Attrition: Measuring The Calamity In Zimbabwe



July 1, 2008: Zimbabwe is run by a deranged tyrant, Robert Mugabe, who has ruined the economy, caused massive starvation, and refused to relinquish power. Zimbabwe is broke, and there has not been an armed revolution because Mugabe has established, over the last two decades, an effective police state. Recently, China has helped out in this department, and before that Mugabe hired North Koreans to help with security.

The damage done to Zimbabwe has been incredible. Inflation, for example, is running at over two million percent a year, rendering the Zimbabwe currency worthless. Life expectancy has dropped from 63 to under 40 years in the last 18 years. Infant mortality (deaths of children by age five) has gone from 76 18 years ago, to over 110 today. The GDP has been contracting since 2000, when Mugabe began driving out his most productive citizens, the commercial farmers (who happened to be white, and Mugabe was playing the race card to steal their property). Current per-capita GDP, even counting food grown by families for their own consumption, is under $500, a loss of 70 percent over the last six years. Only 20 percent of the population (originally 12 million) has jobs, and 30 percent have fled to neighboring nations in search of food. The government controls most of what is left of the economy, and uses it to take care of the army and security forces (both uniformed, and irregular street gangs that do the governments bidding).

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