Sunday, June 28, 2015

"The severe inequality of the Angolan oil boom."

NY:

Half of Angolans live on less than two dollars a day, infant mortality rates are among the highest in the world, and the average life expectancy—fifty-two—is among the lowest.

...

When oil people leave Angola, he told me, they often sell their freezers, packed with American beef, to their successors. “People can charge ten thousand dollars for a well-stocked freezer,’’ he said. He mentioned that a friend once tried to sell him a roll of aluminum foil for a hundred and forty dollars. Espinosa grinned and rolled his eyes. “That crazy Randy,’’ he said. “In the end, I think I paid thirty dollars.’’

...

Displaying such wealth in a country as impoverished as Angola can be a challenge. One member of the President’s inner circle owns a Rolls-Royce, but there are few good roads in Luanda. So every Sunday he loads the car into a trailer, takes it to the Marginal—a recently renovated two-mile-long promenade along the South Atlantic—drives it for a while on the capital’s only smooth road, loads it back into its trailer, and has it hauled away.