Sunday, 11 September 2016

Suggested Reading For Dr. Bawumia & Co

Recently, it was reported in sections of the Ghanaian media that Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia,  the running  mate of the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had stated that members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) seldom read.

The question there is: How many Ghanaians - including even the leading lights of the NPP -  ever bother to read? One presumes that Bawumia himself  is widely read - and also continues to read regularly. At least one does hope so. Ours would definitely be a better society, if most Ghanaians - particularly the younger generation -  read regularly.

Good Ghanaian writers of all ages would  then have the incentive to write yet more books, and thrive financially to boot, too.

At any rate, if Bawumia wants an NPP regime to be able to successfully transform the enterprise Ghana from a heavily-geared financial basket-case into a prosperous one, then to free himself from the prison of his negative experience as a career central banker, this blog humbly recommends that he downloads and reads as many of the publications by Positive Money that he possibly can. He will find that that will benefit him hugely.

For this blog's many readers, who might also be keen to do so too,  they are available at: www.positivemoney.org.

They will be fascinated by the possibilities that the creation of sovereign money in transparent and accountable fashion, to spend in Ghana's real economy, holds for our country's hapless citizens who now have to struggle to survive daily, despite decades of never-ending sacrifices for the betterment of their nation - a desired outcome, which, alas, has failed to materialise: whiles Ghana's vampire-elites have seen their net worth skyrocketing into the stratosphere,  in inverse proportion to the ever-deepening woes of the bottom-of-the-pyramid-masses. But I digress.

That Dr. Bawumia has caught the imagination of many of Ghana's educated urban middle-class  elites, is not in doubt. However, for a tiny minority of Ghanaians, for whom lateral thinking comes naturally, it is extraordinary that Dr. Bawumia - on the surface a decent-enough gentleman who is undoubtedly highly-intelligent too - should have such a hold on a supposedly-discerning Ghanaian demographic.

The question is: What earth-shattering radical ideas does Dr. Bawumia have to transform a corruption-riddled society, lumbered with a mostly unproductive and not very honest working population (with a public-sector full of white-collar thieves having nearly 70% of total tax revenues lavished on them ironically - although they are forever embarking on strike  action), into an economically well-managed and politically well-governed nation that is prosperous?

More to the point: How will the economic management team he will lead do  so within the stipulated maximum two-term tenure totalling eight years that Ghana's presidents are limited to by the Constitution  -  but which aren't even guaranteed in what is a democracy in which free and fair elections are held every four years?

And if even eight years aren't enough for any regime to transform Ghana into a prosperous society, what hope is there that such a transformation can ever be achieved in a country groaning under the yoke of a national debt of mammoth proportions, by an NPP regime in which Bawumia serves as vice president: in what will after all be a relatively short-spanned 4-year tenure - which all Ghanaian presidents are elected initially to serve  for?

Indeed, some of us can foresee the possibility of a very bleak  future for a Ghana under an NPP regime, which will excel in propaganda blame-game-politricks and the self-serving politics-of-equalisation: in which excuse after excuse will be deployed to explain away every failure by the regime in power to make significant progress in fulfilling its many empty election campaign promises, as the nation sinks further into the abyss - whiles many of those in power and their cronies, as well as their extended family clan  favourites, grow super-rich cunningly ripping-off Mother Ghana by stealth through special-purpose offshore legal fronts set up for precisely that purpose.

Intelligent though Bawumia is, he is nonetheless a typical Ghanaian intellectual - a breed of the species amongst whose many shortcomings  include: earning academic qualifications mostly by rote-learning;  seldom doing any original and creative thinking;  and hardly ever being able to innovate to introduce better ways of doing things in the real world.

So why the fascination with him amongst educated Ghanaians - and why should he have such a hold on so many Ghanaians? Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o. Do such Ghanaians not understand the implications of electing politicians who aren't willing to voluntarily publish their own assets, and those of their spouses, in a country blighted by endemic high-level corruption?

When has Bawumia, who never ceases to point out examples of high-level corruption in the present administration, ever offered to publicly publish his assets and those of his wife Samira - and committed to doing so again immediately after leaving office? Hmm, Oman Ghana - eyeasem serbeh o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Would doing so not show Ghanaians that he has good intentions in seeking power - and is unlikely to amass wealth illegally if elected as Ghana's vice president?

And do Ghanaians also ever contemplate the inherent dangers  in handing power to opaque political parties - which are beholden to the very vested interests that profit from the high-level corruption slowly bleeding Mother Ghana to death - which refuse to publicly publish all the sources of their election campaign funds: and list the amounts donated by each 'donor' (whom they must also identify to the world)?

What a strange lot we are. No wonder our educated urban elites have succeeded in turning Nkrumah's Ghana into a banana republic - in which millions worship at the alter of the Cult-of-the-mediocre. Pity.

Some of us would take the Dr. Mahamadu Bawumias in our midst far more seriously if at least  they had track records of radical thinking that have impacted the real economy positively, to show the world. In that regard, perhaps Bawumia could be Ghana's saviour, if he were an advocate for monetary reform - and championed its cause here.

However, that he is apparently proud of his legacy as a central banker, speaks volumes about his professional world-view as a  banker: He is as welded to the damaging, prevailing monetary policy orthodoxy (championed by central bankers around the globe) as the rest of them are, alas. To therefore think that he is the economic Messiah for Ghana, is pretty daft, unfortunately, if truth be told.

Be that as it may, for those in Ghana who like us are also clueless when it comes to the subject of the art and science of economics, this blog is making available  information below, on the subject of monetary reform (that would definitely help transform the Ghanaian economy positively if adopted here), from the Positive Money movement's website.

We do hope that somehow, as more educated Ghanaians get to  learn about what the Positive Money movement stands for, it will lead to the formation of local chapters of the International Movement for Monetary Reform (IMMR) in Ghana too.

Finally, considering the fact he will lead the economic management  team if the presidential candidate of the NPP were to win this December's presidential election, some of us are of the considered view that publications  by Positive Money on the subject of monetary reform, really ought to be required reading for all educated young Ghanaians  -   particularly the NPP's Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia.

Please read on:

"The International Movement for Monetary Reform

 Statement of purpose

Changing the way money is created to serve society

We are a coalition of organisations and people from across the world, campaigning to change the way money is created.

This Statement of purpose describes what the IMMR does, and also doesn’t do.

The Problem

The IMMR believes that our money system has mutated over the years in response to technology, regulation, de-regulation, and globalisation. The result is an unfair system which does not work in the public interest.

The IMMR has identified the following problems with the current money system:

* Unsustainable indebtedness: Because all money is issued as credit, debt increases at the same rate as the money supply.

*  Financial instability: Money creation is pro-cyclical – too much is created in a boom, and too little in a recession, causing the pronounced boom and bust cycle.

* Anti-democratic: Because the government relies on commercial banks to create money, the government has to borrow more, and we have to pay higher taxes.

*  Perpetual expansion: In order to service large amounts of debt the economy has to grow, even when markets are saturated and resources depleted.

*  Unbalanced and unproductive economy: Banks choose where new money is spent on the basis of their own profits rather than the needs of the economy.

*  Inequality and the concentration of wealth: Interest payments on the entire money supply suck wealth out of the economy in to the banks.

*  Bank runs, subsidies and bailouts: The banking system is unstable and unprofitable without government subsidies and guarantees.

*  Unfair, monopolistic and anti-competitive: The right to create money gives banks an unfair and damaging advantage over all other parts of the economy.

The IMMR believes that the money system is not fit-for-purpose and needs updating. A well-functioning money system will provide more stable economies, which will benefit everybody.

Our Goal

The IMMR is supportive of ideas and policies which move towards our end goal. We are not dogmatic about our proposals or the way they are implemented and the detail will vary from country to country. We do believe that our end goal can only be reached when these three things have been achieved:

New money to be spent in to the economy by the Government.

A transparent and independent process for the creation of new money, which regulates the money supply according to the needs of the economy.

Stop the banks creating new money when they make loans (full-reserve banking).


The IMMR is

IMMR is a collaboration of not-for-profit organisations set up to campaign to reform the money system, both nationally, and internationally.

IMMR believes that private banks should not be able to create new money when they make loans. This is an extraordinary privilege which gives the financial sector an unfair and damaging advantage over other businesses. Banks should be restricted to providing current accounts, payment services, lending, and investing money on behalf of their savers.

This will lead to a reduction in personal and Government debt, and will help to prevent another financial crisis occurring.

The IMMR maintains a very clear and specific aim, namely to change the way the money system works.


The IMMR is not

The IMMR does not subscribe to any conspiracy theories about the money system.

The IMMR does not act on the behalf of any particular lobby or interest group.
    
The IMMR is not a political organisation. We don’t campaign for either a bigger or a smaller role for government. We campaign for changes to the money system which would be to the benefit of all political parties.

The IMMR is not against privately owned banks. Privately-owned banks have an important function in providing payment services, a secure place for our money, investment opportunities, and to lend us money.

The IMMR is not against bankers. Most people who work in banks do not understand the money system and its effects, and are simply trying to provide a service for customers and earn a living. Undoubtedly some bankers have abused their power, but this is not the root cause of our financial crisis; the root cause is our current money system.

The IMMR is not against lending, or charging interest on loans where an investor is lending their money to somebody else.

The IMMR does not believe that regulation alone can solve the problems with banking or the money system. Regulation has been shown to be ineffective, and easily reversed, but furthermore it does not alter the root causes of the problem. What is needed is legislative change.

The IMMR is not a campaign for general financial reform, alternative economics or complementary currencies. While there are many other reforms that also need to take place, the IMMR has a specific and narrow purpose – to change the national money systems in order to create fairer and more stable economies.

The IMMR does not support the use of illegal or violent means to bring about change. We campaign for the money system to be changed with minimal social and economic upheaval."

End of culled content from the Positive Money website.

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