Kathryn of Omaha TV: Hello Mars Man. Welcome again to The Mother Earth Weekly Squirms show for your feature interview. You have in front of you Mr. John Black, former Total Loss Bank employee and reputable consultant for several continental institutions, Governments and Development Agencies. I am sure you people on Mars are eager to hear about the experiences of a seasoned development economist before he turns his abilities on Mars. As you may have seen, Mr. Black posted recently his list of international cultural chocks from which he is still recovering.
Mars Man: Thank you Kathryn. Very honored to be your guest again and welcome to Mr. Black, an old acquaintance of mine whose illustrious career I have followed through the years. Yes, I reviewed Mr. Black’s list of cultural shocks with great interest. If I may add one of my own it is Mother Earth’s habit to paint us as monsters while you look like wobbly skeletons yourself. Mr. Black, please tell us why you felt it necessary to go into the business of developing underdeveloped nations.
John Black: Thank you Mars Man for that important question. Frankly, I don’t have a clue. I think it was because I got a better salary and it was duty-free.
Mars Man: That’s a very honorable ambition and a good starting point for economic development. So, what do you think you have achieved?
John Black: An immense array of achievements. First, an innumerable amount of frequent flyer miles that allowed me to take my wife on my trips first class to nowhere where she could spend her time at the swimming pool drinking punch. Second, the beauty of development is that underdeveloped countries don’t maintain the investments you finance for them and that means my job never ends, as I have to do it over and over again multiple times. It’s a copy and paste job and I get paid well for it.
Mars Man: Well, we on Mars would value our money better. Why do they have that attitude?
John Black: Good question. If you give a kid a lollypop and tell him he has to pay for it he won’t take it. If you give it to him free, he will and believe you will give him the next one free, too. Meanwhile he will do nothing to earn it.
Mars Man: Don’t you people train them to do better, then? After all, you and they are using tax payer money.
John Black: Oh yes we train. They love training. Free food, free drinks, free hotels, free showers, away from wives or husbands, shopping, and then go for the next training. And on taxpayer money, using Other Peoples Money (OPM) is a sound business principle even taught at Harvard Business School and standard in the Obama White House.
Mars Man: But don’t these countries learn anything then?
John Black: No. For two reasons: first, we mostly train the wrong people, and second if they apply what they learn they won’t be sent on training again.
Mars Man: Have you not made any progress then?
John Black: Yes and no. If I achieved anything it was immediately destroyed. I witnessed seven coup d’états, two murdered presidents, and continuous strife in several countries. All my projects went bust. You fill one hole with another. But as I said, this makes my life easy because I only have to open my drawer and take out the old documents and turn them into new ones by changing the document number and start over again. Recycling is the king of repetition.
Mars Man: What happened then to all the tax payer money you spent?
John Black: It went to pot. Don’t believe our Annual Reports.
Mars Man: And where did the money in the countries go?
John Black: The goal of development lending is that the money is used for the purpose intended. But the meaning of that purpose is in the eye of the beholder. You see, transparency is a subjective proposition. For you, transparency may mean you see clear. For others it may mean you see nothing.
Mars Man: See nothing?
John Black: Well, yes. Like looking through your fingers. No trace. Invisible for the eye of a western accountant.
Mars Man: Money embezzled?
John Black: No, shared among the beneficiaries.
Mars Man: Are you speaking of corruption?
John Black: Corruption in the Third World is a misnomer. It’s sharing the wealth. Obama does it too.
Mars Man: But wouldn’t these countries have courts to prevent taxpayer money from being misappropriated?
John Black: Courts in these countries are like community organizations. They, police, and nationals all work together for the purpose intended and that is sharing the wealth. The president gets most and the underlings the crumbs and nobody gets convicted because that’s unsocial. Only those who object to the system go to jail.
Mars Man: So you must look back on a productive career indeed?
John Black: Most definitely. My grand children will still be working on it, and so will be theirs. No better and never-ending enterprise with plentiful tax payer money. We are transforming the Third World.
Mars Man: Thank you Mr. Black for this enlightening interview. For our listeners on Mars: It’s a pity we don’t have a Third World. We should invite Mr. Black to create one for us. Thank you Kathryn. Till next time.