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Government economic policy collapses in Zimbabwe and things are looking up

So how is Zimbabwe doing these days? According to this article, linked to yesterday by Patrick Crozier, things are actually improving. Patrick quotes this bit:

Price controls and foreign exchange regulations have been abandoned. Zimbabwe literally joined the real world at the stroke of a pen. Money now flows in and out of the country without restriction. Super market shelves, bare in January, are now bursting with products.

While reading this article, I could not shake the feeling that I was really reading a piece of libertarian science fiction. Could they really have done anything so very sensible, and could things really be improving so definitely? The piece does appear to be genuine, so far as I can tell, but if it turns out to be fantasy-fiction, this paragraph will get me off the credulity hook. File under maybe true but maybe too good to be true.

Meanwhile, if the piece really is true, the best bit of all in it is that there is now no “lender of last resort” in Zimbabwe. Could it be that libertarian economic policy – in particular libertarian banking policy – is about to get a serious test, which it will pass, and hence another serious showcase, highly pertinent given the world’s current banking woes, to educate the world with? How will socialism and state-centralism get the credit for that I wonder?

If genuine, this piece reminds me of a vivid British recollection from way back. Someone on the telly asked a City commentator, just after Black Wednesday (the day in 1992 when John Major’s economic policies collapsed in ruins), what the prospects were now for the British economy. Well, he said, now that the government has not got a policy, rather good.

6 comments to Government economic policy collapses in Zimbabwe and things are looking up

  • Brian, follower of Deornoth

    The inhabitants of that unhappy land can now count their blessings as far as two…

  • RRS

    The use of the term “policy” has always seemed to signify the efforts of some to direct (or even control) the conduct of others.

    And sadly the principal concerns in public discussions of those “policy” formulations are largely limited to the bases for the determinations being sought rather than extended to deal with the illiberal concept whereby some decide how others should act and what results should obtain from human interactions.

    Some should say and the rest obey”

    Actually, the “rest” simply spend a lot of effort on working around ways to do what they want, in the way they want to the extent conditions allow.

  • Jim

    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote a piece in The Telegraph along similar lines the other day, but Mugabe is still up to his tricks, so it is too early to say. For the brave of heart New Dawn is a gold mining company there! Don’t think I’d buy it myself though.

  • There was a similar test in Yugoslavia under Milosevic. It set the world-record for hyper-inflation, then issued a new currency backed by gold, instantly stopping the hyper-inflation. The policy-makers of the world didn’t notice.

  • Brian, follower of Deornoth

    Of course they didn’t notice. Facts are data supporting the desired policy of the state; anything to the contrary is right-wing propaganda.

  • cjf

    Some insurance agents once told me that some bone- headed aspect was their “company policy”. I explained that I would not buy their (insurance) policy, either.

    Like a “shell game”, they look for a sucker who then looks for the pea.