High prices affect the common man [Archives:2007/1022/Opinion]

February 5 2007

Mohammed Al-Ariqi
High prices can quietly sneak into some markets without attention and the consumer then adapts to the consequences without fuss or objection. Sometimes the consumer understands and comprehends the reasons of price increases and the government may give justifications. In all events the ordinary citizen, with limited income, is the only one to be harmed and the victim of all those justifications. The rise in prices confuses his budget with all his household needs, requirements and demands of the family as well as the children in schools and universities. Those children at school also need transport expenses and money for books, notebooks and pencils and school fees all of which the father has to pay for. Some of the family members need clothes while other some need medical treatment from time to time. Added to that are the expenses of telephones, water and electricity bills, especially the mobile phones, a convenience that cannot be done without, especially among the young members of the family.

All those demands and requirements in addition to other needs represent heavy and exhausting burdens for the monthly daily incomes of any employee or citizen working for non-government businesses. What is more worrying is the renewing of these demands and different forms and names these changes take.

Goods that were accessories in the 1970s have now become essential. Such goods are washing machines, refrigerators, gas cookers and television sets.

Would it be believable that a housewife will accept to enter the kitchen where there is no refrigerator or gas cooker? Or is it possible that children and youth can live without television? Now there must also be a receiver and a dish.

This life has already had so many demands and requirements and nevertheless the citizen has accepted to coexist with it and he works hard for his conveniences. We are not going to tackle the negative ways that led the formation of a spacious network of corruption and corrupting. That is another topic. What concerns us most is the decent human who is part of the big majority of society where we are suffering daily from psychological pressures causing him not to succeed and also unable to establish a reasonable balance between increasing financial demands and his fixed income.

These are the people for whom we appeal to our government and merchants when they create reforms or price changes or laws and legislations, whether regarding taxes or other than taxes.

In this very particular circumstance it is not believable that the merchant should dream for quick and big profits at the expense of citizens because their situation is not similar to that of the citizens of the Scandinavian countries. In consequence the criterion of existing commercial ambition based on temptations and playing with tastes of consumers cannot be applied to Yemen.

We, in Yemen, are still at a stage of building and preparation for a better future where goals and hopes of citizens and merchants are achieved at the same time. Preparation for this end requires many concessions and serious work with a collective spirit including all sectors of the society and the government as well as the civil society organizations and individuals in order to make successful steps leading us to the targeted progress.

Source: Al-Thawra Newspaper