The poor nations should do some self-examination

Dear Editor,

We have been accustomed to the statement that the rich nations are becoming richer and the poor ones, poorer.  This is not absolutely true because even the rich nations have experienced financial crises and hard times.

Be that as it may, the poor nations need to do some self-examination and stock-taking since there is much to be desired in their governance. First and foremost there should be democracy which includes transparency and accountability.  Few poor countries which are mainly in the so-called Third World – former colonies ‒ are properly governed.
With the advent of independence many politicians in these economically marginalized territories, proceeded to establish dictatorial rule and enrich themselves at the expense of the populace.  Often the former colonial rulers have stepped forward to grant aid and other valuable assistance.  Unfortunately, large sums of aid money are stolen and squandered by corrupt officials.

As a consequence of unstable government and maladministration, the economies of many countries go into recession.  Inflation rises, devaluation follows and approaches are made to the IMF and World Bank.  Unemployment makes many people migrate to the developed world causing a brain drain.

Of course, there are countries like Haiti which have often been devastated by natural disasters but some rich countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania have had not only natural disasters but great wars.

The Scandinavian model of Sweden, Denmark and Norway is one of the best in the world. These welfare states ensure that salaries, wages and pensions are well-structured and are commensurate with the cost-of-living index. Hence, in these countries every citizen is guaranteed a comfortable standard of living which includes a variety of social benefits chief of which is a good health care system.

Not to be undone, good examples of success in former colonies are Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei which provide a high standard of living for their peoples. The first two countries have high levels of scientific and technological skills.  The last has a variety of natural resources.

Poor countries should pursue the establishment and efficient management of cooperatives.  Ironically many developed countries have large and variable types of cooperative, such as  Germany, Britain, Canada, USA and Scandinavia.

All nations should always stick to their traditional spiritual values.  There should be an effort to avoid serious racial or ethnic conflicts, political grandstanding, and religious hatred.  Greed and selfishness should be avoided.  Whichever God we worship, we are human beings.

Yours faithfully,
Malcolm Maynard