Check out Zimbabwe
June 1, 2018 | View PDF
Don’t laugh. Little Zimbabwe could be a model for providing prosperity for the entire world.
Most people remember this African nation for creating the most rampant hyperinflation in recorded history—a rate of 231 million percent annually. In the end, people were carrying boxes of $100 trillion dollar bills.
Some also recall the ancient granite structures of Great Zimbabwe, from which the country derived its present name.
Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) has some of the most fertile farm land in Africa. During much of the 20th century, it grew massive amounts of food and was nicknamed “The Breadbasket of Africa.” It
became the second wealthiest nation on the continent—second only to gold-rich South Africa.
In 1980, Robert Mugabe and his ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union) party won elections that ended the white minority rule. His regime took over the country and directed groups of black militants and an elite North Korean trained Fifth Brigade to seize the rich land from the mostly white farmers and rout them out. In doing so, they killed and tortured thousands of people including many of the farmers and burned their homes. With no one to run the farms, they soon fell into disrepair, and most food production ceased. The country’s economy plummeted.
People began starving. The hyper-inflation destroyed the currency. Epidemics erupted. Approximately 25% of the people became infected with HIV.
In 2008, Mugabe’s party lost its outright majority and had to share its power with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Parliament member Tendai Biti became finance minister, and in a 30 minute speech, he announced the end of essentially all government interference in the economy. He treated Zimbabwe to instant free markets. Regulations, licensure, import permits, and exchange and price controls all went out the window.
In 2009, the country scrapped its worthless hyperinflated dollars and adopted the U.S. dollar and the South African rand for its official currencies.
These two simple reforms became Zimbabwe’s “Great Experiment,” ironclad proof of the travesty of government regulation.
In a few weeks, Zimbabwe’s economy blossomed with explosive impact. Food and fuel shortages suddenly vanished. Empty supermarkets stocked up to their limits. The once rampant inflation dropped to a minus 7%, and within two years dropped to the lowest in southern Africa. Over the next four years, the economy grew about 8% annually. Tax revenue jumped almost eight fold. Foreign currency abounded. Unemployment plummeted. Entrepreneurs thrived and made record profits. Masses of people bought cars, took vacations, and sent their kids to the best private schools.
The magic of laissez faire (just leave me alone) had almost overnight transformed a destitute third world loser into a model of first world prosperity.
But it did not last. In 2013, in an election that was probably stolen, Mugabe’s party regained full control and immediately re-imposed the previous government shackles—thus ending the few years of Zimbabwe’s glory.
However, in December 2017, after a “soft coup,” Mugabe was deposed and succeeded by Emmerson Mnangagwa, who promised “sweeping reforms.” But so far, he has not delivered.
Zimbabwe’s next move is an election right now (June 2018). The people will once again have an opportunity to elect an opposition party and put Tendai Biti back into office—that is, if the election is honest.
That will make Zimbabwe great again.
And now, we have a proven model to make America great again.
And, yes, even the entire world.