The Tragic Comedy of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has become something of a weekly sitcom with Mugabe as the leading clown. According to, Mugabe’s government has printed so much worthless money, the inflation rate is 4,500%. This means, of course, that someone holding a loaf of bread on his store shelf has to charge forty-five times more than he used to in order to keep pace. But since a worker’s salary hasn’t yet been raised to forty-five times what it used to be, the rising prices are a hardship.

This governmental method of stealing (counterfeiting money) is as old as money itself. First Mugabe drove off or murdered the white farmers and put their land into the hands of nonwhite incompetents, then the resulting mismanagement caused widespread poverty which Mugabe addressed by printing up truckloads of money. Having inflated the economy with the counterfeit money, Mugabe has now blamed the storekeepers for the resultant rising prices and has mandated price controls.

Price controls always, without fail, produce shortages of goods and services, which in turn produces hoarding and black markets, which then evoke police repression and violence. Any ninth-grader can follow the logic in this economic chain of cause and effect.

But that doesn’t stop folks like Mugabe from waddling around and blaming it on shopkeepers who are working to foment civil unrest as part of a British plot to topple him.

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