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2237Re: [ujeni] Economist

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  • Mark Holland
    Apr 4, 2001
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      Thanks, Cathy, this is essentially what I was trying to say. Certainly there
      exist Malawians with assets, and (less certainly, but I still believe that)
      life in general would be better if people were granted permanent title to
      land. The article implied that the type of life Cathy describes below was
      standard for Malawians, which is what bugged me. "People in poor countries
      have assets - lots of them." If you take the average house and maize-field
      size in Kauma (a village outside LLW), and divide it by the number of people
      using it, I would suspect you'd come with about 4 sq feet of house and 50 sq
      feet of field. The notion that an average Malawian could utilize these
      "assets" as collateral to "raise capital" and thereby go into business is
      crazy. It has about a dozen false premises. And, IMO, so does the Economist's
      unstated but implied opinion that all could be well in the third would if they
      would just pull up their socks.

      I'll shut up about this now, sorry to rant so much.

      [BTW, Dan, I often write outraged letters to the Economist. To my great
      surprise they haven't printed any yet, nor have they publicly apologized and
      admitted how wrong they often are. Must be something to do with my use of the
      term "sweatshop" :->]

      Weber wrote:

      > were living way beyond what most people in Malawi were. A life of a
      > teacher, a civil servant and a management-level employee aren't the norm.
      > Our neighbors probably earned just about the same or a somewhat more than
      > our Peace Corps salary. Most of the rest of the Blantyre wasn't like
      > that...either much richer or much, much poorer. So if the article is
      > depicting that as the norm, it doesn't show a true picture. I think the
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