BY W.B.KYIJOMANYI IN USA VIA UAH FORUM
Dear Abbey Semuwemba:
I know you as a sober and sharp Ugandan.There is too much naivete in Ugandan society.Too much noise and politicking about Bobi Wine and others . Thank God the Court of Appeal tried to inject order in Ugandan systems. The trick has been full time politics at the expense of farming and serious national building projects. Why should Ugandans be food insecure given the fertile land and great weather? Why should roads be impassable given the high redundancy rate in the country? A redundancy captured in the insane birth rates because sex has became the default entertainment. Come on.
Recall when Ugandans paid poll taxes, they looked for work. They searched for work so they could pay off that pol tax and display the receipt as they enjoyed their malwa. Not anymore. Today you go to Tororo and ask for help for labour , and no one will respond because they are contented okay, prefer LESURE OVER work. Put out a call for labour and see how many will respond. Why is that that case. They have no debts to pay and no chiefs to worry about.
What you have in Uganda today is a paradox: Ugandans pay no direct taxes but are poorer . I bet you that is not what YKM anticipated. He though that buy exempting Ugandans from poll tax , he was doing away with a colonial era policy that was occasionally controversial.
Granted, there were deadly tax riots in Uganda during the colonial era. But therein lines the irony. During the colonial era Ugandans could protest-credibly if I may add for paying taxation without proper representation. Today what can Ugandans protest about?
Or put it this way, why with all the alleged problems in Uganda under YKM, most Ugandans are contended to waste themselves in unproductive leisure? Why are there no riots similar to those witnessed during those tax riots in the late 50s and early 60s?
Guess what, YKM wanted to avoid such riots so he bought peace by abolishing poll tax. So tell me why would Ugandans protest today? They have no strong reasons to protest because majority are FREE RIDERS. Incredibly those challenging YKM claim Ugandans are OVERTAXED. NONSENSE.
Majority of Ugandans are actually a burden. Look at the population demographics and its huge dependency ration. ? A pain for sure. But that is the price Ugandans must pay for preferring ‘free’ things.
Btw, you and others keen on optimal taxation should read the works of two Nobel laureates. Tax policy is so important it delivered not one but two separate Nobel’s in economics. The first was the Scottish intellectual Professor Sir James Mirrless (RIP) then of Cambridge University in 1996 for his insights on optimal taxation.
The next came several years later to Prof Diamond of MIT in the same area of taxation. But to be fair, Professor Stiglitz too could have won it with his British co-author Anthony B. Atkinson. Get their book and all of you trying to advise budding politician in Uganda on tax policy. The title is : Lectures on Public Economics. It is now a classic
FYI, most of the top notch work on taxation was done at Cambridge, UK which for many years was arguably the leading University in the world for Economics. There used to be what was called the Cambridge debates in Economics between Cambridge, UK and Cambridge , Massachusetts. They were truly great debates. Not anymore because Cambridge UK is not what it used to be at least in Economics while Cambridge MA in the form of Harvard and MIT have become even more dominant-people take pay cuts to teach there..
Enter Margaret Thatcher and the migration of UK intellectuals to the USA once she ended tenure. Thatcher single-handedly gifted American Universities many Nobel winners not just in Economics but other areas.
Interestingly Thatcher quipped that her biggest success is the rise of Mr. Tony Blair in UK politics. I know you and other Labour extreme sin UAH probably do not like Blair but he is arguably one of UK’s finest PM in a generation. See what you have and especially who he beat leading labour.
QN: Could labour go begging for one of Tony Blair’s trusted foreign secrete to rescue it from its deep rot. To say Labour is in big shit is an understatement
I still do not understand how a major political party could nominate a Jeremy Corbyn. Okay., I get it. The unions put him on top. But see how those same voters voted this past elections.
I digress to demonstrate to you that it is not easy to win elections especially with a fraud candidate. Sure they can fool some but majority of voters are not fooled.I remain candid and brutally honest and that robs some the wrong way. Do I believe that the current pretender,Bobi Wine, can or will defeat YKM in an election? Hell No.
Wining election starts with the candidate. And It is hard even under the best of circumstance more in developing countries. it is not easy. Is that being naïve? No.