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Opinion: Exchange As A Bedrock Of Capitalism

By Livingstone Mukasa

The way markets allocate resources can be sometimes ruthless. Take the fact that 8 Men in the West are richer than 3,600,000,000 people at the bottom of the pyramid. Why would this be acceptable?

And why would it be happening on our watch. Less than 500 years ago, the world almost lived at parity.

The Bushman in Namibia nearly had the same life expectancy like the Vikings. But as the productivity in agriculture begun to improve in the West, diseases got controlled and machines begun to appear. Alas we got a system called Capitalism.

Some would call it the Free Market Economy (but is it really free?).

This system is built on the assumption that you got have something to exchange for the value that you are seeking. This exchange happens all the time.

A story is told about a guy that started with a spoon and ended up with a car. Think it is impossible: he traded the spoon for a cup, then the cup for a plate. The plate exchanged for a saucepan and thereafter a source pan and onwards. And after many deals and tradeoffs, he made significant economic progress. So the lesson here is: are you focused on the economic ladder before you?

And please note that it doesn’t mean that in the exchange you have to take advantage of someone.

Few of you would believe that Manhattan (New York, USA) was once owned by the Dutch who exchanged it for a now a little known Island called Banda in the Pacific Ocean.

But when the exchange happened everyone was happy because in 1600s Manhattan was a pretty barren Island but look where it is today. The point that we Africans are refusing to accept is that a big part of wealth creation is generational.

This brings to my last point today; If a few are the only one getting wealth, either the majority don’t understand the rules or if they do, they should play ball or rebel!

Livingstone Mukasa is an author and CEO at Mazima Retirement Plan. Twitter@MukasaMulya FaceBook@Livingstone Mukasa

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