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Opinions of Monday, 26 July 2010

Columnist: Augustrian

Ghana Needs To Learn From America

Ever since anyone of us could remember, Ghana has been accumulating debts through unnecessary borrowing. The late Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s administration was the first to go to the World Bank for a loan. Mind you, Nkrumah’s administration resorted to this action, when the tumbling price of cocoa finally hit rock bottom. Thus, leaving Ghana without an income to realize its socio-economic aspirations. Later on, it came to light that the United States and Great Britain were behind the falling price of cocoa. The United States government, for instance, didn’t like Nkrumah’s socialist ideology. They were afraid that any support, which may contribute to his success, would help popularize the socialist ideology on the African continent. As a result, the capitalist powers that be decided to hit him where it hurts the most. They would destroy Ghana’s economy by destroying Ghana’s major source of income. Regrettably, their plan worked out remarkably well.

After the price of cocoa was sent crashing to the floor, Ghana’s dream of becoming an industrialized nation began to evaporate. So, what did Nkrumah do?” He decided, then, to go ask for help so that some of his socio-economic projects could see the light of day. He went to the World Bank and got $53 million. This money went to construct the Akosombo dam. Up till now, there are some amongst us who feel that Nkrumah shouldn’t have borrowed at all. These individuals argue that the British left us enough monies. Monies which could’ve been used to finance our own projects.Well, it’s true that the British left us monies. By the way, monies which were ours to begin with. These monies, however, were used wisely by the Nkrumah’s administration. With some of these monies, free education became a reality. Thus, minimizing the nation’s illiteracy and its affiliated illnesses. Also, numerous transportation roads were constructed across the nation. City planning and Public housing projects were all financed with some of these monies.

In fact, Nkrumah’s numerous accomplishments speak for themselves. Sadly, what Nkrumah’s critics don’t seem to understand is that all these great undertakings were costly. None of these various socio-economic projects were realized cheaply. Today, almost fifty years after Nkrumah went to the World Bank to ask for a loan, Ghana is still borrowing with nothing to show for. And the question is; why are we still borrowing against a backdrop of immense wealth? Better yet, instead of going to the World Bank to borrow, why not print monies out of thin air to finance our socio-economic projects? I mean, America and most of the western countries having been doing it for ages. Quite recently, America’s Federal Bank printed out of thin air $819 billion. These monies made their way into America’s economy the form of a stimulus package. Of course, to get America’s bruised economy up and running again. Up till now, nobody has openly criticized America for printing monies out of thin air to finance its socio-economic projects. Surprisingly, everybody has gone mute.

So, the question is; why can’t we do the same? Of course, there are those who would say that things don’t work like that. Some would even argue that such an action would devalue a currency. Well, the last time that I checked, it wasn’t the printing of monies out of thin air--which devalues a currency, but rather high inflation. America has pumped $819 billion out of thin air into its economy without devaluing the dollar. So, this goes to debunk the notion that printing monies out of thin air could devalue a currency. Remember, the notion of trading with paper came in fruition, when the western countries discovered that they had no resources to trade with. If the western countries had our resources, the notion of trading with paper monies wouldn’t have been a reality. Right now, our country is relying on the West to buy its resources in exchange for money. Well, there would come a time, when the West wouldn’t be needing us anymore. They would artificially manufacture what they used to buy from us. Then, what would become of us? Better yet, where would we get our income from, the World Bank? No, we need to learn from America, and do what they do best. Start printing monies out of thin air without giving a damn.