Inquiring minds are looking at Speigel Online at an article explaining the issues behind the current social unrest in the Middle East. In “” the author looks at the grim future the mid-east youths are looking at and how they are venting their frustration on the streets:
‘You Cannot Eat Free Elections’
Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, a professor of economics at Virginia Tech, predicts that the young people who are currently rebelling will inevitably be disappointed. “The protesters believe that the freedom of expression they are fighting for now will improve their chances on the job market,” he says. That, he argues, is a fallacy. “I am deeply worried that young Arabs will turn away from democracy as soon as they realize that you cannot eat free elections.”
One possible consequence could be that populists and religious fanatics get an enormous boost in support. That is particularly likely when it comes to Yemen. “For Yemen, all help is coming too late. The state is on the verge of collapse,” Assaad says. This is mostly due to the country’s desperate economic situation. Yemen is faced with twin problems, the economist explains: On the one hand it has no natural resources, and hardly any water or agricultural land. On the other hand, its population is extremely poorly educated. “Pretty hopeless,” is Assaad’s bleak conclusion.
On the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI), Yemen is ranked 138 in a list of 179 states. “Yemen can hardly be saved,” says Salehi-Isfahani. “Yemen is so backward that it first needs to build roads, bridges and schools. One can only start thinking about economic reforms much later.” This backwardness makes Yemen the ideal breeding ground for extremism. “The youth there has no future anyway. They are open to nihilist ways of thinking.”
Three reasons are given for the current crisis…and once again, demographics are at the center of the storm:
While Yemen’s future is particularly bleak, the other countries in North Africa and the Middle East have at least a small chance of overcoming their crises. “The countries from Morocco to Iran have similar problems which can be tackled with similar methods,” says Assaad. There are three main reasons for the economic crisis in the region:
■ High birth rates: Since the 1990s, the number of young people under 25 has grown disproportionately. Queen Rania of Jordan warned recently that the number of unemployed young people in the Middle East will rapidly increase from the current 15 million to 100 million by 2020. She called it a “ticking time bomb,” saying it needs to be “defused” if unrest is to be prevented.
■ Education: The young people in the so-called middle-income countries are well educated, but not well enough. “Their qualifications are not good enough to compete on the international level,” Salehi-Isfahani says.
■ Over-reliance on the state: In almost all of these countries, socialist-oriented regimes have for decades employed millions of people in the public sector. Young people now emerging from schools and universities had been led to believe that — like their parents — they would be taken care of by the state. However, countries like Syria, Egypt or Iraq can no longer afford this: Their planned economies have proved not to be profitable.
So, in the end…it comes down to demographics (having too many idle yound adult males) and failed leftist/socialist/progressive policies of a command economy.
Wow, that’s a unique storyline.
But what is the Obama Administration attempting today in this country?
To create a command economy, of course!
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