Friday, January 22, 2010

Karoo Economic Logic


In a recent edition of the ‘Upper Coast Fever’ its columnist Wouter Willemse relates to a tale told to him by ‘Oom Pottie’ at the local. The story concerns the ideal formula to ensure financial peace of mind.

Somewhere in the Great Karoo is a ‘dorpie’. It was mid-summer and the sun was beating down. The streets were deserted, times were tough, everybody was in debt and lived on credit.

A wealthy Tourist decided to break his journey and stay the night at the local Hotel which was getting frayed at the edges. After entering and placing a R200 note on the reception desk, he announced that he wanted to inspect all the bedrooms to see whether there was one suitable for him to spend the night in.

While the Tourist was busy with his inspection, the Hotel owner grabbed the R200 and settled his debt with the Butcher next door to the Hotel who had supplied him with meat. The Butcher promptly settled his debt with the Farmer who provided him with livestock for slaughtering. The Farmer, in turn, settled his debt with the Agricultural Co-op for providing him with fodder and fuel. The Manager of the Co-op then settled his personal debt with the local goodtime girl for favours rendered. She, in turn, hastened to the Hotel and paid the R200 she owned for the use of a bedroom when providing services to her clients. The Owner of the Hotel then put the R200 back on the reception desk. By that time, the Tourist had completed his inspection and announced that he did not find a satisfactory room and after pocketing the R200 he left the town.

Nobody in the town earned or produced anything yet everybody was happy. Everybody in the town who owed money no longer had any debt and were all looking forward to the future with a great deal of optimism.

We still have to find a person who can work this out but there perhaps is a hidden message that timeous and regular payment for goods and services produces a great deal of confidence and is a cause for optimism!

Pieter Rautenbach
Projects Facilitator
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