Sunday, November 27, 2011

How Ethiopians felt in 2007

The World Values Survey offers an interesting snapshot on how Ethiopians felt on various social and political issues in 2007. It confirms the view of many that the current government is deeply unpopular and that Ethiopia is a deeply conservative society in many ways. In 2007, Ethiopia was a place where about 7 in 10 of its citizens did not have confidence in the justice system. Less than 4 out of 10 people felt the same way in Ghana. The table below shows how confident Ethiopians felt about their government as compared to Ghanians:

Selected countries/samples: EthiopĂ­a [2007], Ghana [2007]

Weight  Ghana Ethiopia
Confidence: The Government A great deal 29.70% 7.90%
Quite a lot 41.60% 18.50%
Not very much 22.50% 48.10%
None at all 6.20% 25.50%
Total 1522 (100%) 1360 (100%)

Source: Values Surveys Databank

It looks like the survey was done in Addis Ababa and, as such, it probably is not a representative sample for the whole country. Nevertheless, I found it to be very informative and I hope you do, too.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kismaayo or bust!

Kenya thinks it has learned from Ethiopia's Somalia mis-adventure of 2007-2009. Good luck!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Using game theory to predict Ethiopia's future government

Using game theory, a mathematical approach used to studying strategic interactions, the guy in this video correctly predicted in 2008 that Iran will not develop weapons-grade nuclear capability in two years time. Have you wondered if game theory can be used to predict whether or not there will be a new government in Ethiopia, say, in two years time? Perhaps Ethiopians should consult with this guy to calculate the chances.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Europe and China

The BBC has an insightful article by Ian Morris, a Stanford University historian, on the reversal of roles between Europe and China in the past century.
In October 1911, China rose up in revolution. Four months later the last emperor had fallen and European moneymen were flocking to Beijing, eager to finance the bankrupt new republic.

In October 2011, another European moneyman headed for Beijing. But Klaus Regling, head of the European Financial Stability Facility, did not go there to lend to China. He was there to borrow, asking China to save Europe from economic disaster.
Morris ends his article by suggesting that Europe should avoid the mistake the Chinese made a century ago by not taking loans from China to finance its debts. But the most revealing part of his article was a quote from Jin Liqun, the supervising chairman of China's sovereign wealth fund. He quotes Liqun as saying:
"If you look at the troubles which happened in European countries, this is purely because of the accumulated troubles of the worn out welfare society... The labour laws induce sloth, indolence, rather than hard working."
Now, if this is not a wake up call for Europe, I do not know what is. I just hope that America will learn from the mistakes of the Europeans and move quickly to downsize the welfare state!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Simply Sowell

Thomas Sowell on the 2009 stimulus that was supposed to have created or "saved" 3 million jobs. We need a heavy dose of Thomas Sowell and economists like him in times like these.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Kiira EV

It seems this electric vehicle is a covered up golf cart with some additions, but it is a good start nonetheless...