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Opinions of Friday, 18 December 2015

Columnist: Lungu, Prof.

By What Measure Did Ghana Grow 500% Under NPP, Dr. Bawumia? (1.0)


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"...(I)n Canada where Dr. Bawumia earned his Ph.D. in economics, and everywhere else in the world, in matters of...economic performance and growth, national income as measured by the...GDP, still is the most...significant measure of economic performance...the most...robust metric for estimating...growth...Dr. Bawumia himself recorded that during...the same period the NPP was in power, the rate of growth of "Real GDP" was a low 3.7% in 2000, and a high 7.3%, in 2008... Dr. Bawumia told a Mount-Afadjato-sized lie of Hulkian proportions...(Prof Lungu, 16 Dec 15).



In the spirit of Ghana-centeredness, there are areas with straight-forward, pedestrian, political party repercussions we avoid writing about. However, when a politicians makes outrageous claims without regard to truth, commonsense, and respect for the voter, we respond at a time and place of our own choosing.

When Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, and now the running mate of NPP's Nana Akufo-Addo Danquah, came out many weeks ago with his "Bloated Voter's Register", we were the first to provide a detailed critique of his Power Point presentation. Slide-by-slide, we showed that Bawumaia's 'bloated" case naturally had more gas for facts, than real, objective, evidence, (www.GhanaHero.com/Visions. See under Prof Lungu Says...).


BAWUMIA'S INCREDIBLE HULK TOLI

The 2 December 2015 news item quoting Dr. Bawumia as saying that "Ghana’s economy grew 500% under Kufuor" read like Ghana's first-ever case of the "Incredible Hulk".

It is all in his mind.

In the Ghanaian version of the "Incredible Hulk" toli fantasized and narrated by Dr. Bawumia, the emotion-driven, power-hungry economist imagines himself brighter and more important than Akosombo-Nkania. The economist hops around Ghana and foreign capitals, from Accra, to London, to Lome, making all kinds of hyper-inflated, outrageous, and bogus claims about his powers of vision, professional competence, and relevance to every matter - both petty and important. His agenda, we surmise, is to dupe his low-information followers and such other voters into believing his outrageous schemes; truth, commonsense, and reality be damned.

Such was the case with Bawumia's bloated case and his self-serving proposition, just 13 months before a major election, that a "new" voter's register was imperative for Ghana.

Such also, is the case with Bawumia's latest claim that Ghana's economy suddenly outgrew all measures of incremental economic performance when the NPP took over in 2000, allowing Ghana to practically join the middle-income group of countries in just 2 "Incredible-Hulk-Leaps" during the 2 elections cycles Ghana was under the NPP.


BAWUMIA, GDP STILL IS NATIONAL GROWTH METRIC

We will remind Bawumia that in Canada where he earned his Ph.D. in economics, and everywhere else in the world, in matters of national economic performance and growth, national income as measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), still is the most common and more significant measure of economic performance for a Nation-State.

The GDP still is the most important, robust, metric for estimating the value of "final" goods and services (i.e, growth) produced by a national economy in a given time period. To repeat, the GDP is a measure of national economic growth that most self-respecting economists and policy analysts swear by, and live by. For that group of economists in the neo-liberal tradition whose claim to infamy revolves around the creation of a so-called "property-owning-democracy", this especially applies because they generally do not give a hoot who gets what from the GDP, just as long as it is growing. For them, "quality of life" indices that as much as attempt to position the average man just a tad in the direction of the powerful 1% of the economic and political class do not mean a damn thing.

In 1999, one year before the NPP assumed the reins of government, Ghana's GDP was $7,718,111,000 (USD). While we would not bother charging Bawumia guilty for failure to explain why Ghana's GDP fell to $4,982,849,000 at the end of the first year (2000) the NPP was in power, we would however question his honesty and seriousness.

Again, Ghana's GDP was about $5 billion in 2000.

In an undated paper titled "OIL DISCOVERY AND FISCAL DISCIPLINE IN GHANA: OIL CURSE BEFORE THE OIL?", Dr. Bawumia himself recorded that during the period 2000 - 2008, during the same period the NPP was in power, the rate of growth of "Real GDP" was a low 3.7% in 2000, and a high 7.3%, in 2008, averaging approximately 5.5% each one of those "NPP Years".

Cumulatively, that is an increase of 49.10% over those years.

That is not 500% be any means!



To be continued.....



Sources/Notes:
1. International Monetary Fund. IMF and World Bank Support US$3.5 Billion in Debt Service Relief for the Republic of Ghana, https://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2004/pr04144.htm.

2. Mahamudu Bawumia. Oil Discovery and Fiscal Discipline in Ghana: Oil Curse Before the Oil? Table, Ghana: Selected Economic Indicators – (2000-2008), Undated Paper, (http://naturalresourcecharter.org/sites/default/files/GHANA%20and%20the%20Oil%20Curse%20Sept.pdf).

3. We are not bothered by the silly ploy with "nominal GDP". Clearly, when a Nation-State has a bank benchmark interest rate that is persistently higher than 29%, the critical mind needn't waste precious time and energy on non-inflationary adjusted GDP. (If we did, you guessed it, it would be a "Hulkian Waste" of our time and resources).


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©Prof Lungu is Ghana-centered/Ghana-Proud.
Prof Lungu is based in Washington DC, USA.
By What Measure Did Ghana Grow 500% Under NPP, Dr. Bawumia! (1.0)
Brought to you courtesy www.GhanaHero.com©17 December, 2015.

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