Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Friday, July 22, 2005

Mugabe Slams Slums, U.N Slams Mugabe

Not sure what good it'll do, but the U.N.'s report on Mugabe's slum clearing venture is pretty scathing. Maybe this'll help ameliorate the situation. Probably not, though.

Of course, bulldozing slums is exactly the opposite of what a leader should do when faced with large, poor, basically DIY communities. Instead of leveling the neighborhood, he should be determining precisely what informal arrangements have been made between residents regarding ownership and tenancy. Once discovered, the informal agreements should be formalized with legal recognition, the stamp of government's approval.

I guess this just shows us one more reason it's nicer to be rich. If you build yourself a house that's uglier than sin, chances are the government won't drive a backhoe through your kitchen while you're in the middle of breakfast. But a poor person builds a house out of corrugated aluminum and forgets to install plumbing, he's pretty much rolling the dice.

By the way, if it seems like I am brazenly ripping off my ideas from Hernando de Soto's "The Mystery Of Capital", it's because I am.

This blog is based on a true story.