By J. Yanqui Zaza
|Karl Marx||Adam Smith|
Many thanks to you all for your contribution to this important debate. Well, brother Sylvester Moses, I assume that Mr. Andrew Worth does not share your view that many countries have instituted a mixed economy. For instance, the United States provides welfare programs for the poor and it also assists big businesses through cash contributions during financial meltdowns (i.e., 2008 financial debacle) or it initiates and, or finances research, which ends up generating huge profits for companies such as Microsoft.
For reference, read David Cay Johnston’s book called “Free Lunch...How the wealthiest Americans enrich themselves at Government expense..and stick you with the bill.” Or read Thomas Piketty’s book called “Capital ...in the twenty-first century.” You can also read “The Microsoft Monopoly: the facts, the law and the remedy,” by Jeffrey Eisenach and Thomas Lenard.
Mr. Andrew Worth, I have included a chart for your review in an effort to share with you my understanding that a government can improve the living conditions of its residents if it plays a role in managing lucrative assets (banking, diamond, gold, timber, education, utility services, etc). Many of the African countries are reporting huge deficits and owe significant amount debts. Please visit the 2016 budgetary documents, of South Africa, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, etc. Or visit the 2016 budgetary document of the state of Israel, a country where government bureaucrats did produce consumer merchandise and export armaments to neighboring countries many years ago before it privatized many of the state-owned entities during the privatization campaign by the World Bank and its allies (former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and former British Prime Minister Mrs. Margaret Thatcher.
Russian State Budget (in millions)
Total Rev. $6,276.20
Oil & GAS REV. $2,954.40
OTHER REV. $3,329.00
TOTAL REV. $6,614.2
OIL & GAS REV. $2,471.1
OTHER REV. $4,143.1
TOTAL REVENUE $6,644.2
OIL & GAS REV. $2,383.1
OTHER REV. $4,261.3
TOTAL REVENUE $7,465.4
OIL & GAS REV. $2,351.9
OTHER REVENUE $5,113.5
The United States of America’s 2006 Budget.
Receipts by source: (in billions of dollars)
Individual income tax $1,044
Corporate income tax $354
Social Security and other payroll tax $838
Excise tax $74
Estate and gift taxes $28
Customs duties $25
Other miscellaneous receipts $45
Total Revenue $2,407
The President’s budget for 2006 totals $2.7 trillion. This budget request is broken down by the following expenditures:
$544.8 billion (20.90%) - Social Security
$512.1 billion (18.00%) - Defense
$359.5 billion (13.79%) - Unemployment and welfare
$345.7 billion (13.26%) - Medicare
$268.4 billion (10.30%) - Medicaid and other health related
$211.1 billion (8.10%) - Interest on debt
$88.7 billion (3.40%) - Education and training
$70.7 billion (2.71%) - Transportation
$68.4 billion (2.62%) - Veterans’ benefits
$43.1 billion (1.65%) - Administration of justice
$38.4 billion (1.47%) - Foreign affairs
$31.2 billion (1.20%) - Natural resources and environment
$26.0 billion (1.00%) - Agriculture
$24.0 billion (0.92%) - Science and technology
$19.1 billion (0.73%) - Community and regional development
$17.8 billion (0.68%) - General government
$23.4 billion - Energy
-$698 billion (2.68%) - Undistributed offsetting receipts
Sir, the breakdown of the revenue of the United States indicates that the government did not receive any profits from the production and sale of medicine as you indicated, while the State of Russia did include revenue from oil and gas. The State of Russia has surplus in each year, all because it received revenue from its oil and gas. Also, Russia’s total external debt is less than $1 trillion, but America owes $17 trillion. Why is America’s economic position looking bad? The United State does not have shares in its lucrative assets (banking, oil, gas, gold, etc.), but private-profit-making investors own or manage the lucrative assets.
I am aware that many individuals might conclude that capitalism is efficient and socialism is inefficient, because they might not have a complete picture of the two economic arrangements. More so, proponents of capitalism did wrongly inform the world that government bureaucrats do demand bribes before they perform their duties. They also stated that poor people are gullible to corruption, while rich people have limited motives to steal because they have sufficient resources to finance their needs and wants.
That was part of the rationale why the Liberian government, in 2004, consented to the recommendations of the World Bank that Liberia should privatize all state-owned entities, the economic activities that the government controlled. I guess, it was the basic rationale why President Sirleaf and the World Bank appropriated excessive salaries for a few privileged advisers to President Sirleaf.
However, economic activity such as the 2008 financial meltdown has refuted the false story that the rich does not steal. Also, Transparency International investigated and reported that it is big business that promotes bribes offering in order to increase profits, exposing the false story that government bureaucrats demand bribes. Further, the Report by the African Union Committee headed by the former president of South Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, stated that of the $60 billion that is siphoned out of Africa yearly, multinational corporations are responsible for 95% of the amount. The report also stated that local officials are responsible for 3% to 5% of the $60 billion siphoned out of Africa.
Again, Liberia will not have adequate resources to finance its needed programs as long as it continues to award flawed concessionary agreements and allow diamond dealers, for example, to spirit diamonds outside of Liberia. Neither will it reduce the cost of living if, for instance, it does not institute real estate reform, including, but not limited to providing affordable housing units near the proposed multi-complex office buildings that the Chinese have agreed to build.