African History 7.3 Corrupted Capitalism
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Today, we're going to talk about capitalism, corporatism, and regulatory capture. And yes, we're super fun at parties.
|World History||African History|
often at the expense of the people. ['Corporation' arm pumps up a 'profit' balloon]
From the 1970s to the present day, regulatory capture has been hitting new and frightening levels.
In the 80s and 90s in Nigeria, it was totally out of control. [Graph of regulatory capture quickly going up]
Regulatory agencies, judges, lawmakers, political parties…all were in on the take. [Judge taking money]
Corporate capture was like Godzilla on the loose, except that it built skyscrapers instead
of smashing them.
Though it did still squish innocent civilians in the process. [Godzilla stands on a person]
In Nigeria, each party had a bank, corporation, or lobby group that ruled its decisions.
Virtually all decisions about permits, environmental regulations, foreign scholarships, and business
taxes were made to reward the companies that were buddy-buddy with whatever party had its [Person driving a car]
hands on the steering wheel.
Although Nigeria has cleaned up some of the corruption since about 2000, government policy [Nigeria sweeping away corruption]
is still mostly controlled by corporations and interest groups.
When a capitalist democracy’s free market gets hijacked by corporations it’s called…somewhat ['Corporate' man hijacking a plane]
It’s like the day they finally build a combination Starbucks/McDonald's on the White House lawn.
Nigeria is Africa’s most extreme example of corporatism gone wild, but we can also [Person using a hula hoop and Nigeria chucking cash on the floor]
look to Uganda, Kenya, and, to a lesser extent, post-apartheid South Africa.
However, just like socialism, some countries that went capitalist early still managed to [Car does a u-turn in the road]
turn it around.
Nigeria's extreme corruption prevented the government from building adequate education,
health services, and infrastructure. [Teacher and school children in a classroom]
On the other hand, capitalism allowed Nigeria to export boatloads of oil…literally…like [Oil tankers moving around]
a lot of boatloads.
Since the 1960s, oil companies, especially Shell, have drilled Nigeria like crazy, and
there's still a lot of oil left. [Nodding donkey oil pump with the Shell logo]
Nigeria now surfs the oil trends.
When the world oil market is good, Nigeria is one of the better-off countries in the world. [Nigeria on a surf board]
The oil money has led to the rise of Africa's largest city: the well-developed coastal capital
However, when Nigeria's oil runs dry there’s no telling what’ll happen. [Empty well]
We’re hoping everybody deals with it by hugging it out, but it probably won’t be
Hopefully, Nigeria will use the money to create other industries to keep the country on track. [Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda on an athletics track]
Capitalism worked out better in Kenya.
Even though Kenya is more corporatist than capitalist, regulatory capture has actually
produced a lot of jobs.
Telecommunications companies pretty much own the Kenyan regulatory agencies, and they’ve [Man in a suit on a mobile phone]
written laws that give telecom companies a lot of advantages.
The plus side of this is that Kenya has become a major home base for telecoms and mobile
Also, corporate HQs need loans.
So banks have popped up like mushrooms to give them what they need. [Mario hits a block and a bank pops out]
All this hustle and bustle keeps many Kenyans living in style. [Kenya watching a flat screen TV]
Making the jump from colonialism to capitalism can work.
Like bungee jumping off of Victoria Falls, it can be amazing…
…but it can also end in a great big splat. [Man bungee jumps and the rope snaps]