Thursday, August 02, 2018

South Africa set to amend constitution ... to become a wasteland

By Monica Showalter 

There's no way this is going to work the way they think it's going to work.

Get ready for the "before" and "after" pictures after this one.

South Africa's president, Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that his ruling party will move to amend the country's constitution to allow the expropriation of white-owned farmland without compensation. Here's what the BBC reported:

In a recorded address, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ruling ANC will "finalise a proposed amendment" allowing the move.
He said the reform was "of critical importance" to the economy.

Recent months have seen growing anger about the slow pace of land reform in South Africa.
The country's white minority is believed to have a disproportionate hold over land, with a few thousand white commercial farmers possessing the most fertile lands.
However, critics fear expropriation could lead to land grabs, as happened in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Well, why wouldn't it? If the government can expropriate without compensation, completely 'legally,' with the constitutional maneuver, why not just take a shortcut and grab it yourself? Ramaphosa may think it's money-for-nothing to legislate his way into free land for the people whose support he wants down the line, but it doesn't work that way. The expropriated farms will soon be ravaged, just as they were in Stalin's Ukraine or Chavez's Venezuela, not to mention, Mugabe's utterly miserable Zimbabwe right next door, and South Africa, too, will become a wasteland. It all looks real nice right now, but the change over just a few years after this move will be amazing.

I saw it myself in Venezuela, where ravaged sugar fields in Cojedes state, out on the llano, were on one half of the roadside, the expropriated-land half, with miserable looking people sitting under a half-tent with a ragged Venezuelan flag flying overhead. On the other side, there was a still crisp, clean, working sugar farm, obviously the next target. Private ownership, vs. public expropriation were visible with one glance. Bloomberg did a piece on the same horror in neighboring Portuguesa state in 2017.

The South African madness down that same road seems to be well advanced, with amazingly ignorant, naive quotes from whipped-up descamisados who think they are getting something free, and complete imperviousness to the horrible examples from history, a large number of which are next door in Zimbabwe, from intellectuals and leaders. Everyone seems to think farms are these passive commodities that can be passed out like party favors from one favored special interest group to the next one, always chugging out money no matter who has them. Nobody doing this has any idea that farms are organic things, reflecting the risk-taking, responsibility, and hard work of owners, who are people with property rights, making countless expert decisions to act in their best interests of their operations so as to serve their customers.

Oh, and note from this BBC report that most of those who are being 'redistributed' to already, the 10% noted, just take the money offered by the government as an option and walk away. They don't want to hang around on farms, given the hard work involved and uncertainty of ownership. After all, if the government can take the farms away from one group, they sure as heck can take it away from the next one. You wouldn't want to sink money, or capital, or investment or your future, into a place like that. Much better to take the money and run.

Of course they're going to make themselves a second Zimbabwe. They'll be hungry, their land will look like hell, there won't be any food, the inflation will hit the 10,000s, and the human waves of illegal immigration will flow.

That's always what happens when property rights are not respected, and a tyanny of a majority decides it can plunder an unpopular minority in what amounts to organized mob rule.

You wonder what the hell happened, given that the country gave the appearance of starting out again so well at its re-founding, back in the 1990s.

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