South Africa in Recession After Land Threat: ‘Shocking Drop in Agriculture’

South Africa in Recession After Land Threat: ‘Shocking Drop in Agriculture’. By Joel Pollack.

South Africa slid into an official recession Tuesday, as second-quarter growth domestic product (GDP) figures showed a contraction of 0.7% — the second straight quarter of decline. …

The most shocking number in the statistics is the precipitous 29.2% decline in agricultural production over the second quarter … which single-handedly tipped the economy into recession. …

The recession is not quite “shocking” to opponents of the South African government’s land reform policy, which is ostensibly aimed at redressing racial inequalities in land ownership, but which critics have called a threat to property rights in general. …

Farmers appear to have responded to those signals by taking fewer risks, preserving scarce capital rather than gambling it on a new crop in South Africa’s drought-prone climate when the value of their land, and security of their tenure, was at stake.

Cause … and effect. Socialists and lefties persistently overlook one of the most important and durable lessons of history — without secure property rights there is no economic advancement and productivity drops dramatically.

Society is a collection of individuals, and if the motivation for individuals is weak or destroyed then they stop producing. Just because “society” (the leadership?) wants something is not enough — motivated individuals are required. As the “joke” in the Soviet lands used to go, “they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil