By Sibonokuhle Nxam
Throughout the history of mankind it has always been common knowledge that hard work is crucial in
any economy, but it’s especially important in a struggling economy. When times are tough, it’s easy to
feel discouraged and to give up. Hard work keeps people going, it helps them persevere and find
solutions. In an economy like ours in South Africa, hard work can be the difference between success
and failure, between making ends meet and falling behind.
I think we can all agree that it’s needless to say that Poverty and politics are deeply linked to the
economy. This link often has a big impact on the opportunities available to people. In most cases,
people living in poverty have fewer opportunities to get ahead, this can be attributed to factors like
lack of access to education, poor healthcare, food security and other essential services and resources.
At the same time, political instability and corruption can make it even harder for people to escape
When the governments’ resources are mismanaged and opportunities are squandered, this creates an
equivalent of hell of Earth for the lower working class and poor people. However, hard work can help
to overcome these challenges, and can be a force for positive change by creating brave young
businessmen and women to lead the charge to economic growth and the reduction of poverty and
create more opportunities for everyone, so basically hard work is the key to progress and to making a
difference, even when the odds are stacked against you.
One may ask, besides the importance it has on a struggling economy why am I talking about hard
work. Well this is due the fact that we live in a struggling economy, South Africa is has been going
through tough tines since forever and it won’t end anytime soon. As the nerd that I am I had also
perused through Thomas Sowell’s book called Poverty and Politics because I was a little bit curious on
the concept of poverty and why it’s hanging like a dark cloud above mainly the black population of the
So in doing so I started going through “Poverty and Politics” by economist Thomas Sowell and I must
say it was quite the eye opener and a valuable form of spending my time. In his book the economist
argues that the way poverty is measured and understood is often inaccurate and misleading. He
argues that poverty is not simply a lack of material goods, but is instead a complex and multi-faceted
issue and that we should also measure in terms of community, family, ancestry and the fundamentals
of said belief systems. So, this means that there is more to measuring poverty rather than the
traditional measurements of access to education, healthcare, food security etc, Although these can
still be used to determine the level of status in society but we should also take more into account,
things like, is this person from a long line of hard working family members and is this person driven by
the determination to advance and improve his community?
Sowell highlights the importance of economic growth as a tool for overcoming poverty, and argues
that government policies often have unintended consequences that actually exacerbate the problem
like Affirmative Action, reverse racism and extreme liberalism. He also says that while government
policies and other external factors can play a role in economic growth or economic stagnation, hard
work is often the key to individual success. For many people, hard work is the only way to improve
their situation, even when the economy is struggling.