Monday, 30 December 2013
Friday, 23 August 2013
“If morality represents the ideal world, then economics represents the real world.” – Stephen D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
This topic has been dismissed on moral grounds and its reality has been hidden on religious grounds in our various communities. Through the years we are learning that we cannot continue to lie to ourselves that closing our eyes will lead us to a deeper reality. The facts and figures still hold that prostitution must be legalized in African communities for it to abate.
Let us start from the beginning.
Prostitution is illegal in Kenya as it is in many of the African states. We all agree that it is a business and that explains why the perpetrators always claim that the lack of money was the incentive to engage in it. “I just want to survive and feed my family” they would sincerely say.
We have managed to demonize prostitutes. Most of us cannot bare the thought that this business is legitimate because the item of exchange is the body. As such, we nurture hate and thus alienate the known prostitutes and give them dirty labels. To others, this act derives anger, distress and hate and thus makes prostitution to be a, mostly, nightly act. This allows preservation of dignity from hiding from the eyes of the public. We would be surprised to know that all this hate is the reason for its successful increase.
We sustain it. How?
I have never met anybody who says that when he/she grows up, they want to be a prostitute. As such I would expect that with time this act will become extinct but that is not what has happened over the years. With the small number of prostitutes (supply) there lives to be a high demand and thus a shortage. We know the law of demand states that when the demand is high the prices go up.
To add up, prostitution is a very risky business. It ranges from fears of being sexually assaulted, arrest from the police, rape, being alienated from the society, distrust from friends and much more. These risks make the prostitute not ready to engage in the act for a small fee. Normally, the jobs with high risks give relatively better wages.
The demand is high and the risk is high and thus the wages are high. The incentive to be a prostitute to earn a living is very high. This is how we contribute to the business.
Prostitution Must be legalised.
When prostitution is legalised, the risk of rape and other evils happening to the prostitutes are lowered. This is because they can go to court and demand justice. After legalization, there will be an influx of people joining prostitution in the short run. The wages are high and thus attract more people. In the long run the number of prostitutes will have increased to surpass the demand for them. This will reduce the cost of prostitution since there will be alternatives offering cheaper services.
The disincentives here are clear, reduced risk and lower revenues. This is going to force those relying on prostitution as a way to earn the daily bread to look for better paying jobs. This sort of motivation is what we talk about when we meet a prostitute in Koinange, Nairobi Kenya. Thus we need to understand the incentive analysis in order to reduce our increasing “problem” of prostitution.
If you care about your religion, children and future of the morals of your country, you have to understand that legalisation of prostitution is essential. Else, you are giving life to your fears.
“If morality represents the ideal world, then economics represents the real world.” - Stephen D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
- See more at: http://awakeafrica.org/archives/2721#sthash.ftvF11YB.dpuf
Tuesday, 16 July 2013
I knew Martin.
The 12 angry men of the jury of this case according to many represent a system. This system according to the sociologist, has ingrained (in the law courts) a hierarchy that disadvantages the colored against the whites. The white race is favored in rulings and they are deemed to be innocent before proven guilty in contrast to all the other races. This sounds like a very knowledgeable thing to say and it makes a person look like he/she understands how the world works. This I am going to prove is a more ignorant stance than the lack of this knowledge.
If this ruling were to be flawed, and as a result there was bias towards blacks, then we should revisit all the other cases down in history that this court has prosecuted. If we really care, we would follow the logic and understand that the sociologist also tell us that this same system disadvantages women. So we should protest against all the men acquittals in cases involving women deaths. Sociology also tells us that even among women, men, black people… there exists a hierarchy. Perhaps Martin was a little bit higher or lower than some white men in respect to men and not race. Where is this argument headed?
The failures of Sociology
Sociology as an area of knowledge and as a social science deserves to be stripped of its credibility because of the failures of this court ruling. It has managed to influence reactions thus putting the greatest nation in the world at a stand still. It has shaken the legal framework of a country that is flexing its muscles at the International Criminal Courts (ICC) in the Hague as having superior legal institutions. Sociology has become this point of reference where, according to many, the jury was supposed to have consulted in order to offer a fairer judgement. Else it would not have to be used to analyze the outcomes. If you explain the meaning of something it doesn’t mean that this meaning did not exist before you opened your mouth to explain it.
Using Sociology to explain this case is a very ignorant perspective. This is because we will end up referring all cases to the ICC so as to kill all bias thus demeaning our own institutions and this has greater consequences. Perhaps, it is time for the USA to become a signatory to this court.
Sociology has presented us with undeniable arguments about the nature of human behavior in relation to their environment and the nature of social order. My issue remains that, does truth of existence of man equal the truth of the explanations of his existence? Why are we using these explanations without doubt and acknowledgement of the alternative points of view? Why does this monotony lead to social disorder? Why in the many years of the existence of this young area of knowledge haven’t we understood ourselves better and solved our grievances?
The contradictions of the existence of sociology are clear in the questions.
Sociology is not a science. Science is life and this is comes from the ability of humans to be able to live it. From science we learn that we should be able to accept our faults and look for better alternatives. From this “sociological” case why are there riots in New york and other places of this country. This is a denial of ideas that do not align with our own when there is a contradiction to our expectation. Sociology has thus proven to be a cause of problem and misunderstanding.
Sociology does not teach about morality, it presents problems but not the remedy. This is an attitude that appeals most of us. It gives us the ability to complain intelligently. This means that in order to find solutions we have to put aside the problem and start a new paradigm (way of thinking).
To add up, this area of knowledge has many theories to which one has to consider in order to understand behavior. There is the idea of protestants (religion), then came the idea of capitalism, then political and economic and social. We just have too much to look at to just label this ruling as a racial consequence if we are to maintain the credibility of sociology.
Do not get me wrong.
In all the drama we have to ask; who is the system if not us? Human beings are the jury, they took the gun and shot Martin and now they are the ones complaining. This is a consequence of sociology in one perspective but humans are the actors.
Sometimes it feels like we want to develop ways to fill the world with hate and drive us all extinct. Poor us ! Now get back to work.
- See more at: http://awakeafrica.org/archives/1916#sthash.ewxIBbIn.dpuf
Friday, 28 June 2013
“The net result of aid-dependency is that instead of having a functioning Africa, managed by Africans, for Africans, what is left is one where outsiders attempt to map its destiny and call the shots.” Dambisa Moyo
This is explains why the African discourse on the global agenda has been usurped by pop stars (Bono, Bob Gerdof) and western politicians. The world ignores the real players and rarely are Africans elected by their own people heard on a global stage. This is despite the claims of equal treatment of sovereign nation states.
This is yet another anti-aid discourse that demands that these limitations to dominate dialogues in classrooms rather than the obvious monotonous arguments. I will draw from literature to the public, the economic limitations of aid.
Any large influx of money into an economy, however robust, can cause problems. An approximate amount of over US$ 1 trillion of aid has been disbursed to Africa in the past 60 years. This has been relentless and various agendas have been sought for by donors including, development, then money to the poor and lastly to further strengthen democracy. There is nothing to show for it. The economies are still poorly managed, are weak and are susceptible to outside influence and domestic policy makers have little control. The answer through the years has been more aid. This I am yet to prove that is the wrong antidote.
Aid into poor economies has resulted in to four economic challenges: reduction of domestic savings and investments to favour consumption; inflation; diminishing exports; and difficulty in absorbing such large cash influxes.
As foreign aid comes domestic savings decline, that is investments falls. The relatively few select hands who handle it spend it on consumer goods rather than saving the cash. As savings decline, local banks have less money to lend for domestic investment. This diminishes any future growth and results in degrading of existing infrastructure.
Aid money favours consumption of locally produced as well as imported goods and services. This can be positive. If a corrupt official gets US$ 10,000 and then he uses some of this money to buy a car. The car seller can now afford new clothes, and the trading goes on and on down the line. This is an example of positive corruption. The point, however, is that in a poor environment where there aren’t any more cars, clothes and so on, this will cause prices to shoot up due to this increased demand. Inflation will have eroded the economy and the poor will have to pay for this.
Aid money is now on inflationary terms. In a domestic economy with a fixed exchange rate system, the export sector will suffer. An increased cost will increase the cost of production and this includes raw materials and skilled labour. As a result the prices of the goods and services for export will be less competitive due to their high price. This will result in massive unemployment in order that the export firms can still operate at a profit (Zero economic profit). This will hurt the aid recipient economy.
All the same in a country with a floating exchange rate the same effect will be felt. In order for the US$ 10,000 to be used in Kenya, it has to be converted to the legal tender, Kenyan shilling. This demand for the Kenyan shilling will increase the value of the shilling thereby making the exports more costly. This makes them uncompetitive and thus choking Kenya’s exports (the Dutch disease).
At the early stages of development, there is not enough skilled man power, not enough sizable investment opportunities to out the vast amounts of aid into work. This will force the governments to spend this money (leading to inflation, the Dutch disease). To avert this sharp shock to the economy, African policy makers have to mop up this excess cash; but this costs money. In addition to paying the interest on aid, they have to pay for sterilizing the aid flows. This is even more painful.
In all these painful circumstances, African policy makers have resulted in asking for more aid to clean up these problems. How one can use problems to avert problems is yet a school of thought that is unexplored and thus the failure. There we are, caught in a cycle of harmful aid and the addiction doesn’t end till there is a willingness for rehabilitation from aid.
- See more at: http://awakeafrica.org/archives/1692#sthash.N4frpnzn.dpuf