It's time we paid more attention to labour than cash generated

Group4Security staff load money in an armoured van. [File, Standard]

It’s common to see money being transported in bullion vans (armoured vans) with chase cars in tow.

The chase car has armed policemen. Banks have armed policemen guarding them. Armed policemen stand by as money is loaded into ATMs. Clearly, money is the most guarded item in the country. That has left my head spinning. Why so much focus on money, a medium of exchange? What should be guarded?

I do not recall seeing policemen guarding banks in the US or Western Europe or even China. 

Do we guard the men and women who produce this money? Whether it’s in their workplace, going home or in their homes. Do we make them feel secure to be more productive? Who should be guarded most?

We should guard the key plank in economic production - labour. All the factors of production are intertwined with labour.

Capital is produced by labour, the land must be exploited by labour and entrepreneurship is in our minds. Money is the end product of putting all these factors together and should get less attention, and godlike status.

Maternity ward

Instead of guarding money, we should be guarding maternity wards. In fact, a baby being taken home from maternity should have a police escort. The next generation of workers is more valuable than money. 

Why are China, Japan and Europe worried over low birth rates? We must value babies as these countries do.

But it seems our abundant labour and high birth rates have „devalued“ babies.

The law of supply and demand has come into play.

Remember joblessness is haunting the nation?

It’s for this reason that wages should be going down; there is an oversupply of labour. 

Cheap labour should be making Kenya a competitive investment destination. But labour unions and some regulations have made it hard to bring down the cost of labour (wages and salaries).  It seems once we get jobs, they are ringfenced keeping the wages high.

A hard-nosed economist should suggest wages in Kenya should be going down because of oversupply. 

We need more focus on the producers, the four factors of production and how they can be enhanced.

The focus on money without much concern for how it’s made has been our soft underbelly even sucking in corruption.

The corrupt love the public sector where money is pooled after taxation, levies and other methods.

Luckily with electronic money, we shall have less money transported in armoured vans with policemen in tow. But the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) pronouncement that will follow your M-Pesa transaction could delay the demystification of money.

How money is made and who makes it should get more attention than money itself.