PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Greypatriot
 
Comments: 7
Article views: 907
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all Greypatriot's badges.
 

The Sparks of Economic Freedom

29 September 2012, 23:04

The South African economy had been set ablaze by the activism of workers and young people. Their vision and public demonstrations for economic freedom in their lifetime are making sparks fly in boardrooms and in the streets. A restive economy with sluggish growth had been danced into a spin. A new inquiry into the meaning of economic freedom had suddenly kicked in across the country as news networks went viral with stories about demonstrations, strikes, shootings, burning trucks and courtroom dramas.

The question is what does this economic freedom look like, that the youth is calling for in their lifetime. People had been living under the impression that South Africa is a showcase for economic freedom. But it would appear that the young people are not convinced that the government and industry bosses were pulling out all the stops to change the level and form of economic freedom in society.

They seem to be right, because South Africa was rated at number 70 out of 179 countries internationally and only 5th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa Region. This according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2012 Index of Economic Freedom. Rugby fans will be agitated by the fact that Australia and New-Zealand came in third and fourth place respectively, ahead of Switzerland, rated the most competitive nation in the world by the World Economic Forum.

South Africa attained its relatively poor rating primarily because much of the population is poorly educated and lacks access to infrastructure and services. South Africa has one of the world’s highest HIV/AIDS rates and its affirmative-action mandates threaten private property rights. The public service is bloated. The court system is slow, understaffed, under-funded, and overburdened. The courts impose undue burdens and costs on rights holders pursuing infringement cases. Corruption continues to undermine the foundations of economic freedom.

Economic growth is widely regarded as a function of the level of economic freedom, changes in the level of economic freedom and investment in physical and human capital. It thus makes good sense to establish precisely what economic freedom means.

In a free economy people have better lives, in virtually every way. The measures of a good society are sustained economic growth, higher incomes, income equality, gender equality, service equality, long life expectancy, and so on. Organizations such as Freedom House, the Heritage Foundation, and the Fraser Institute, as well as individual scholars, have researched the concept “economic freedom” and their frameworks and indices are key to understanding the call of the youth.

The key ingredients of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange of goods and services, freedom to compete in markets, and protection of person and property. Institutions and policies are consistent with economic freedom when they allow voluntary exchange of goods and services and protect individuals and their property. Economic freedom requires that the government refrain from taking people’s property and from interfering with personal choice, voluntary exchange, and the freedom to enter and compete in labour and product markets without constraints. Economic freedom is driven by an economic system based on private property and free markets. There are no restrictions that limit entry into occupations and business activities. Policies of affirmative action and equal opportunity restrain economic freedom.

There are five measures of economic freedom. Size of government, a sound currency, rule of law and property rights, international trade and regulation have been identified as the five crucial measures of economic freedom.

To get high ratings in the size of government for example, governments must tax and spend modestly, and marginal tax rates must be relatively low. While governments are important in protecting property rights, enforcing contracts, and providing some services, as governments grow they inevitably infringe on people’s economic freedom to engage in trade and enjoy the fruits of their labour. They become tax consuming, bloated and lethargic as the numbers of officials balloon. There is reason for concern in South Africa, because government is one of the biggest employers, with many provincial and local governments and many departments and institutions that service and regulate the economy. There is also evidence of widespread corruption and cronyism.

When we want to establish what the young people refer to when they agitate for economic freedom we must assess our performance in each of these measures and establish where the changes are needed. The freest economy in the world is considered to be Hong-Kong. Hong Kong has relatively low taxes, a good legal system, sound money, free trade, and minimal regulations. It has had these institutions and policies in place for several decades.

When one pools the demands that communities, workers and young people have been making public in their ongoing demonstrations, issues like low wages, access to basic services, employment and decent living conditions, crime, corruption, poor education, weak institutions and weak leadership seem to be the most prevalent. We seem to be a long journey away from attaining human and institutional excellence. The political will, enthusiasm and ability to address these issues must be mobilized and committed otherwise the youth will not experience economic freedom in their lifetime. We may experience the same volatility and rebellion that prevails in other countries where economic freedom is restrained, if we don’t engage all the people in rigorously building economic freedom.

Sources:

www.heritage.org/index and www.weforum.org

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Brian Faul
Law of Karma

This is not about religion or religious values or dogma. It is about a universal application that affects each and every being on this planet.  Read more...

3 comments 68 views
Submitted by
b.agnostic
Zuma - far from clever, clever fr...

Many people say Jacob Zuma is not very clever. In a certain respect he is actually very clever, maybe not in the sense of IQ, but rather streetwise clever. Read more...

1 comments 91 views
Submitted by
Thulane Che Trosky
The sudden status of Jackie Seleb...

It is with a certain amount of amazement to notice how the late Jackie Selebi, now that he 's died, is being praised and lauded for his conduct while still being alive. Read more...

2 comments 242 views
Submitted by
Neill Guthrie
Demons of Racism

At the start, I must express my personal opinion that there was nothing racist in the messages tweeted by Zelda La Grange. Read more...

14 comments 724 views
Submitted by
Luzuko Mtoyi
When foreigners are the scape-goa...

I was listening to Metro FM on Friday and one guy called in regarding the issue that foreigners have illegal fire-arms. He talked as if locals DO NOT have illegal guns. Read more...

10 comments 789 views
Submitted by
Abdullahi Ali Hassan
It takes entire communities to ta...

Violence against foreign shop owners erupted in Soweto. Some consider this to be a crime; others call it to be a face of xenophobia. Read more...

20 comments 831 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Lego sale!

Buy 2 or more Lego toys and get 15% off. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.