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In response to a Twitter post by Princeton economics professor Atif Mian showing that injections of foreign money into the Afghanistan economy failed to translate into sustainable growth there, I extrapolated that — as in the Afghan example — increasing consumption via cash transfers in SA without equal attention to productivity enhancement would not raise sustainable GDP.

Mian made the point that raising spending power in Afghanistan without an associated increase in productivity led to a spending boom that vanished as soon as the aid money dried up. A tweep pushed back at my inference. He said comparing social transfers in SA to aid transfers in Afghanistan was like comparing apples to oranges. My reply? They are both fruit...

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