Nothing new out of Africa
The Tanganyika Groundnut Scheme was a plan to cultivate tracts of what is now Tanzania with peanuts. The project was a brainchild of the British Labour government of Clement Attlee. It was abandoned at considerable cost to the taxpayers after it was discovered that peanuts will not grow in Tanganyika.
Read the whole article, it isn't long, for how disaster followed disaster...
As The Tanganyikan Groundnuts Scheme says:
..based upon the official forecasts 4,000 tons of peanuts were purchased for seed in 1947 but only a fraction of this amount was actually planted. By the end of the second season's harvest, after two years of effort and £ 25 million had been expended, only 2,000 tons of peanuts had been harvested, 50 percent of what had been originally purchased as seed.
And the real problem was...
Alan Wood, himself a socialist, considered whether the project being a public enterprise rather than a private, profit-making endeavor had been the cause of the failure. He concluded that the principal decision-makers could not have worked any harder had their own capital been at stake. He knew from personal observation that they worked all of the time, from early morning until late at night. According to Wood,
"They worked too hard. They were themselves into such a state of weariness, fever and fret that they could not think ahead.....Too much has been written about the benefits of capitalism in providing the driving force of the profit motive. What is more difficult to replace is the function of the price mechanism in dividing up decisions among a large number of different people. The trouble was not that General Harrison was a stupid man or an incompetent man; He was plainly a man of great ability. The trouble was he carried a heavier burden than any man could bear." (Emphasis added.)
What Wood fails to realize or admit is that it is not so much a matter of how long people work but how effectively. The profit motive not only induces people to put forth more effort but to utilize the resources under their command, including their own time, more efficiently. Personal financial responsibility forces managers to delegate authority when circumstances require.
I wonder how many of the socialist NGO's busy creating schemes today in Africa have ever studied this disaster?