January 02, 2006
And in the area of economic illiteracy and policy foolishness
I read in the Moroccan business journal, L'Economiste (see here) that the drooling idiots in the government are looking at "reviewing" the concessionary contract with Lydec for the management of waste services, electricity, and other public utilities.
I will not bore you with details, but this is a height of idiocy. I have some opinions on this idiocy, having lived in Casablanca before the Age of Lydec (when the government 'provided' such 'services' - i.e. in the great days of public service and before 'rapacious' globalising water service firms, when we were happy to pay bribes to government officials for the aspiration of service and when said officials happily siphoned off free service to their friends, families and cronies - the good old days before evil capitalism invaded) and after the Age of Lydec, when service actually was delivered, when the Evil Capitalist Lydec started cutting off the various vampire bureaucrats and hangers-on pond-scum (evil profit making exploiters, those Lydec people), and making the civil servants and employees actually show up for work (oh the horrors), and took the evil steps of integrating the work force (exploiters of women, those evil foreign exploiters).
But now the 'elected' officials (or if I may, quasi-appointed corrupt scum of rent seeking filth) are "denouncing" the expensiveness of electricity.
Of course, Lydec has to buy its electricity from the national electric monopoly, itself a picture of... well corrupt wastefulness only moderated by the massive hydrocarbon import bill. Never mind the vast savings generated by investment in BOT infrastructure and such vastly inovative measures taken, like actually turning off the fucking street lights during the day. No, obviously Lydec is squeezing the consumer.
Of course changing the contract over supposed deficits (I have it on good authority there is some question over the same) will encourage future investment.
This issue fully illustrates why I have developed a full-blown contempt for governmental intervention in emerging markets.
Posted by The Lounsbury at January 2, 2006 04:51 PM
Filed Under: Economic Policy
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One of our contributors posted (well, complained) elsewhere about government service delivery and it got me thinking about service delivery, public expectation and accountability in Western gov'ts vs. MENA counterparts.
Patronage exists in both places of course, but the location/level seems very different (e.g. frontline staff vs. senior bureaucrats).
Thinking I should write about this sometime, but the topic is...complicated.
Posted by: eerie at January 4, 2006 12:14 PM