As of 2016, Namibia was at the onset of an economic recession currently exacerbated by Covid-19 and its subsequent lockdowns. The initial recession was a result of a socialist-leaning economy with crony capitalism, but we have - Marxist - intellectuals who want to make us believe that this recession and all our problems are caused by capitalism.
Namibia’s economic structure is referred to as a mixed economy, yet it depends mainly on government services (59.31% share of GDP). Government is a key sector in terms of employment, labour income and output (Humavindu, M N., Stage, J, 2013).
According to the World Bank, a minority of our population relies on income from employment while the majority depends on subsidence farming, pensions and grants. Most of our assets are government-owned or subsidised, for example, water, electricity, education, telecommunication, land, etc.
Sixty-five percent of Namibia’s population lives in communal areas owned by the government (Bobek, V, Moritz, J, Horvat, T, 2019). This reflects a predominantly socialist economic system with big government.
Socialism is appealing because it talks about equality and social justice but history has repeatedly shown that it (socialism) does not produce these results. On the contrary, the greatest social injustices and unequal societies are found in socialist states like Russia, Cuba, China, etc.
Given this conundrum, it is no surprise that Namibia - an upper-middle-income country - is the second highest unequal country in the world (Gini Coefficient of 0.61).
When an economy depends on government services, it lays the foundation for corruptible politicians. As long as private citizens rely on politicians and bureaucrats to gain access to resources via licences, permits and tenders, it leads to what is known as crony capitalism. Oxford dictionary defines crony capitalism as “ an economic system characterised by mutually beneficial relationships between politicians and business owners “.
Pure capitalism is the only economic system - though not perfect - which lifted millions of people out of poverty during the 19th century, in record time and has produced the greatest degree of freedom and equality than any other system in the world. e.g. the United States of America, Great Britain, Sweden, and some Asian countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea as well as Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms in China.
For capitalism to succeed we must meet two conditions, firstly, a laissez-faire environment and secondly, a small government.
We live in a climate that calls for more government control and outright socialism. We do this at our own peril. Pray for Cuba.