Labour Day, which has its origins in the eight hour day movement that advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest has seen trade unionists and workers agitate for increase in the minimum wage, provision of full employment, job creation and abolishing of child labour.
Governments, policy makers and workers ought not to look at the instant outcome of any act or policy, but at the long term effects-not purely for a particular group but for all. The economic goal of any country and individual is to obtain maximum results with least effort. It is for this reason that men have used their creativity to develop labour saving equipment. The real objective is to maximize production.
Discussing wages and employment while ignoring productivity is not only placing emphasis on the means without considering the end, but also advocating for full employment without production.
Increased wealth in rich nations has been a result of ensuring greatest productivity. High productivity has enabled the riddance of child labour and work for the aged. The real question therefore is not how many jobs are created but how much production there is and what in consequence the standard of living is.
Africa ought to develop infrastructure that will maximize production. The private sector should be given a chance to be the engine of growth. Regulations governing the establishment of small firms into medium to large size businesses should be simplified; taxes reformed to promote investment and saving; and intra-Africa trade promoted.
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