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Economic freedom - an oxymoron?

02 August 2012, 08:43

I'm pretty sure I haven't seen an article about South Africa in a long time where some sterling example of the post 1994 education system waffles on about economic freedom. You know they type.

The other day, that prompted me to (rather wittily I thought) work the words 'oxy' and 'moron' into my comment. A play on words I was mighty proud of.

However, I've since realised that that's exactly the case.

Participating in the economy means buying into capitalism. It means rent or bond payments, paying for water and electricity, store cards and credit.

You may start out free when you begin participating in the economy, but you soon become the slave of the banks, the finance companies, your landlord and the grocery store owner.

Many South Africans live paycheck to paycheck - even the middle class ones - and what does that really mean? Yes, you have the lifestyle that money buys, but you're neither richer nor poorer when one month grinds into the next.

Of course, the whole problem with South Africa is that the very people who comment about economic freedom don't understand any of this. Won't they be shocked when they suddenly find that money doesn't use their wallet as a permanent resting place, but rather as a fleeting stopover.

LOL!

That's why I say economic freedom is an oxy moron - except for a few people who are clever, frugal or lucky - economic participation does not equal freedom. Which makes it bittersweet. :-)

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