Economic Freedom and Prosperity in the 21st Century

2017/03/09Posted by Mr Bismark Kwofie

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According to a recent World Bank report, less than 10% of the world’s population is living in extreme poverty (defined as living on less than $1.90 per day). While we can debate the accuracy of this figure, there is little sense in denying that global poverty is at an all time low and still trending downward. This precipitous drop in extreme poverty in the world was caused by the spread of economic freedom. Where the 20th century was largely filled with the rise of communism around the world, the 21st century has, so far, been filled with the spread of markets, ideas, and, more generally, freedom. As such, millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. This is a tremendous success, but we are “not out of the woods yet.” There exist two “zombie ideas” that we must constantly guard against: the idea of central planning and, relatedly, the tyranny of experts. These ideas are not new and their merits have been debunked at both a philosophical and economic level time and again. Despite this, these arguments seem to reappear with each new generation, requiring new defenders of the free market and liberalism to once again answer the call. I want to argue in this paper that, despite these zombie ideas, the voice of reason and freedom that is the libertarian movement has the potential to be louder and stronger than ever before. With the recent explosive growth of centers dedicated to the defense of free markets both inside and outside universities around the world and the proliferation of online materials, the current generation has the opportunity to be perhaps the greatest defenders of liberty to date. Bastiat tells us, “the worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended,” and it is here that there remain threats to the movement. Most importantly, as Friedman (1997) points out, there is a bifurcation of the defenses of liberty. On the one hand, we have several people defending li

AGRICULTURE ANALYSIS ON THE 2017 BUDGET

2017/03/06Posted by Mr Bismark Kwofie

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The solution of the NPP's government to a seeming declining agricultural sector in the #Budget2017 is to modernize the sector and to improve productivity. Measures outlined, inter alia include: Provision of improved seeds; supply of fertilizers; provision of dedicated extension services; marketing and E-agriculture; and monitoring. Concerns: The measures indicated how much fertilizer will be supplied to achieve this objective, 180,000 metric tonnes for the year. It also indicated it will import improved seeds to augment the program. However, 1. One question here is why import improved seeds to augment? Improved and certified seeds could be obtained from MoFA, our universities and other research institutions like the CSIR. 2. No specifics were provided as to how much of these seeds will be supplied? How many Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) will be trained, recruited or deployed to various stations across the country for this program? 3. How are the goods in question going to be marketed, by which means, is it that government itself will deploy buyers at farm gate to buy these goods? Are the produce going to be sold processed or in raw form? 4. Any plans in place to arrest postharvest losses, which is one major challenge for farmers, especially those producing cereals? What of packaging? 5. In terms of monitoring, how is it going to be done/achieved? How is progress going to be measured and evaluated? 6. Most importantly, the budget did not indicate how much it will cost to achieve each of these objectives. No detail information and specifics were shared on this. 7. The budget also did not provide specific timelines to achieve each of these objectives. Main Focus: The Planting for Food and Jobs Program. This is to encourage all citizens (both urban and rural) to take up farming as a full or part-time activity. It is intended to structure it along the lines of the erstwhile “Operation Feed Yourself”(OFY) programme in the 1970s under Acheampong's re

Ending Poverty Now! The Case Of The Current Water Situation In Prestea, Western Region

2017/02/28Posted by Mr Bismark Kwofie

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Water they say is life! Water is in fact everything. In fact, at the very core of achieving all the 17 sustainable development global goals revolve around access to clean water by all and sundry. Example, access to clean and regular water will prevent the hustles kids, especially the girl child, spend in scouting for water over long distances. In many African countries, lack of water keeps the child away from school as they use this productive time to go search water especially in periods of water scarcity. Access to regular water will then keep the child at school (achieving goal number 4 - Quality education). Access to water will also help avoid domestic conflicts husbands usually have with their wives over water shortage (e.g. the wife could not cook for the husband because there was no water at home) (achieving goal number 5 - Gender equality). Clean water will ensure continuous procreation, survival and maintenance of biodiversity of aquatic species (achieving goal number 14 - Life below water). Access to clean and regular water will ensure that farmers get water to irrigate their farmlands to ensure all year round production. This then improves the income levels and livelihood of farmers and their family (achieving goal number 1 - No poverty). It will also ensure food security for all and sundry (achieving goal number 2 - No hunger). Clean regular water will help prevent many tropical diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea, river blindness, guinea worm disease, bilharzia, etc. and to prevent child and maternal mortality (achieving goal number 3 - good health and wellbeing and goal number 6 - clean water and sanitation). Access to water will ensure productive life and procreation of mankind and other living organisms such as flora and fauna (achieving goal number 15 - Life on land) and the lists go on and on. The situation of ending poverty in 2030 in one popular mining community in Ghana, Prestea, in the western region, might be a difficult one to ac

Nana's SONA cannot be described as bad because there is no format for SONA-ILAPI

2017/02/24Posted by Mr Bismark Kwofie

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The Head of Institute of Liberty and Policy Innovation, Peter Bismark Coffie has defended the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo against what a section of the public mostly his political opponents describe as negative address. To the president’s critics, he only highlighted on the sectors that the previous government could not do much but was silent on where his predecessor performed well when he had the platform to address the nation on the Floor of Parliament. But Mr. Coffie in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, said there’s no constitutional format for presenting the State of the Nation Address, therefore, whoever does it reserves the preferred style of doing it. http://www.rainbowradioonline.com/index.php/general-news/item/7553-nana-s-sona-cannot-be-described-as-bad-because-there-is-no-format-for-sona-ilapi He stressed being his first time; H.E. Akufo Addo couldn’t have done better than he did. ‘’If anyone wants to mark him, it should be Nana Addo’s subsequent State of the Nation Address’’, he added. He explained, the State of the Nation do not have any format hence the president adopted his own way of addressing the nation. He indicated that previous addresses were based on the state of economy and because Nana Addo is a new person, he will only focus on the shortfalls of the previous administration but he will focus on his achievements when he presents his next address. Ghanaians he posited feed mostly on the bad side to the good side because of the dynamics of the economy. ‘’This is a new government so he will only focus on the shortfalls of the previous government. His second state of the nation address will shift from complains, shortfalls of the previous administration to his achievements.’’ President Akufo-Addo in his address yesterday said the economy will not collapse under his watch despite the challenges. President Nana Addo said “we find ourselves in the situation where Ghana’s total

BLUE PRINT REFORMS TO GHANA’S ECONOMY, Part 1

2017/02/03Posted by Mr Bismark Kwofie

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The increase in Ghana’s public debt stock has nearly doubled from 36.9% of GDP at the end of 2009 to GH₵ 119.9 Billion (71.9% of GDP) in November 2016. Economic hardships and “particratic” looting and sharing in the contemporary politics of Ghana have made standard of living slummy and gloomy. Ghanaians unexpectedly had no choice than to adhere to austerity with other strict economic tendencies of shaping and decorating the Keynesians economic applications. Currently, the tendency of the government to recover from economic disruption to catch up to their own potential level of output, needs innovation and risk taking, and would require a honest presidential leadership and non-partisan legislative actions. For Ghanaians to achieve better lives, the current administration (a center-right party) must take steps to allow Ghanaians to build for themselves a relevant and robust economy, a free society, catalyzing free market industrialization and a sustainable employment environment. Infact, many things have to go right, because there have been economic uncertainties, inconsistencies, poor government debt ratio to GDP and unprofitable infrastructures, and high reports on corruption and inflation of government contracts. Capital formation, the reallocation of funds and the efficient use of factors of production to mobilize savings, investment and maintain wage consistent with full employment and respectable profit rates could be an option. This requires getting a range of complementary industries, each of which, necessary for the viability of the other, up and running. It is a complex task, however, if we claim to have able and industrious educational system with a large human resource there should be no limitations. There have been 36 ministerial appointments a week after the inauguration of the new president of Ghana. It is estimated by Mr. Peter Bismark Kwofie, the founding president of the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI-Ghana), a free