Secular Right | Reality & Reason



After the revolution

Here’s an interesting point in relation to Tunisia:

…The protesters came together after circulating calls to rally over social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Many were unemployed college graduates, and they angrily demanded more jobs and denounced what they called the self-enrichment of Tunisia’s ruling family….

There will be no jobs. Many Arab countries have autarkic economics where good white collar jobs come from the government. Petro-states can fund these jobs through revenues which gush in during commodity booms. Tunisia is not a petro-state. In a modern economy only the private sector can drive real growth. Without reforms this revolution will sour.


  • kurt9 · January 16, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Many Arab countries have autarkic economics where good white collar jobs come from the government.

    Which begs the question why Arab and other middle-eastern country continue to pursue autarkic economic policies when such have been comprehensively discredited every where else in the world (including Latin America, which used to be big on this).

    Any clues or suggestions?

  • John · January 16, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Any clues or suggestions?

    I’m guessing, in part, oil. Most countries with huge oil supplies seem to be badly run (the Arab states +Venezuela + Mexico) because it’s pretty easy for a central to control it. Pretty much the only country I know of that wisely dealt with a large supply of oil is Norway.

  • Author comment by David Hume · January 16, 2011 at 6:37 am

    some of the non-oil states have large diasporas in the oil countries, so remittances can prop up the economy. and egypt famously gets LOTS of american aid.

  • Clark · January 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    It’s not just oil but natural resources in general. A lot is made of Russia’s oil and natural gas resources but you could argue it’s doing the same thing with other resources like lumber. What happens when these start running out?

  • SF · January 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I think it’s overreaching to say that only the private sector can drive growth.
    Scientific innovation often comes from the public sector. Transportation infrastructure leading to more efficient distribution of goods is a public sector activity. Electric power generation and distribution is often a public sector activity. Oil production is mostly a public sector activity, worldwide, and the efficiency ranges from very bad in Venezuela to pretty good in Saudi Arabia.



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