Tunisia, Economy, Politics, Corruption, Freedom, Markets
It is very unfortunate to see these disturbing trends, world over, again and again, including United States. I mean, we see that the things get really messed up due to government corruption, interventions, controls and regulations. A crisis ensues, people react and corrupt government is taken out. People widely and deservedly believe that a true change will come. But, what we see is that it usually turns out to be a mere change of faces. In most cases even the people who fought and risked their lives do not really understand the problem and do not know what really needs to be changed. The problems created by big and controlling governments are sought to be solved by another big and controlling government.
Most people still cannot get the idea that “government is not the solution, government is problem”. There are various reasons for these mishaps. Number one is the political elite class. The people who replace the corrupt people belong to same class. They do not really want a true change. They just want to sell a deception of change. Status quo is essentially maintained in most cases. After that comes media. Unfortunately, most of the world media is controlled and owned by status quo. So, it doesn’t work with people for real change. It usually helps elite to sell the deception of change.
When Socialism and nationalization of everything were the words of day, educational system in most countries was built around the ideas of Keynesian philosophy and “government is the solution for everything”. So, the pundits and guru with big degrees and names, armed with degrees from same educational systems, and who are sought by people for advice and solutions, propose the similar beaten up and failed solutions. In addition to all these problems, the most societies in the world have evolved from similar theological and monarchist past. They still cannot understand, why government would be the problem, not solution.
So, unfortunately, even after making all those sacrifices, most people of different struggling nations and economies are coming out of one dump and ending up in another. Take the example of Tunisia, for example. To be very frank, and even if you have a very limited knowledge of problems in that country, can you tell what actually was the problem? Of course, the most simplistic and obvious answer is that there was a “dictator” who built a very controlling, authoritarian and corrupt government which destroyed the country’s economy due to rampant cronyism within his and wife’s extended family.
The unemployment was very high, over 18%. Government and regulatory control was so strong that you could not even sell vegetables and fruits without going through months long and very expensive period of licensing. Finally, when a vegetables and fruits seller who could not afford that process, was selling those without a license, tax payers sponsored law enforcement confiscated his life savings. He got really frustrated and committed suicide. This event caused the blasting of what was cooking for a very long time. A spiral of anti-government movements engulfed many countries, mostly in Middle East.
The most common factors in all the countries effected by Arab spring were like, they had dictatorships for long time, governments were highly controlling, corruption was rampant, economies were struggling, unemployment was very high and access to credit was very limited. So, logically speaking, what would you expect to be the solutions? Of course, you would say small government, limited authority, transparency, open markets, opportunities for everyone and easier access to credit. Ironically, as soon as these problems and their solutions become very obvious, the status quo bounced back.
You start hearing things like “free market solutions are not feasible for us”, “we do not have resources, necessary to open up our markets”, “we are not ready for free enterprise”, “government needs to do this or that”, etc. Billion dollars questions here are, if you wanted to go back to same old crepe which originally caused all this mess, at the first place than what was the point? If the problems were caused by highly corrupt, authoritarian and controlling governments than why would you seek solutions in another similar government? If the problems was over-extended government and nationalized economies than why would you keep those in the same way?
All that corruption and economy stifling regulations did not come from nowhere. They were the fruits of rotening political and economic systems. Obviously, governments, dictators, their families and other crooks were able to do that because they had too much authority and control over people’s lives and economy. Why would you want to give it back to them? All these examples must be lesson for everyone to understand that it is the time to have countries and their economies run by “We the people”, not by authoritarian and dictatorial governments? Economies must be run by private enterprise operating in free markets, not under heavy and unbearable government controls and regulations. If you believe that you do not have resources to open up markets, where would you get the money for financing all those government ventures? Of course, governments will have to tax already struggling people, even more. In turn, that will become another nightmare. It will directly hurt the standards of living, even more, by draining all those resources out of economy into the taxation. It will also affect the private investment and job creation, as even less resources will be available for market expansion and business activity.
What is required, now, is the enlightenment of people, worldwide, to start believing in themselves instead of looking at the repeatedly failed governments to solve their problems. It was the people’s struggle and sacrifices which got those parasites out, and it will be the people who can bring that economic, free market revolutions. After all, the three biggest flag bearers of centrally planned economies, China, Russia and India are, now, reaping the fruits of free markets. It is high time for Middle Eastern and Muslim countries to get out of the delusional thinking of government based solutions of their problems, and adopt free market strategies.