This kind of argument should really not go unchallenged as it confuses some people.It is precisely this free market fundamentalism, as espoused by the NEF, which led to the current economic crisis and which has clearly failed everywhere else. So why are the employers/bosses still continuing with the same arguments? Of course, they profit tremendously from this status quo. And I suspect that they have nothing else to say and are not interested in real solutions to poverty and unemployment.
Indeed, the fact is that capitalist economic growth only benefits the tiny elite. And with the neo-liberal policies, the working class is getting poorer and poorer. So, no thanks to this kind of growth - what is called for is the redistribution of the resources. There are enough resources for everyone to live a sufficient life but the main problem is the totally skewed distribution.
Of course, if a country is doing well according to groups like the World Economic Forum, it simply means that the people are being highly exploited and that the capitalists are making huge profits. That is the real yardstick. In the context of huge unemployment, it is very rich of Rukoro to assume the moral high-ground when the capitalists are responsible for the mess that we find ourselves in.
Competitiveness is a race to the bottom. The countries are supposed to compete for foreign investments by providing slave labour and no restrictions whatsoever. The government must engage in this kind of ‘beauty contest’ for foreign investment and this would supposedly create jobs. Well, the truth is that Namibia’s economy is owned by foreigners and the vast majority of the people do not benefit at all from this. So this strange logic of free market fundamentalism does not make any sense. It is indeed highly ideological. In any case, the government is already in the service of the capitalists – especially the arrogant captains of finance capital. ‘Financialisation’ has nothing to do with the correct arguments of finance capital but has everything to do with solving the crisis of over-accumulation of capitalism. The political power of the right-wing makes these kinds of decisions possible – decisions that are totally in the interest of the elite. As long as the economy is fine, everything is going well for the elite, never mind the deep suffering of the people.
The Namibian trade union leadership is, by and large, toothless and in the pocket of the ruling elite. So Rukoro is really creating a straw-man. I wonder just how much more our people must suffer for the elite to have even more massive wealth. Namibia has the highest level of social inequality in the world precisely because the balance of social class forces is so much in favour of the capitalists and because the working class is so weak in this country. The change will not come from the bosses, but the working class will revolt one day.