation.

  12. I’m shocked that the NPR crowd hasn’t called for the CIA to overthrow these evil dictators and steal THEIR assets rather than oil or minerals.

  13. @Gene, rafflaw: Let’s just go in together. Gene can be President, I want to be infrastructural projects manager.

  14. Darren: I wonder if this has been tried or if it would work.

    I doubt it would work if tried. The secret of tyranny is terror and poverty. If the threats of death, torture, rape, assassination, starvation, unchecked disease and utter subjugation have not been enough to instigate a revolution, a promise from a foreign agent (that may or may not be kept, and that citizens may have been propagandized into believing is the source of their problems) is not going to have any legs, either.

    When faced with deprivation and shortages, most people try to preserve survival and avoid taking the very risks that might free them. You might think that with very little to lose, people would take more chances, but it doesn’t really work that way. Instead, we see “very little to lose” as “very easy to lose everything.” Including life, liberty, and the people they love.

  15. Otteray Scribe1, January 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Tony, you are absolutely correct.

    This is the end result if a government were to be designed by Ayn Rand. In other words, the ultimate evolution of that philosophy.


    I guess I need a little help in understanding, I am sort of confused as to what you mean considering she had the following to say about property rights:

    “The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.

    Bear in mind that the right to property is a right to action, like all the others: it is not the right to an object, but to the action and the consequences of producing or earning that object. It is not a guarantee that a man will earn any property, but only a guarantee that he will own it if he earns it. It is the right to gain, to keep, to use and to dispose of material values.”

    “Man’s Rights,”
    The Virtue of Selfishness, 94

    And she had this to say about individual rights:

    “A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)

    The concept of a “right” pertains only to action—specifically, to freedom of action. It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men.

    Thus, for every individual, a right is the moral sanction of a positive—of his freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, uncoerced choice. As to his neighbors, his rights impose no obligations on them except of a negative kind: to abstain from violating his rights.”

    “Man’s Rights,”
    The Virtue of Selfishness, 93

    And she had this to say about government:

    “If physical force is to be barred from social relationships, men need an institution charged with the task of protecting their rights under an objective code of rules.

    This is the task of a government—of a proper government—its basic task, its only moral justification and the reason why men do need a government.

    A government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control—i.e., under objectively defined laws.”

    “The Nature of Government,”
    The Virtue of Selfishness, 109

    “The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man’s self-defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law. But a government that initiates the employment of force against men who had forced no one, the employment of armed compulsion against disarmed victims, is a nightmare infernal machine designed to annihilate morality: such a government reverses its only moral purpose and switches from the role of protector to the role of man’s deadliest enemy, from the role of policeman to the role of a criminal vested with the right to the wielding of violence against victims deprived of the right of self-defense. Such a government substitutes for morality the following rule of social conduct: you may do whatever you please to your neighbor, provided your gang is bigger than his.”

    For the New Intellectual, 183

    So I imagine you can understand my confusion by your statement. I would be gratified if you can explain to me how, under a theory of government basically like the one our founders imagined, you could conclude it would end up in a living hell like that of the Mugabe government.

  16. itchinBayDog: You asked how I could characterize it as a Pirate Territory whien it does not have seashore. Piracy is the nature of the animal. Here are land pirates. Like those guys up in Algeria that wanted to take over that plant and ransom off all those hostages. The Pirate in Chief, Mugabe, has control of all of the diamonds which should belong to the people of the so called nation state. It is kind of like oil in America. Ya see, our oil in America if it is on federal land, belongs to the nation, but the government issues leases to oil companies like Exxon for 99 years. Then Exxon can decide when to drill, when to pump, when to sell and thus control the price. They pay some pittance back to the US for the lease. Deal huh? So, how is it different from Mugabe stealing all the state diamonds? Well, you say, we are not Zimbabwe becasue the US has more than just a few hundred dollars in the bank. Yeah, but we are in debt to the tune of trillions.

    So, in essence, we can put a man on the moon. By that I mean the government can do this without hiring it out to Boeing. So, why cant we drill for oil and pump it out? We dont need Exxon for the public oil. It is because we are a pirate country, not a pirate territory. The difference is that if a mob went to take over an Embassy like happened in Benghazi, then the government could stop the mob.

  17. Amazing how tight the accounting is in a country with such high hyper-inflation and with the amount of currency resets, they could accurately reconcile the books at the treasury to a precision of $217.00. These folks must have the best accountants in the world.

    How about a different approach that might work to foreign aid. Instead of taking away money from a country in the hope that it will cause the people to become upset and fracture the government if it the public was told by foreign donors “We will offer the people of your country a generous foreign aid package, food, infrastructure and the like, if your leadership is no longer in power (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, say no more)” The carrot instead of the stick.

    I wonder if this has been tried or if it would work.

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