HASBefore Lebanon, ruler and ruled, received the label of failed state, it had already marked the ground hastening its demise. Today, when 80% of a population of almost 7 million people are falling into extreme poverty, one should not blame the gods. What’s the point of doing it otherwise?
According to the World Bank, the economic and financial crisis of the Pays du Cèdre “could be counted among the 10 or even the 3 most serious global crises since the mid-19th century.and century”.
According to the same source, the country’s real GDP fell by 20.3% in 2020 after contracting by 6.7% in 2019. Monetary and financial conditions remained — and still are – extremely volatile in the context of multiple exchange rates. The price effects led to runaway inflation of over 84% since 2020.
Anyone who says bankruptcy of the Lebanese state means insolvency, collapse of the banking, hospital and education system, dizzying devaluation of the national currency, mass impoverishment, electricity and water shortages Electricity, gas and an increase in crime.
All of this misfortune is attributed to both the incompetence of the authorities and a populace who only threw themselves into a murderous onslaught.
In Tunisia, we are not far from the Lebanese state that preceded the official announcement of national bankruptcy. Our rulers of the 2011-2021 decade have already ticked all the boxes regarding the great catastrophe: opportunism, clanism, nepotism, oversized ego, profit at all costs, binding laws, antiquated development model. And the rich, the sole survivors of a sinking boat, widen the gap.
The worst of our evils is very clear today: rulers and ruled, we were and – still are – unwilling to understand the world around us. It is sufficient to open the textbooks of economics or surf the net to decode the keys to success of other more or less similar countries or nations.
If the rapid rise of countries like South Korea or even China, Now recognized and celebrated by the world’s most distinguished economists and geostrategists, they owe their escape to strategic states that have managed to juggle free trade and protectionism. They recognized early on that protectionism is not self-sufficiency (self-sufficient and closed economy). They understood before it’s too late that protectionism must be applied selectively and temporarily and that it must be accompanied by accompanying economic policies.
These countries, which have brilliantly managed to position themselves in the concert of nations, have also understood that “too much government kills growth and this low level of openness slows it down and encourages parasitic rentier behavior, even clientelism and corruption”.
Also, tell us a reason to stay home! And let us know how former US President William Clinton argued that “free and open trade will enrich us as a nation”.
Otherwise, like our Lebanese brothers, we will get into trouble.