Sometimes I fear for us all. In an otherwise-interesting article on the world’s “vanishing countries” which talks about how China’s population growth is slowing, we also see examples of foolishness such as this:
China is relaxing its one-child policy — but it may be too late. In addition to lacking workers, a fifth of China’s homes are empty, reported Bloomberg news — more than 50 million apartments and houses have no inhabitants.
Fertile countries have a far brighter future. They are a good place to invest your money, said Hans Rosling, a Swedish professor and demographic “prophet” who died in February.
“You will find an emerging China in Africa,” he told the BBC in a final interview. “Go there to invest if you want to earn money, if you want to have nice pensions when you retire, place part of your capital there because there you will see fast growth.”
Clearly, Rosling never set foot on the African continent, where there’s never been a shortage of workers, only a shortage of honest government. Allow me to revise his statement for you:
“Go invest in African countries if you want to lose money, if you want to have no pensions when you retire, and place part of your capital there if you want to see fast growth in African politicians’ bank accounts and not in yours, and to see no tangible results from your investment.”
That’s the reality of investing in Africa.
It reminds me of that old, withering observation: “Your suggestion is so stupid, so devoid of commonsense and logic that it could only have been made by an academic or intellectual.” (Note that the latter two are not synonymous.)
And these are the people who are regarded as the intelligent ones, who advise governments and tell us how to run our lives.