Two Sides of the Same Coin: Economy & Politics [Archives:1999/14/Business & Economy]

April 5 1999

In point of fact, the economy and politics are two faces of one coin. Thereupon, the meaning that any development or progress of economy reflects that there is the wise political system, and the reverse. The relationship between the economy and politics is a very strong one. 
Those who run our country don’t understand these facts. Because most of them are from a military background, they don’t want to let an economist take a large part in the economy reform program. Regardless, those are the economy reform doses which resulted in the anger of Yemeni people, and sparked the demonstrations in most of the Republic governorates. 
Due to the price hikes and occurred the violence between the demonstrators and the army in last June. 
Actually, the recent violence was not only because of the price raises but was the expression of the people’s anger at the government’s policies and the current poor conditions: 
A- Public Poverty; 
B- Widespread Corruption; 
C- Economic and Political Deterioration, etc. 
No doubt that those the events-demonstrations, price hikes and violence, etc. enlarge the gap between Government and Yemeni people. Because the Government of Yemen does deal with the economic reform program by dual programs, but controlled by one side. Only the people who do bear the results of economic improvement program receive passive results. Because it effects in the living standard to Yemeni citizen, certainly to worse. The per capita income is less than US$ one Dollar per day. The meaning simply we are among the poorest in the world. Maybe some day less than this. While the other sides of economic reform program are very limited. Such as, the program of monetary & managerial reform, etc. 
We already notice day after day that corruption does spread in the government offices by a gruesome way. Therefore, most senior state officials not interested in the welfare of country and the public. But they are busy amassing their wealth and money and transferring it abroad. Their wealth are getting either from the public money or private business during official employment. Both two conditions they are lawless. We have never look or heard that Yemeni Government bring the charge of corruption against corrupt state official. Where as a noticeable corrupt officials and this the matter of public knowledge (Government & Nation). 
In addition, there is another truth; the large difference in living standards between senior state officials and a private native. The senior state officials are living in high standards of living; they have the best homes, clothes and the latest model of automobiles annually, etc. In short, everything they have existing (necessary and not necessary). While a private native – most of Yemeni people – lives in a poverty and desperate life. Indeed the gap between senior state officials and Yemeni people is very large. 
Economy & Politics: 
The Yemeni people have deep feeling that useless economic reform program, on less for them at present. Also, the people have feeling desperately of the government promises, statement and the order of World Bank. Indeed the people of Yemen do bear false policies and experiments of the others without any mercy. 
What I want to say it, of course, it is point of view. I hope to publish on our “Yemen Times” newspaper, in order that we can voice about our point of view in a frankness. Due to the bad existing economic and political positions. And a politicians don’t appreciate the patience of people on even their responsibilities and duties into the country. All that influence direct in all aspects of our economic, social, political and health life, etc. 
Of course, to worse because the main reason for most of various problems is the result of economic and political deterioration. 
Thereupon, the meaning that any economic deterioration positively reflects that there is the political deterioration. For example, the bad return on tourism investments is a case in point. According to statistics: “Yemen tourism lost revenue over US$ 28 million for the first half of 1998”. Due to the kidnappings to tourists and security lack in Yemen, etc. 
Often the reasons are political. This is simple example about the influences of politics on the economy or the reverse. For the correlation and very strong. When are the wise politics and good regime is there also the independent and strong economy. 
In the final article summary, in my opinion, the program of economic reform requires first to the political reform. In order those are the result of fruitful reform. 
By: Adel Ahmed Al-Haddad, 
Faculty of Arts, 
Ibb University.