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Thread: Zimbabwe inflation: 89.7 sextillion percent

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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Zimbabwe inflation: 89.7 sextillion percent

    At some point, the numbers just become meaningless. I wonder if the paper itself is now worth more than the billion dollar note. So sad what that guy has done to that country.
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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    That number, by the way, means that a price of an item goes up 200x every week. So if you make $1,000 that week, congratulations, it's worth $5 next week.

    Even for the professionals in the country, it ought to be back to getting paid in goods rather than money, no? If I was a worker, I'd demand pay in something tangible, such as food, or salt, or some commodity.

    I can't imagine anyone working if their salary goes down 200x every week. They'd have to be paid every day, and you better spend your money that day, or it's value is halved tomorrow.

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    International 12th Man Shaggy Alfresco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    So sad what that guy has done to that country.
    It's pretty clever economics actually. Ever since the agriculture industry was destroyed by Mugabe (Zimbabwe was once the "breadbasket of Africa"), Zimbabwe hasn't been selling anything to get foreign currency to pay for foreign imports and its debts. All it can offer are Zim$, and if it simply uses them the currency will be devalued as the market adjusts and the currency will be worth even less because of all the new notes printed. So Zimbabwe simply sets up a game - a race to print Zim$ to sell for US$ before the market adjusts, and when it does more Zim$ are printed which simply devaluates the currency even more when the market adjusts, and so on. Zimbabwe can't lose, the value of the Zim$ is always going to be more than 0 because people can still buy Zimbabwean goods and property, and pay Zimbabwean taxes with them, so there'll always be buyers.

    The plan is crazy, but the other alternative would be the bankrupcy of the Zimbabwean state and no more imports of essential items.

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    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    That's incredible.
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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Alfresco View Post
    Zimbabwe can't lose, the value of the Zim$ is always going to be more than 0 because people can still buy Zimbabwean goods and property, and pay Zimbabwean taxes with them, so there'll always be buyers.

    The plan is crazy, but the other alternative would be the bankrupcy of the Zimbabwean state and no more imports of essential items.
    Problem is 80% are unemployed, and getting worse. It's pretty terrible economics, except for Mugabe and his cronies. Bankruptcy wouldn't do anything, the problem would return. They need the farms to start producing again, and unfortunately, there is little chance of that.

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    International Vice-Captain Redbacks's Avatar
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    It's dangerous to tell a date she looks a million bucks in Zimbabwe

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    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbacks View Post
    It's dangerous to tell a date she looks a million bucks in Zimbabwe

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    There has never been a country as mismanaged as Zimbabwe.

    Whether it be the inflation, that 25% of its citizens have left the country or that there are no jobs, it is a disaster.

    My 'favorite' were the price controls that were set. Using hypothetical numbers, Mugabe thought bread etc was geting too expensive (mainly due to his policies) so it was capped at, lets say, $5 a loaf. Unfortunately it would cost, lets say, $100 a loaf to make. What happens? Everyone stops producing bread. The result is that supplies that were once expensive are now impossible to get.

    People go hungry.
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    State Vice-Captain DaRick's Avatar
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    I know I'm stating the obvious, but Robert Mugabe should be overthrown and indicted for crimes against humanity (and possibly genocide - he has killed millions through famine). The only other African leader who would approach his crimes and record of economic mismanagement during his tenure would be the Ethiopian Mengistu. Even then, I don't know whether Mengistu would've been responsible for hyperinflation like Mugabe has been.


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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaRick View Post
    (and possibly genocide - he has killed millions through famine).
    Rather than look for an excuse like famine, why not just cite the over 20 000 people slaughtered in Matabeleland by the Fifth Brigade (special troops)?

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    State Vice-Captain DaRick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    Rather than look for an excuse like famine, why not just cite the over 20 000 people slaughtered in Matabeleland by the Fifth Brigade (special troops)?
    Becuase I didn't know about it...but thanks for alerting me.

    Famine is a valid excuse, too, of course. These days, just about every famine is government-inflicted...or rather 'socialist-tyrannical-government-inflicted'. You don't hear about the great capitalist famine, for instance.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaRick View Post
    Becuase I didn't know about it...but thanks for alerting me.

    Famine is a valid excuse, too, of course. These days, just about every famine is government-inflicted...or rather 'socialist-tyrannical-government-inflicted'. You don't hear about the great capitalist famine, for instance.
    If you don't hear about it it's because of the news where you live. Of course there's famine in capitalist societies! Laissez-faire capitalism was the single biggest contributor to the great famines in both Ireland and India.
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    State Vice-Captain DaRick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut
    If you don't hear about it it's because of the news where you live. Of course there's famine in capitalist societies! Laissez-faire capitalism was the single biggest contributor to the great famines in both Ireland and India.
    I should've really said that you don't hear about the 'great democratic, capitalist-caused famine' these days. It was a faux-pas on my part.

    Here are some reasons why the Irish potato famine occured, according to an Irishman (like your good self).

    As for India, it was not a democracy when those famines occured (during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries).

    As it is, the deaths caused by capitalism through famine (most of which occured centuries ago) are nothing compared to the deaths caused by socialism through famine over a shorter, more modern period of time. Therefore, my overall point - tyranny + socialism = famine - still stands.
    Last edited by DaRick; 17-01-2009 at 05:31 AM.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaRick View Post
    I should've really said that you don't hear about the 'great democratic, capitalist-caused famine' these days. It was a faux-pas on my part.

    Here are some reasons why the Irish potato famine occured, according to an Irishman (like your good self).

    As for India, it was not a democracy when those famines occured (during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries).

    As it is, the deaths caused by capitalism through famine are nothing compared to the deaths caused by socialism through famine over a shorter period of time.
    I don't doubt that democracy is better than enforced socialism, i just thought your post implied that democracy and capitalism simply solve the problem, which of course isn't the case as it's badly over-simplified. Capitalism isn't so ideal. It's the best we have, and i wouldn't advocate any other system, but it's far from perfect.

    I certainly believe that the extreme-free-trade approach of the government was a huge contributor to the Irish famine. Famine's are no time for political theories or social experiments, the choice was between feeding starving people and letting them starve, and Laissez-faire led to the latter being chosen. Much more interesting is the question of whether it would have still happened if Ireland had been a true democracy. But ultimately that's changing far too much to allow for any accuracy in predictions.

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    State Vice-Captain DaRick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    I don't doubt that democracy is better than enforced socialism, i just thought your post implied that democracy and capitalism simply solve the problem, which of course isn't the case as it's badly over-simplified.
    Well, I will admit to being simplistic in my argument. Combining democracy with capitalism, particularly if the brand of democracy you adopt is relatively fragile (the Phillipines comes to mind) and if you've just adopted capitalism (like 1990's Russia) does not always solve everything.

    Like you say, capitalism is not perfect, as it can lead to greater unemployment rates at home (due to outsourcing) and can encourage worker exploitation. But its the best we have and combining democracy + capitalism, no matter how tenuous, will generally safeguard you against the worst humanitarian pitfalls, like famine.

    I certainly believe that the extreme-free-trade approach of the government was a huge contributor to the Irish famine. Famine's are no time for political theories or social experiments, the choice was between feeding starving people and letting them starve, and Laissez-faire led to the latter being chosen. Much more interesting is the question of whether it would have still happened if Ireland had been a true democracy. But ultimately that's changing far too much to allow for any accuracy in predictions.
    I doubt that it would've happened if Ireland had been truly democratic. Ireland is prosperous now because of its long-time commitment to capitalism and democracy.

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