Coronavirus is the biggest disaster for developing nations in our lifetime
Ian Goldin

The governments of developing nations have been the biggest disaster for developing nations for more than just my lifetime. From Kwame Nkrumah onwards.

24 thoughts on “Nonsense”

  1. “Kwame Nkrumah” – I had to look that up, thinking it was just a North American chain of donut shops.

  2. Apart from China, have any of the so-called developing nations been really inconvenienced by it? South Africa possibly. Turkey maybe. Brazil, India, Russia, Eastern Europe, the Arab States, Latin America hardly at all.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    Slightly OT

    Lewis Goodall from BBC’s Newsnight has a long Twitter thread that starts:

    Spent the day talking to PPE suppliers/medical staff

    The picture which emerges is an English procurement system which has major issues at both national and local level

    Not all these problems began during this crisis, some seeds sown a v long time ago

    This is what’s happening

    The tl;dr version is that some hospitals aren’t having a problem with PPE and others have failed.

    He doesn’t say when its going out, probably tonight, but would anyone want to bet against the conclusion being more central control rather than fixing the bad hospitals by looking at the good ones?

  4. Many cash-strapped governments can’t adequately provide for their citizens’ needs in normal times, let alone meet an unprecedented global emergency like this. ”

    So what’s the point of them? Oh, that’s right – lining the pockets of corrupt politicians and NGO’s.

    We need a global Marshall plan that would write off the $44bn in debt due by African countries in 2020 (an amount that is tiny compared to the $8tn that US and European governments have committed to keeping their businesses alive), and give at least $2.5tn in aid to poor countries,

    It’s a very generous offer Mr Goldin but no thank you.

    Take up the White Man’s burden—
    The savage wars of peace—
    Fill full the mouth of Famine
    And bid the sickness cease;
    And when your goal is nearest
    The end for others sought,
    Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
    Bring all your hopes to nought.

  5. @Diogenes – early days for the developing nations you mention. However, there’s not many 80-somethings for COVID-19 to kill in most developing nations, so it will be interesting to see how it develops.

    Not sure Russia is a developing nation, more like a declining one.

  6. Who was it said
    “The problem with Africa isn’t that it was once part of the British Empire, but that it no longer is”
    Still it’s now increasingly part of a nascent Chinese Empire- so let them sort it out. Chinese bat consumption caused all this

  7. MC, I know but it always surprises me what countries are deemed to be “developing”, eg why should Poland and Czechia be emerging economies when Spain and Portugal are not?

  8. Julia, yes. We’re likely to be reading in tomorrow’s history books about how Coronavirus caused the worst and longest economic depression in history, not how the response to coronavirus caused the worst and longest economic depression in history.

    Hopefully we won’t also be reading that it was followed by the institution of global socialism leading to the wonders of absolute equality…

  9. Most economies are developing, Venezuela and Russia aside. Even North Korea is developing, most of the time, just very slowly, and from a very poor starting point.

  10. It seems the goal of locking down South Africa is to protect those who have grown fat on the easy pickings of state owned enterprise corruption. Watching the opening of Parliament annual ceremony one hopes the floors have been reinforced as it’s a weightier ceremony every year. With few exceptions they’ve all got three or four comorbidities while the hand to mouth class are confined to their shacks to starve

  11. Ljh,

    And, I hear from a Saffer colleague that South Africa is locked down without booze. I hope the newmenklatura have well-stocked cellars to see them through this challenging time.

  12. Tim, Krishna Menon predates Kwame Nkrumah by more than a dozen years and his socialist ideology left a *billion* people impoverished.
    You are showing your (relative) youth by starting with Nkrumah

  13. Hmm. I’d posit that I can at least argue my corner. Menon’s policies were stupid, yes. But Indians were poorer than they could have been at the end of his policies, but not actually poorer. Ghanaians were actually poorer after Nkrumah than before.

  14. BiG: without booze and without cigarettes, with the owners of small spaza(informal) shops being vigorously pursued for selling singles to the addicted. Truly the health nazis are out in full force. The only good news is thatthe grape harvest was allowed to proceed because several politicians own vineyards in the ritzier parts of the wine belt. A memorable vintage as conditions were perfect.

  15. Can we stop with the ‘developing nations’ sh|t?

    After 50 years, I think safe to say they aren’t developing.

  16. @ Tim
    You are claiming that Nkrumah was worse than Krishna Menon and I suppose that may be true – I certainly have to concede on Economics (although Nkrumah didn’t invade Goa, so economics isn’t everything). However I still maintain that “from Kwame Nkrumah onwards” does not include Krishna Menon whereas “from Krishna Menon/Jawarhal Nehru onwards” does include Nkrumah.

  17. My wiki-research suggests the following. There’s no set definition about what a ‘developing country’ is and different organisations have different names and criteria. The world bank classifies countries in four income groups, with the top being any nation with GDP per capita above $12,056. Not sure whether that is nominal or PPP. If it’s nominal then most of Europe, except the likes of Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia etc are in the top ‘high income’ category. Greece is comfortably in there.

    Others want to move away from ‘developing nation’ as it might be considered patronising or offensive by the inhabitants of a flyblown shithole which is only one Oxfam delivery away from the stone age. I’m sure that ‘developing nation’ itself originated as a delicate term to replace something more direct.

  18. “ I’m sure that ‘developing nation’ itself originated as a delicate term to replace something more direct.”

    Shit hole is timeless.

  19. Pcar, also note that the southern hemisphere has been effected less. Could get bad there as they morph into winter.

  20. Yes – “Developing Nation” replaced (IIRC) “Underdeveloped Nation” – and I think that replaced “shit hole.”

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