What aggravates the situa tion is that more people are employed in those jobs

What aggravates the situa tion is that more people

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civil servants, merchants, soldiers, entertainers. What aggravates the situa- tion is that more people are employed in those jobs than are really neces- sary to give efficient service; and to crown it all, these people do not reinvest in agriculture or industry. They squander the wealth created by the peasants and workers by purchasing cars, whisky, and perfume. It has been noted with irony that the principal “industry" of many un- derdeveloped countries is administration. Not long ago, 60 per cent of the internal revenue ofDahomey went into paying salaries of civil servants and government leaders. The salaries given to the elected politicians are higher than those given to a British Member of Parliament, and the number of parliamentarians in the underdeveloped African countries is also rela- tively high. In Gabon, there is one parliamentary representative for every six thousand inhabitants, compared to one French parliamentary represent- ative for every hundred thousand Frenchmen. Many more figures of that sort indicate that in d«»«crihing a typical underdeveloped economy it is essential to point out the high disproportion of the locally distributed wealth that goes into the pockets of a privileged few. Members of the privileged groups inside Africa always defend them- ¡ selves by saying that they pay the taxes which keep the government going. i At face value this statement sounds reasonable, but on close examination it is really the most absurd argument and shows total ignorance of how the economy functions. Taxes do not produce national wealth and develop- ment. Wealth has to be produced out of nature—from tilling the land or mining metals or felling trees or turning raw materials into finished prod- ucts for human consumption. These things are done by the vast majority of the population who are peasants and workers. There would be no incomes to tax if the laboring population did not work. The incomes given to civil servants, professionals, merchants, come from the store of wealth produced by the community. Quite apart from the injustices in the distribution of wealth, one has to dismiss the argument that “the taxpayers* ” money is what develops a country. In pursuing the goal of development, one must start with the producers and move on from there to see whether the products of their labor are being rationally utilized to bring greater independence and well-being to the nation. By paying attention to the wealth created by human labor out of nature,
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20 HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA one can immediately appreciate that very few underdeveloped countries are lacking in the natural resources which could go into making a better life, and in those cases it is usually possible for two or three territories to com- bine together for their mutual benefit In fact it can be shown that the imderdevdopgd countries arethe ones with the greatest wealth ofhatilral resources and yet the poorest in terms of goods and services presently provided by and for their citizens?”'"”"” ' The United Nations Survey of Economic Conditions in Africa up to
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