Impressions, views, and steam-blowing by a lonesome cowboy.

Friday, June 24, 2005

LEAVE THE ECONOMY ALONE (Warning: Idiot Bureaucrat Quotes)

In recent comments about the Lebanese scene, on blogs and elsewhere, many have argued for political change and reform in Lebanon. Often, near the top of the agenda is some demand for economic reform and plan.

Why would politicians and bureaucrats who have made a mess of EVERYTHING in Lebanon, and are now disappointing yet again, be trusted with the economy? Do we have to find out the hard way what many others have discovered, and are still discovering, that government intervention in the economy is a bad idea?

Today's Daily Star mentions a conference to eradicate poverty in Lebanon .
The usual suspects are there: UN and government bureaucrats, nice lunch and nice hotel to discuss POVERTY.

Niaamat Kanaan, representing Social Affairs Minister Mohammad Khalife, said the ministry had developed a project aimed at improving the living conditions of the poor. She said: "The objective of the project is to implement a targeted poverty alleviation program which entails making poverty alleviation a national priority by developing a national program for poverty reduction.

Got it? They have a plan to fight poverty that will include fighting poverty and put fighting poverty at the top of their priorities. WOW! Boy, are they against poverty.
She [Kanaan] added this project assumes a strengthening of the government's capacities to develop an integrated strategy for poverty reduction.

"Integrated" is good, it means I have an MBA, or maybe my friend has an MBA.
She [Kanaan still] also said it would help in implementing poverty reduction projects through enhancing the participation of members of civil society, and adopting monitoring tools for assessing change as well as enhancing the use of national statistics to identify who the poor are and what they most require.

Bureaucratese gibberish. Translation: we need the private sector. We have no data to know what's going on. And we don't know who the poor are or why. But we’re gonna fight poverty.

So Mrs. or Mr. Kanaan, and your most excellent Excellency her boss Social Affairs Minister Khalife, please, please, pretty please stay the hell away from the economy or anything for that matter. Just write reports and shelve them, get your pay, and go home.

I hope this little anecdote will cool the excitement for government plans for the economy. The government should just get SECURITY and the COURTS right, and stay out of the economy.


  • At 6/25/05, 9:24 AM, Blogger ThinkingMan said…

    Hey, welcome to the Lebanese Blogger's circus.
    I look forward to reading more of it.
    (pls contact me on my email on my blog, if possible- thank you)

    You're right. Everything that needs to be done in Lebanon has already been done elsewhere. The lessons are everywhere. But in Lebanon, they don't like to take lessons from anyone, and they like to repeat all mistakes because they think they are "different". In the mean time, we keep digressing.

  • At 6/26/05, 6:31 AM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Thanks for the kind words TM.

    Gotta set up new e-mail addresses, let me get back to you on that in a little while.

  • At 6/29/05, 6:48 PM, Blogger Raja said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 6/29/05, 6:49 PM, Blogger Raja said…

    allow me to extend my own welcome, josewales. You are a sharp and passionate writer. Your words will definitely add some spice to the Lebanese blogosphere and make things more interesting.

    That said, I'd like to comment on your post:

    Security and Courts are a definite must in Lebanon. Therefore, please, allow me to add my voice to your call.

    I hope you agree though, that government programs, which are properly targeted and well implimented , and a well-functioning bureaucracy, are both essential components for progress with regards to Lebanon's social & economic conditions.

  • At 7/1/05, 9:05 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Thanks for he ecouragement Raja.

    No major disagreement on what you said, though I would sill favor smaller and less government than most.

    Good blogging.


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