Poor government and wealthy people

تم نشره في Thu 5 November / Nov 2015. 08:39 AM

By Fahed Khitan

Poor government and wealthy people. That is the strange conclusion that one reaches when reading the first page of alGhad yesterday. Two reports carried that; the government borrow half a billion dollars, and the Jordanians are buying properties worth half a billion dollars in Dubai.

The Minister of Finance of the poor government was conducting a marketing -euphemism- tour a few days ago to borrow $500 million to cover the debt (bonds) dates back to the reign of a previous government. After emphasizing that what has been achieved is a "success reflects investors' confidence in the national economy", the Ministry of Finance bulletin reminds us that the public debt of the Kingdom rose at the end of June 2015 from the overall level of 2014 by 831 million dinars, bringing the net public debt to nearly 22 billion dinars.

In contrast, in just nine months, 747 Jordanian investors pumped $544 million to buy land and real estate in Dubai, the leading the list of non-Gulf Arab investors in this sector in Dubai.

Jordanian presence in this sector in Dubai does not stop; hundreds have recently turned to buy real estate in many foreign countries, especially Cyprus and Greece, and other Western countries. The phenomenon has been growing in the past few years, driven by the situation of instability witnessed by the states surrounding Jordan, the pursuit of business, and, for some of the advanced groups of the middle class, to secure permanent residence in foreign countries.

But the fact that richer social groups are acquiring apartments and real estate in Dubai and other countries does not reflect on the economic situation of all Jordanians. While the figures seem shocking, they represent only a very limited segment of the population.

It is important in the phenomenon, and other phenomena of extraordinary richness in Jordan, that they shed light on the depth of the class widening gap, and focus on extreme wealth, however, of the limited social groups, while the vast majority are struggling to secure the most basic needs of a decent living.

The wealthy are not responsible for this imbalance, but economic policies and methods that are managed by the successive governments of the national economy are.

It is not normal in a country like Jordan that few people outweigh the wealth of the state. There is a problem, but not the kind that cannot overcome. Some months ago, we read advertisements in the newspapers presented to the Jordanian to own apartments in the housing projects in Dubai, worth almost as much as the prices of apartments in Jordan. However, with the package of a life in Dubai, it becomes logical for many to seriously think about owning a home there, especially businessmen and workers in the senior positions in the United Arab Emirates.

In countries that suffer from abnormalities in its economic model, such as Jordan, such phenomena are prominent; a significant growth in the wealth of individuals offset by indebted governments.

Are there any solutions in the economists quiver?

@fahed_khitan

 

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition

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