E-Lab has had this rattling feeling of unease whenever new plans to tackle poverty are announced. For the plans have always felt like abattoirs planning to tackle the problem of slaughtering.
Poverty is not a problem in this country. Rich people have a favourite pastime of talking about their poor days. They wear it like a badge of honour. When the rich meet they don’t brag about who is richer. They brag about who was poorer.
So when we say poverty is a problem, we must be saying birth is the reason why people are dying and so to stop deaths we must tackle births.
No country has solved the problem of poverty by not first solving the problem of greed. If poverty is visible in the streets, it is always because greed is invisible in the offices.
Image result for greed is good gif
When E-Lab sees Zoomlion cleaners sweep the streets. He just shakes his head. They are sweeping the wrong place. And  this is why the city remains dirty.
Just look at this statistics. Jesus asked which is easier to do; Heal the sick or forgive sins? And then chose forgiving sin as the harder because, speaking simply, not everybody is sick but everybody has sinned.
And so we must ask, which is easier? To reduce poverty among 8.6million Ghanaians or remove greed among 860 plutocrats? And then pick out the first option as harder because in a sense, every family has seen poverty but not everyone is greedy.
So yes, all the poverty reduction programmes gave us facts about poverty, looked at the facts and still lied.
The easier statistic to collect is the level of poverty. But the most useful one to collect is that of greed.
Take this problem of galamsey. It is not a problem of poverty but of greed. For the man who dug out raw gold got enough capital for honest business. But his greed won’t let him.
A woman can make a case of seduction once. But if she makes it 10 times, she was not seduced. She induced herself to be seduced.Image result for seduce me gif
It is easy to send Operation Vanguard to galamsey sites but if we send Operation Vanguard to offices, there will be no need to put boots in muddy waters. The menace won’t exist.
It is popularly believed that to attract competent private persons into the public service, we need to pay handsome packages.
At first hearing, it made sense like buying a cheap phone at Circle. But like bringing home the phone, I found it phony. This is an obvious lie.
If we pay more for the comfortable competent believing his work will make us comfortable, we have in a sense bribed them not to accept bribes.
Chesterton would say, we have put silver spoons in their mouths so we don’t find silver spoons in their pockets.
No poor country got rich by paying high wages for public servants. They first got people of high morals before high wages.
Take another example – teachers. For years, they poured themselves into us because it is the most inspiring thing to do. But the teachers no longer do because the inspired grew up and despised their work. So teachers now want more.
Our greed killed their selflessness so much that heaven is no longer a good compensation.  This is why education is presently expensive. School fees have gone up because teachers want their pound of flesh before graduates can demand their allowances in pounds.
Tuition is up because schools are important. But it is actually because it is important that is why tuition ought to go down.
Someone will scream that this view is populist and then immediately afterwards apply to Finland for a tuition-free Masters in Petroleum Engineering.
Someone will jettison this as socialist, and almost immediately afterwards, pick Uber to pay six cedis for a taxi trip which otherwise would have cost 60 cedis. If transportation is important to everybody it must not be costly.
So this is the problem we face in this country. It is greed not need. And it’s a shame.
Image result for greed meme
If you lump all these three examples together -SSNIT, galamsey, teacher – then you can conclude, the pensioner is being saved from drinking stained water so he could taint his pillow with tears and advice his grandchildren never to become teachers.
This eerie feeling is the same whenever E-Lab hears some government official assembling the forces of state against hawkers. It is a legal action by illegal actors.
All the fine arguments to clear off hawkers from the streets has had the strange effect of being unconvincing. All the neat prints of the bye-laws the hawkers transgress never appeared clear enough even under a microscope.
For whenever the hawkers stepped on an illegal space, it suddenly looked legal. For survival is nature’s first law.
Those who say they must be cleared off sound very much like a man, angry that his neighbour dirtied his white carpet while trying to seek refuge from robbers.
If a hawker knows it is illegal to sell in the streets but still dares to sell, he must be told to carry on for his faith to survive has made him whole.
But if a CEO knows it is illegal to mismanage pension funds and still dares to do so, he must be given an opportunity to hang on the cross next to Jesus and hope to hear the words, ‘today you shall be with me in paradise’.
To read more articles from this writer, check out his blog, edwinologylab.wordpress.com.