Nothing is quite so cruel as to deny a person the chance to find a job so that they might improve their lives as well as those of the people around them. SA’s rising unemployment rate is therefore a particularly terrible thing, but it is made worse by the fact that it is also the predicted and predictable result of the policies of the government. Threats to property rights, minimum wage laws, denying parents sufficient control over the schools attended by their children, and race-based empowerment edicts have the collective effect of choking off investment and growth. Yet, in the face of the evidence, many of these policies continue to be championed by the government, organised business and many commentators as virtuous and necessary for the economic emancipation of poor South Africans. Quite the opposite is true, and the poor are paying a terrible price for the ideological fixations of SA’s leaders. Truly virtuous policy would price poor people into work by deregulating the labour ...

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