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When facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, Sir? These words may or may not have been uttered by John Maynard Keynes, one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. But they are highly relevant in the context of the cabinet lekgotla that took place last week. Keynes was most famous for his advocacy of the use of fiscal and monetary policies to counter the effect of economic recessions in order to boost demand and employment. So on the face of it, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the government would initiate a stimulus package seems reasonable. After all, the announcement came shortly after the release of yet another depressing report from Statistics SA, showing that the official unemployment rate had increased to above 27%, with a loss of 102,000 jobs in the second quarter. But then a closer look at the numbers just seems to confirm the muddled thinking in the administration. The country’s job crisis is hardly something new. In fact, the unemploym...

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