Recently I read an article with interest on the Reserve Bank’s briefing, alerting people to the dangers of pyramid and Ponzi schemes titled “It’s not hard to spot a con..” (Business Report 02 July 2012) This got me wondering.
So what is a pyramid scheme? The promoters (the guys in charge) of a pyramid scheme ask you to invest your money in their scheme with promises of returns which seem too good to be true.
Some of the investors do receive some returns to keep them happy and to lure others. Most of the money invested in the scheme is however kept or used by the promoters for themselves.
Eventually the scheme runs out of investors (sometimes called suckers) at which time the scheme collapses and most of the investors lose their investments. Oh, and the promoters disappear.
Now the leaders of the ANC ask you to invest your vote with them with promises of growth in standards of living, better services and whatever else is expedient to promise in order to secure your vote. All of which seems........... too good to be true.
Some of the voters do receive benefits in the form of tenders, jobs and other freebies. Most of the benefit however accrues to the members of the ANC, particularly those in government. Be it a work of art bought at Mc Donalds on the company credit card, a slush fund here and there, jobs for friends and family, kickbacks, more kickbacks, even more kickbacks, free trips for friends and family, special blue light convoys for emergencies (read shopping, parties etc) or just the simple Boeing 777, access to confidential information about opponents and control of the prosecuting authority and police services to deter investigation and prosecution against themselves. These benefits accrue to the ANC at a cost to the country (read citizens – you and I)
So far the ANC and pyramid schemes have much in common. OK so what’s the difference?
Well when the pyramid scheme runs out of investors it collapses. However, at the end of five years the ANC goes to the public again asking for their vote with promises which again seem too good to be true and blaming their opponents, apartheid, whites and just recently Satan for their failures. The gullible and desperate once again are duped by the confidence tricksters and a new pyramid scheme begins.
Oh, and the ANC members don’t disappear – why should they? They can do it all over again. And again.
Did I leave anything out?