Sierra Leone

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SS2200 – Macroeconomics

Instructor: Patricia Dwyer

21 September 2010

Final Exam Paper


Despite the recent economic problems, the economy in the United States is still the largest on the planet and there are many reasons for this. We are a market-based economy where private individuals and business firms get to make most of the choices. We are blessed to have a government system that mostly buys goods and services in the private Marketplace. These are facts. Still, due to the fresh financial troubles in the country, most people still don’t seem to realize that we still live in the best country there is. We could be worse off, especially if the USA had the type of government and environment that the small South African country of Sierra Leone has. The following information is just a brief summary of comparison between the two countries.

Sierra Leone, with a population of just over 5,100,000 people is still reeling from many years of a brutal civil war that even some would argue still isn’t quite over. Some details may seem promising on the service. For example, they have a recovering GDP growth rate of between 4-7% and the tiny country’s landscape is blessed with many minerals such as gold and diamonds. You may ask what country could go wrong with so many diamonds? Well, these do not tell the full picture of the real economy. For instance, Sierra Leone’s poverty line is at a whopping 70.2% (2004 data). Their own people are being forced into ‘slave labor’ to mine the diamonds sometimes with very little pay of less than $1.00 per day and sometimes for only just a

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meal. It truly is a ‘do it or die’ environment. Can you imagine what life would be like in the United States if our government or ‘institutions’ acted like this? Being the powerhouse that USA is, this would affect more than just us.

Their government, although trying to improve the situation, is still pretty weak and unruly mob-like...