Except for bribes, dirty deals and billionaire arrogance, Guinea would be one of the most prosperous places on earth.
Any steel around you? Driving a car? Probably wouldn’t without Guinea. How about aluminum? Do you use aluminum foil after dinner? Not without Guinea! So how come Guinea is the ninth poorest country in the world? Too many Piggly-Wiggly sales?
According to the CIA Factbook Guinea “possesses the world’s largest reserves of bauxite and largest untapped high-grade iron ore reserves, as well as gold and diamonds. In addition … Guinea’s hydro potential is enormous and the country … also has tremendous agriculture potential.”
Also, confirms the CIA, “Guinea is a poor country.”
Guinea is the quintessential emerging nation failure. A handful of elite take control, suppress the population by impeding their education and restricting their basic services, so that the elite can hoard all the wealth that exists.
Sometimes they’ve got to give a little, or there wouldn’t be any trained workers but that’s dicey, too. Yesterday as shown in the photograph above of Boke, Guinea, skilled workers at a Bauxite mine rioted. The biggest problem multinationals have developing Guinea’s resources is those pesky workers.
Those pesky workers have no EPA protections, no OSHA regulations safeguarding them. And guess what? They’re paid less per day that the cost of a single roll of aluminum foil from Piggly-Wiggly.
How on earth have we let this happen?
I really do hate to name names, because individuals are just stand-ins for society’s niches. It’s not Donald Trump that’s a menace to our sanity and safety; it’s the society that gave rise to him, that brought him to power. That’s where we need to focus our attention.
But a story needs a character, and this one’s is Jared Kushner.
As brilliantly reported for several years by the New York Times, Kushner tied to the financier and dark personality of Daniel Steinmetz, is on the brink of running foul of American law. I say “on the brink” because the trial just began yesterday.
That would be the trial to prove that Steinmetz bribed Guinea officials to get control of much of its wealth through his mining companies. If convicted then Jared could be charged violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, because Jared took huge amounts of money from Steinmetz to fund real estate deals.
That capital, if proved in today’s trial was created through bribing Guinea officials, would be illegal.
I’ve written endlessly about corruption and bribing and how insane it is to call Africans corrupt since they’re the poor ones. Corruption starts with the rich, not the poor. Bribes start at the top and trickle down, and to be sure they’re infectious.
The miasma of dirty connections, under-the-table payments and patent bribes involved in just this one story could fill volumes of depositions. The President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, right now is entangled in all sorts of bribery scandals that lead back to Guinea and even to the same operations that Steinmetz was involved in!
It’s quite a Club!
So we can paint big black x’s over these peoples’ faces, call them names and single them out for doing this or that awful, unethical and immoral deed, but to what end? Lock them up and someone else takes their place.
It’s the system, folks. It’s the global capitalist system that takes a potential paradise like Guinea and turns it into the rotting, putrid place it is by working its poor souls to death so that bunches of greedy men in black ties can lounge in ignominy in New York clubs.
Oh, and by the way, it does matter that these people are now running the government of the United States of America.