Back in the days when I still had hair (nice and curly it was too) the old folks talked about the "Great Depression" of the 1930's with much horror as if it was indeed the end of the world. I have no doubt it was very bad and even the Royal Navy mutinied at one stage. That caused the gold standard to fall and all sorts of other problems. Then there was a drought which caused many farmers to lose everything again, as they did during the Second Anglo Boer War.
Just before that in 1929 we had the great Wall Street Crash - very much the same as in 2008 which as far as I am concerned goes back directly to one marijuana smoker who did not inhale (ostensibly - who can believe the word of a long haired liberal) and became the president of the most powerful country in the world. As a president Mr Clinton did a lot of good even if a “demorat” as my late wife referred to that strange specie, but he made one hell of a mistake too. And no, it does not have anything to do with a dress and a strange looking woman, but when he opened the way for banksters to invest money in their own schemes (read scams) by repealing the Glass-Steagall Act. This was exactly what the legislators back in the Great Depression swore must never happen again.
Hence the grateful banksters worked it all out on paper, brilliantly disguising a house of cards which was, and is, unsustainable and gave everyone who could not afford to pay a nice loan for a house. That is long haired liberal thinking at its best, for they did not care if the loan was secured or not in real terms but as long as the paper trail looked ok, all was ok. And hence the loans could not be repaid, the houses lost their accredited value and no-one wanted to buy them to cover the losses. Read my book Your Worst Enemy on how banksters will do you in given half a chance.
So the crash came and Mr Bush had to use every MBA skill he got from Harvard Business School to sort that one out, and to be blamed for it too. Of course we still feeling the after effects, which brings me to my point. I heard on the radio today we have 37% unemployment in this country. Actually I believe the figure is closer to 60%, but for argument sake let us put this in perspective. At the very height of the Great Depression which our parents spoke of so much horror, we had between 18% to 23% unemployment in the US. That meant the demorats took over in the form of Mr Roosevelt and then Mr Truman and stayed in control for the next two decades. That was because a Republican president was blamed for the collapse and the high unemployment rate. Today the unemployment rate is 6% in the US and even less in other advanced countries. And if you speak to anyone in the US they are quite angry and upset about this and rightly so.
So what on earth is going on in South Africa? How did it happen that Nigeria overtook South Africa as the largest economy in Africa? Where are all the supposed investments which we were promised would stream into the country after independence? What happened to the money the arms deal was supposed to generate back into South Africa? Why do we accept this as normal?
How far will we be pushed before the breaking point is reached? I don't know, for I found that most just don't care as long as it does not bother them too much. Hence, we see some of the privileged living in Waterkloof seeing the act of catching stray cats and having them spayed as time better spent than helping the less fortunate humans who are part of the 37% unemployment group. We also see it in the arrogance of the "BA man vang" woman who sits in her new Mercedes ignoring every beggar by staring straight ahead. Or the white collar criminals in director's position who will not accept a lesser standard of living.
We even see this in security - unless attacked we don't care that much and will never get involved. I wonder, when standing at your final trial, what will you plead and who will listen to you? Get involved.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa and Associates, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in reducing legal risk in sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, counter-terrorism and security issues. At times he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters.