Tl;dr.Who shies away from long texts: Towards the end of the article is a video by Hans Rosling that you should have seen in order to have a say.
No.One could say this if there were still colonialism, or other times when distant lands were plundered, be it through robbery or taxes.
The reason that some people still believe this is because of a rather archaic view: if I sell something to one person and take more money for it than the goods cost me, then I’m supposed to prey on the other person.In order not to exploit them, I would have to sell everything at my own expense, so i would starve (or go bankrupt), and thus deprive the other person of the opportunity to buy something from me – then the trade would be fair, but only of short duration. If everyone does this, there would soon be nothing to buy, and for no price. Would this be in the interests of customers?
Since the founding of the Hanseatic League, another idea has prevailed, namely that a good deal will make a profit for both sides.A good deal between two partners is thus defined as a two-winner deal, a bad one with only one or no winner. Since everyone is looking for good business and trading, there must be. A bad deal is usually a one-off affair: if I do one, I learn and avoid it in the future if I am the loser. In the long run, therefore, someone who only proposes bad deals that only make a profit on him will be shunned as a trading partner and will be eliminated from trading. This does not rule out the possibility that one can be unlucky, that there is an accident, and that the business becomes bad due to circumstances for which the partner can do nothing. But that is something else.
One has to wonder what a racist idea is behind the fact that only white people in Europe and the US know how to do good business – but blackpeople in Africa can be booed every time because they have no idea how to do good business?Is this really a step forward in portraying Africans in general no longer as “culturally inferior” but as “inferior in trade”?
But let’s look at the facts. If a rich country A trades with a poor, underdeveloped country B, and A exploits B (lives at the expense of B), then B would either have to become poorer or at least remain as poor as it was, unless other circumstances are involved, such as corruption, such as corruption. , the main enemy of prosperous trade, or the traders are exploited by the state so that the ruler can pay his luxury.
In fact, the more trade it trades with the industrialized nations, the better off an African country is.Countries that do not participate in trade are poor and remain poor. This applies, for example, to countries where there is war, because firstly, war eats up resources that could be used more sensibly elsewhere, and secondly, no one but arms dealers like to trade in countries where there is war because the risk is high.
Let’s take an example: German trade with Africa, the figures come from infographic: Trade with Africa
Germany exported goods to Africa in 2016 for 鈧?4.5 billion.That’s 2% of total exports – rich countries mostly trade with other rich countries, i.e. Germany predominantly with other EU countries. On the other hand, Germany imported goods worth EUR 16.6 billion over the same period, 1.7% of total imports. Now let us take up the racist idea that Germany is exploiting Africa – just for the sake of the argument, because I do not think the Africans are as stupid as the representatives of the idea that we are living at their expense. We have to assume that the Germans only export worthless stuff and then import valuable stuff.
Behind this is another equally absurd idea: that goods have a “value in themselves”.That is, you can buy goods “under value”. This does not mean special offers that a dealer makes for various reasons, for example to attract customers or to establish a new product or to get rid of inventory surpluses, etc., and which he gives below the usual selling price. Then there would be a “true value” and a “goods value” (or selling price) that deviated from it. However, no one knows the “true value”, one only knows the value for which a commodity is usually sold, the market value. But no one knows what the “true value” is, because it does not exist. There are two relevant information: the cost value, that is, the costs incurred by the trader, or the producer when he offers his goods, including all costs involved (including storage, transport, administration, material costs, machine wear and and and and) and sales value.
Profit = Sales Value – Cost of Production
If the sum is positive, one speaks of profit, if it is negative, one speaks of loss.If the profit is permanently negative, one speaks of insolvency or less noble ly bankruptcy. The aim is not a short, high profit, but a permanently high profit. If you overdo the selling price, you don’t get rid of the goods, but you still have your production costs: you don’t produce for anything that leads to bankruptcy. So you have to know – and this comes only from experience – what the goods are worth to the customers. The customer, on the other hand, prefers the lower price with the same quality. If the competition offers it, then there is no lasting high profit. A bit of illusion can also be found here among the representatives of the market economy, namely the march of the “rational customer”. The American psychologist Daniel Kahnemann was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 for proving that customers are human beings, in other words, they are largely irrational.
So for Germany to be able to live “at the expense of Africa,” Africans would have to be much more stupid than the Germans – which I call racist – and they would have to be so irrational that they would get little value for their goods.Then, and only then, could Germany make up as much as two percent of its luxury life from trade with Africa. Two percent – and that assuming that all Africans are doof like straw, they have never learned anything about economics, and let themselves be blown over again and again and again. But if you think less racist, and think Africans are as smart as they are, then you have to assume that Africans are already making sure that they get value. Even the most pessimistic assumption that can be made would be that Africans might finance 0.1% of our luxury life. If it were not for countries to be better off the more they expand their trade with us – the real aim of the Africans, who are just wiser than the representatives of the theory of exploitation allow them to.
It does not rule out the possibility that there is indeed exploitation – there is. But it happens very differently than you think.Germany has a high-tech agricultural industry that can produce food relatively cheaply. This is also heavily subsidised by the EU. So if Germany exports food to Africa, the african producers in the African countries cannot keep up, because their production costs are higher than the price that the Germans charge for their food – they are going bust. Here, German taxpayers are being “exploited” to the detriment of African farmers. African farmers are not being exploited, they are being ruined by competition. The fact that no one is screaming at us is because hardly anyone knows. According to M.A., it would be necessary to prohibit EU-subsidised food from being sold outside the EU, as it was financed by EU citizens. Then Africa, too, would be protected from ruinous competition, could produce more food itself and thus fight hunger. With us, the farmers would cry out, but not everyone can win here. More market economy in the agricultural industry, and the haunting would be over.
A second way, not exploitation, but ruinous competition, surprisingly comes through – humanist help.Somewhere in Africa there is a drought, which is what is causing aid agencies to make food into the country. These foods are delivered at prices with which no producer in the world, especially a native African farmer, can compete: at zero price – they are given away to the suffering population. Normally, if the harvest is poor, the supply decreases with the same demand – the domestic producer can sell more expensively. He can invest this money in expanding his production, which is now worth more because it yields more profit. But thanks to the new competitor, he will not get rid of his goods because he demands money for it. The result: He goes bust. Then there are fewer domestic producers who have been able to invest less money in their production, and the next drought becomes even more catastrophic. Aid is all well and good, but one with these consequences is beneficial in the short term and catastrophic in the long term. Some of the aid organisations have recognised this and are taking action against it, but not all of them.
So if there is such a thing as exploitation, it is ruinous competition that is massively violating the rules of the market economy.The market economy, which cannot do anything about it, is then blamed for this by “quite clever” people. Those who flout the rules cannot blame the rules for the consequences.
This does not mean that the market economy is without fault and only provides for the best.This simply means that you have to think carefully about where and how to improve them so as not to make them worse.
Exploitation should be called by its name: imposing ruinous competition by circumventing market economy rules.The concept of exploitation itself can hardly be properly defined, Marx tried and failed.
Finally, there is hardly any developing countries left.What we call this are countries that have reached standard of living in 50 years, since the end of the colonies, for which Europeans took 100 years because they could not trade with a more developed high-tech nation. Did we feel like a poor nation with our standard of living 50 years ago? All this can be proved with figures, what the Swedish statistician Hans Rosling, who died far too early, does in this video:
If you don’t read this text becauseit’s too long, you should at least watch the video.
Ironically, it is not the poor who are knocking on our door, but the growing middle class of Africa, the more affluent.Because the really poor people who have less than 10 dollars of income per day (definition of poverty) cannot afford the 10,000 or more dollars that a crossing to Europe costs by smugglers. This is of no use to the poor in Africa, it is no help, but only a relief in the long term, because Africa can dispose of its lucky knights and petty criminals in part. But it is also a burden, because in part the slightly better-educated middle class is deporting their children.
Many African politicians see this development with a shake of the head: what leads the supposedly so clever Germans to think that this is how they can help the Africans?The money would be invested a hundred times better in expanding trade with Africa! But that can hardly be said without indignation, from those who think that outrage is an argument. It just hinders thinking and weighing up the facts. If we really wanted to help the Africans, instead of simply appeasing their consciences, the first thing to do would be to ban the export of subsidised food to Africa. Secondly, we would consider improving aid to Africa. But outrage is easier than thinking. Moreover, those who, out of outrage, do not have time to read long texts and use their minds to weigh up facts should finally stop thinking Africans are as stupid as they are to give birth to themselves.
It is also easier to be outraged by exploitation than to define it.What does it mean “we live – all of us? – at the expense of poor Africans”, they can hardly explain this, and facts are sparse (mostly they are individual examples – yes, there are some who also outrage me, but I can still think, because this is not a permanent state for me).
By the way, personal note: I am a former Marxist and have worked for a while at one of the largest German economic research institutes.Anyone who accuses me of cluelessness can be prepared for something!