War is the oldest way for contractors to make money. Nobody expected a rich state as Nigeria would fall this low into poverty. It never recovered from the Civil War. The Nigerian war only encouraged money avenues for military/politicians and businessmen that laundered a rich country into abject poverty with Western fringe capitalism.
The continual invasions by the United States and Russia or the Soviet Union of different countries have backfired. Resources that should have been used to build their local poverty-stricken communities are wasted in the name of big Defense Budgets to bully local protesters and small states, not each other.
We do not wish the abject poverty of Nigeria today to be looming on any country, certainly not the USA where sanity prevails and Elections still hold; though under threats from the fringe Right. Empires that fought many wars like the United States and Russia got overburdened out of greed, the pride before a fall.
Nigeria, a potential Regional Power flowing with milk and honey just before the Nigeria/Biafra War, staggered and never recovered. Greed gripped the country and individual interest replaced the culture of Africans as our brothers’ Keepers. The world, not only Americans must learn from the economic demise of old Empires and Nigeria, a great Country that could have demonstrated and saved African ingenuity and pride worldwide from shame.
Russia spent most of its resources competing with the United States in the Armed Race. Putin must not forget that Russia, under a financial weight that the Soviet Union could not carry, lost the Empire War. The United States and Russia oligarchy are repeating the same mistake while China watches them struggling like paper tigers propped up by nuclear trees. China’s cheaper insidious loans, not brute force, enticed more states into its Empire.
The United States, where idealism is built for greater good, is gradually losing its position as the richest country on earth. The more countries spend on nuclear and squeeze their poor, the closer some of their communities’ poverty is to Russia and once rich Nigeria. China’s GDP is fast catching up to the USA. Yet, most countries are not willing to welcome China as a leader because of its dictatorship at home and foreign capitalist game outside.
It is ironic that while the repressive communist China lifted over 100 million people out of poverty in the last 10 years, the United States concentrated its wealth at the top ten percent taxed little with loopholes while increasing the poverty rate. Unlike the United States and Russia that capture countries by force or regime change, China, the richest, captures by offering cheaper loans.
North Korea is on the same nuclear path while its people starve. Their reason for Armed Race is for deterrence so that no powerful country would threaten their choice of political economic system. Of course, this is dangerous where elections cannot remove a dictator. The Middle East with the penchant for the acquisition of Nuclear Power demonstrates this fact. Hypocrisy reigns, since the reasons against nuclear proliferation is prevention.
Prominent economists from Paul Krugman on one side to Larry Summers on the opposite side to the richest men from Warren Buffet to philanthropists had warned about excessive profit concentration within the top ten percent that had resulted in past depressions. The fear that has led to depression or recession in the past is trending the same way now.
The glorification of Greed Is Good in the steps of Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, Jack Abramoff, Bernard Madoff, Enron etc. might have been caught before it could break America. But the rest of the world including Nigerians followed. The dangers and obsession still loom larger than the wealthy class are willing to admit. Greed that led to recession in the 80s decreasing wages is back.
This benefited the wealthy that were making maximum profits by any way they could without the 80s inflation until recently.
There are injustices cleverly put in place to create income gaps after setting up the working class and the poor to fail, with obstacles and factors that impede success like unequal schools in different communities, lack of access to good paying jobs, equal opportunities and privileges. One leads to another, not unfulfilled election pledges or promises.
The notion that taxing millionaires and billionaires while closing loopholes so that they can pay minimum tax discourages job creation because the rich cannot reap from their investment has been exposed before and during covid-19 where businesses were desperate for workers to make a profit. They claim that in America, the top 5 percent, a privilege, pays 65 percent of all income tax, while most working poor pay none or little. Yet, they would not reverse the role to pay as little as the working poor that made profit for them.
The rich explain this wide gap by the exclusion of Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, school lunch program, public housing, Medicare and Medicaid. The same programs that were cut or eliminated by the conservatives so that more money could go to them for tax cuts. Even if the working poor do not pay federal tax; they pay state, local and the same sales taxes from their meager earnings. https://whorulesamerica.ucsc.edu/power/wealth.html
This is how the wealthy blamed poverty on the poor. It is often noted that everyone regardless of age or class is free to contribute to their communities according to their skill and means. Of course, there are differences. We cannot treat them equally but they must have equal access to life and health since each is worthy of respect and protection under the law.
While it will be wrong to treat or grade every student or worker the same and thereby discourage effort, perseverance and ability; these should not be used arbitrarily to discriminate based on origin, creed or color setting them up to fail. Each of us have responsibilities and obligations with rights and duties. Families, charities, religious bodies and businesses must be encouraged to contribute and pay a living wage so that the working poor do not have to depend on government welfare to subsidize their pay.
Farouk Martins Aresa @oomoaresa