Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

Your A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy By Sarjo Bayang Part 17: Balance Sheet of The Nation

May 13, 2018

SARJO BAYANG-A SOCIAL THINKER

For individuals, organisations and nations, borrowing is one of sources that fuels the economic engine. Government borrowing usually gets done behind closed doors where the deal is sealed without some of us being consulted or simply informed.

What we may not also know is that any person, organisation, institution or nation that has assets at hand also keeps a load on the head. Just like lending institutions including banks, a Balance Sheet reveals net worth in clear picture.

When you see a person, institution or government with possessions, they may also be owing others. Direct borrowing is when money or material is received and to be paid for at agreed terms. Until the final payment is made, the borrower has a bundle of liability to carry.

Governments, individuals and organisations assume liability for unpaid wages, goods, or services rendered to them. Examples include staggering high cost utilities bills that some government institutions owe to suppliers for very long periods. Some of it gets written off over time while household customers are being chased for lower bills.

A Situation of Cannot but Borrow

Elementary Arithmetic teaches how big numbers get subtracted from small ones. The method is by having to borrow ten (10). Adding 10 increases the small number large enough to permit deduction of the single digit figure ranging from 1 to 9. Children being introduced to this number interplay may find it interesting.

As you and your problems grow, it comes clear that real life imposes situations that compel borrowing by individuals, organisations, institutions, and even states.

Until we hear news about banks being bankrupt, some of us assume that financial institutions serving as lenders hold unlimited stock of raw cash. Nations also borrow when circumstances arise. That borrowing affects everyone in society.
When personal problem size gets to be larger than content of your pocket, many will apply the simple arithmetic method; “cannot but borrow”. Just like that child faced with needing to take away big number from smaller, real life imposes similar challenges faced by many.

Economic power expressed in figures, count in money and material numbers. Due to the reality of uneven distribution some people have more while lot of us having less. Does it mean that the few rich enjoy better friendship with money and material than rest of us?

National Balance Sheet

Logic and accounting concept of Balance Sheet is simply to establish from what is owned how much is owed. In practice, when you take away what is owed from that owed, any difference becomes the balance.

If what is owed turns out to be more than owned, that situation reveals bottom level or net worth in the negative. To own more than what is owed means high level value status also seen as positive balance in net worth.

This accounting method of establishing Net Worth is applicable to businesses, organisations, individuals, and government all around the world. There is always a situation claiming ownership of money or other resources. By what the naked eyes can see, it is not possible to know if high volume possession of money and material also means high level Net Worth in the Balance Sheet.
Why it is called Balance Sheet may relate to history of accounting where the Net Worth is presented on sheets of paper showing positive or negative status. You can draw your own Balance Sheet to determine personal net worth.

Like organisations, businesses, and individuals, government as an established entity also owns and owes. To some of us, government is so rich that over long period many hands are kept on payroll including least productive. Public sector employment has biggest volume of liability in idle unproductive hands that hardly comes up on the National Balance Sheet.

Government offices also keep their lights, computers, refrigerators and other appliances on as though there is no bill to pay. We also see how government buys and maintains fleet of cars. A car for the boss on home to office commuting. Another car for taking children to and from school. Perhaps a third car for lifting the Mrs and other family members on private errands. Running cost plus other payments when added brings up real high figures for keeping a government in operation.

Producing a Balance Sheet is not for mere accounting decoration with neatly presented figures. In best use the Balance is meant to serve as instrument of reference. The Balance Sheet on one accounting period serves as point of reference for adjustments required in coming times.

One good use of Balance Sheet is to help cut down cost and raise the Net Worth profile to better position. Critical to making that informed decision is the occasion of identifying assets and liabilities. Key task of improvement is by cutting down cost while making gains through increasing net worth.

Providing clear public information on Balance Sheet of the nation will contribute to shared responsibility for everyone making informed decision about government Assets and Liabilities.

Net Worth of the Nation

Identifying Assets and Liabilities is key line of enquiry when plotting a Balance Sheet. It is not clear to many of us what counts as assets or liabilities of our government and whole nation. Many of us have never seen a government Balance Sheet.

We take for granted that all will be working. It is normally once a year when Minister of Finance talks about the financial situation by occasion of Annual Budget Session. Government comes up with forecasts of the economy and financial weather. When it rains though, not everyone has their fields wet enough to expect good harvest.

The nation’s Balance Sheet is not often interpreted in a language those of us understand good enough. It is loaded with technical jargon beyond simple understanding.

Next time our capable Finance Minister talks about state of the economy, we all want to hear it loud and clear. We want it translated in economic value terms. Economic growth of 2.5% does not convey any clear meaning or vital message for those of us not knowing the standard measurement. Tell us in simple language how that translates into amount of food basins per population over period in question. We also want to know how healthy the cash flow situation improves from previous hard years. Tell us the national debt in proportion to assets we see in the open.

Social Assets and Economic Liabilities

Not everyone in society contribute to the national wealth by equal value adding proportion. Some people are more resourceful and work harder than others.

The population put trust in one basket of values handed to selected few for safe and proper custody. When resources are prudently allocated; properly managed, we expect an increase in assets and reduction of liabilities.

Those who contribute to creating more wealth and bring about the good life we all dream about are bankable resourceful assets to everyone. Others who feed on resources without compensating the cost of their upkeep, we count them as liabilities to society.
At some extremes, less resourceful persons in society create situations of counterproductivity. They fail to deliver and cover their lack of productivity by creating unhealthy atmosphere especially at work. In the process, some productive persons with value adding potential get demotivated.

Your Personal Debt of State Borrowing

We may not be told that money borrowed by government is putting everyone in debt including the unborn. After the National Balance Sheet is plotted, money borrowed by government is accounted as liability to everyone.

On other hand, when government manages to increase the asset position from what is borrowed, everyone has some value added in turn. Though that is expected to bring about an increase in total good life effect, it does not always come by most readily.
To know your personal status in national debt position, first find out how much the government is owing. That amount when divided in proportion to the population reveals how much debt you and everyone is owing.

Knowing that everyone bears the burden of national debt makes public consultation crucial to decision making about what the nation owns and owes.

State resources are not always properly accounted for. That makes it difficult to produce a clean Balance Sheet established on realistic inflow and outflow of state possessions. Getting the population informed will contribute to ensuring transparency that many governments lack.

By producing relevant facts and figures interpreted for everyone’s best understanding the National Balance becomes effective government accountability measure. It is also reliable source of public information that good governance is meant to be.
Human Capital Value Accounting in National Balance Sheet

Accounting profession utilises suitable instruments and concepts to place value on assets. We hear about depreciation and scrap value; meaning a state of diminished useful condition.

Human capital is considered as valuable input of combined resources that keep an establishment in functional outfit. It makes sense to include this vital asset when drawing Balance Sheet; especially for the nation.

Taking stock of resourceful human capital will reveal the extent to which a nation relies on productive labour required for national development.

Politics is about numbers in vote count. The economy requires those numbers in resourceful human capital value contribution. Enhancing human capital resourcefulness optimises value adding contribution to the economy. That by itself renders a healthy National Balance Sheet required for everyone’s good life.

UDP AND THE POLITICAL REALISM OF NEW GAMBIA

May 13, 2018

Sulayman Jeng

The proverbial dictum “numbers don’t lie” has stamped its truthfulness in the just concluded local government election results in new Gambia. What many ran away into solace with is the notion that social media is the sculptor of our Gambian election outcome. As such, we caressingly deduct social media activism particularly Facebook lives actualise votes on pooling day. This inconclusive notion lends support to the assumption that the numbers that go to support candidates on nomination day and to some campaign venues comfortably signals victory. Tested experience has proven that most of such numbers on the ground and support by diaspora activists on social media never translated into actual votes. Unlike Dr Ceesay’s failed prediction of the Banjul mayoral results, my assertion is amply demonstrated in results. For instance, if my claim is as shallow as his Lizzie Euston and Bakary Badjie would have been victorious and GDC would not have registered a laudable results.

It is also legit to assert albeit all parties have certain localised support in the constituencies: UDP in Jarra, APRC in Foni and PDOIS in Wuli etc for any party and/or politician to win election must stay relevant. Relevance in terms of resonating with the grassroots: needs, fears and aspirations. The campaign and results have manifested that Gambian politics has moved significantly from tribal and elitism politics to relevance, competence and inclusion. Perhaps, many who voted Rohey Lowe would not have if it were not for Lamin Jaiteh’s despicable video packaging her in a caste box.

UDP, despite being constantly crafted by its sceptics as a tribal and violent party continues to win overwhelmingly in all the election cycles. Others preposterously ascribed its victory to incumbency. Last time I checked UDP isn’t the party in government but part of a coalition in government. It wins because it remains relevant. Most of its partisan activities are executed by members and local social media team on the ground with constantly connect with the grassroots. The diaspora social media team compliments the efforts of their colleagues on the ground. Come 2021, UDP will comfortably win the presidency and secure majority in the National Assembly. UDP isn’t just a campaign period party, it works 24/7 not only to expand its membership but make Gambia a better place to live.

GAMBIAN ECONOMY WILL NOT GROW WITHOUT ENHANCING PRIVATE SECTOR ENTERPRISES

May 8, 2018

SARJO BAYANG-A SOCIAL THINKER

Overall orientation and focus of Gambia’s Trade Policy is more external driven; far from home. Going by World Trade Organisation WTO 2018 Review Report, everything about Gambia tilts towards window dressing of the economy to suit agenda of external development partners. The World Trade Organisation WTO terms must be met before they accept Gambia as Trading Partner in the global arena.

Private sector engagement is not given serious commitment except for what external development partners prefer to accept. There is no mention of any suitable economic model that suits development requirements for Gambia.

Failure to formulate the right policy and most readily applicable economic model is critical imbalance when seeking to redress harshly imposed challenges like what Gambia faces. In the review report there is no mention of suitable economic development model for Gambia.

Concluding remarks by Chair of WTO Trade Policy Review states;

“Members also welcomed that The Gambia had modernized its food safety, TBT, industrial property and government procurement regimes. Reference was also made to the opportunities arising from tourism and logistics. The Gambia was invited to consider acceding to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement and several WIPO treaties, and was encouraged to deposit its instrument of acceptance of the Protocol amending the TRIPS Agreement. In response, the Gambian delegation informed Members that The Gambia had started consultations with WIPO on the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.”

Please refer to sourced document below:

https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tpr_e/tp465_crc_e.htm

To begin with, Gambia does not have the economic environment for industrial development. Any talks about “industrial property” is unfitting the occasion.

Conforming with protocol, Gambia like other nations in same disadvantaged position wishing to be accepted must agree with terms and conditions of external development partners. The Gambian economic reality is not tuned up for type of trade suggested in WTO Review Report 2018.

Gambian economy runs on distribution business with least industrial elements. Lot of work is required in advancing from this petty trader economic operation before moving goal posts towards industrial trade agreements with external development partners.

Not to deal with the immediate economic reality and seeking to take up challenges beyond prevailing economic circumstances will be a real high jump of the goal posts with least prospects of scoring.

Economic reality of Gambia is not Wealth Creating

Key character of Gambian economic arena is identified by low or medium volume distribution business. From independence, the economic infrastructure has not been enhanced to facilitate industrial trading activities.

There are commercial banks that lend out to selected low risk merchants mainly engaged in distributive trade. Cash flow is not healthy enough and in very limited circulation.

Producers of primary commodities have no bargaining power. Prices are determined by profiteering merchants. Producers barely retain just what keeps them going.

Families rely on limited income from those in gainful employment at home and abroad. Primary producers sell at marginally low market values. Gambian economy is not properly tuned up as wealth creating, especially for the majority.

Local producers have no bargaining power

The fact that farmers and other local producers have no bargaining power imposes serious economic constraints on the population particularly for those relying on seasonal crops.

Largest volume of goods sold in Gambia are imported and government derives tax revenue from these imports in addition to local sources.

Local producers operate as small and medium scale income generating ventures. Without bargaining power, local producers find it hard to realise break-even revenue from slow and limited sales.

One reason why local producers have no bargaining power is because they lack the capacity to make calculated business decision. Tailored training in entrepreneurship would have helped.

Another reason why local producers easily settle for the lowest price is because some of their produce are perishable. Only few have access to reliable storage facility. They end up having to sell very quickly.

For peanut farmers, they simply wait to hear what the market offers. They are not consulted when and where prices are decided.

Happiest moment for farmers and other small-scale producers in agriculture is when they stand to admire the greenery before harvest. After harvest, they are left at mercy of profiteering dealers.

Artisans and crafts producers who sell in tourist markets are no better fortunate. They don’t have guided pricing framework. Cash count in daily sales is what matters to some of them.

Worried about going home without next day fish money compels many of those small crafts sellers to accept last ready buyer at least profit or sometimes loss.

Central to issue of Gambian producers selling without bargaining power is the fact that they equally lack power and influence as key stakeholders.

In further reference to the remarks by Chair of WTO Review Report, Gambia is given no bargaining power while being encouraged to measure up in meeting WTO requirements.

Similarly, low scale Gambian producers have no bargaining power and lack the technical capacity to influence crucial decisions.

Where the state submits to dictates of world bodies as the situation at hand, local producers have no option but remain docile in conformity. A paradigm shift in the stakeholder matrix is much needed if the economy is ready to propel with right gears operating.

Reliance on Tourism and Peanuts is not Sustainable

Lack of bargaining power on the part of low and seasonal income bracket that rely on peanut as cash crop or tourism vendors imposes overall challenging constraints.

Government has every duty of responsibility in creating the enabling environment not just for gainful trade. Building the required capacity for low income small and medium scale entrepreneurs to undertake viable business with calculated achievement motivation continues a felt-need. Whether such desired situation is expressed or muted about does not deny it exists.

Crucial to the situation of so much reliance on tourism and peanut economy is a case where key stakeholders lack the capacity to influence decision critical to their overall success as individuals or in their collective. Absence of collective bargaining strength bears significant impact on individuals.

Development and Promotion of Enterprise Culture

High achievement motivated entrepreneurs have desire to grow their business and create wealth. To be enterprising, a desire for income is not enough. That is what makes enterprise culture different from simple social values where day to day survival remains prime concern.

In Gambian society, dependence on lead bread winners is prevalent. Large families depend on those among them with source of revenue from business or employment. People simply settle on basic means of living.

Such dependence hinges on long established social values where what belongs to one belongs to all. The home base syndrome. It has taken generations where family members keep to home without needing to move away. This is acceptable to social norms of togetherness.

What it encourages though is stagnation over longest period. When family members decide to relocate, that is considered separation from the embodiment.

The contrast of social values and enterprise culture may seem conflicting. It takes those with courage and seeming different orientation to face challenges of crossing borders by a choice of enterprise culture over social values.

Those who cross barriers and venture in business realise what it pays. They continue rising above the line of social limitations and help others along the way.

Viable Economic Model for Gambia Informal Sector Business Growth -The IBAS Strategy

Enhancing Entrepreneurship through Small and Medium Enterprises SMEs has been proven economic model for Gambia with evidence of impact.

Study by United Nations Development Programme UNDP, International Labour Organisation ILO, and Gambia Government in late 70s emerged with a suitable economic model.

Key line of enquiry for the study focused on the need to identify viable strategy aimed at employment creation in the informal sector business as economic regeneration scheme. Poverty reduction has been key performance indicator.

It emerged that the intervention required establishing a permanent institution with mandate for development and promotion of informal sector small, medium enterprises SMEs. This resulted to creation of IBAS. Eventually, Indigenous Business Advisory Services IBAS started as joint project of UNDP/ILO and Gambia Government.

To provide a window of financial support for start-ups and growing enterprises, funding was provided by European Economic Commission EEC and United Nations Capital Development Fund UNCDF. These funds were deposited in the defunct Gambia Commercial & Development GCDB as IBAS could not undertake direct financial service operations.

Unpaid loans provided by IBAS and those of defunct Gambia Commercial Bank brought about the establishment of Assets Management and Recovery Corporation AMRC. Whatever is recovered and managed by AMRC is not reflected in the Balance Sheet of IBAS up to this day.

Overall thinking behind the establishment of an institution like IBAS was so that technical assistance with financial support is provided for informal sector small and medium enterprises SMEs as noted earlier.

How it happened that after 30 years IBAS could not fulfil the dream of enhancing entrepreneurship to boost informal sector SMEs, many factors contributed.

Disappointingly, it is the parent government Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Employment that “killed” IBAS by tactical delays in the implementation process.

From being a joint project of UNDP /ILO and Gambia Government (GG), the plan was that once local staff get proper training, IBAS would be given autonomous status to serve as permanent institution. Some people at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Employment put heavy foot on the ground, by ensuring the goal of that autonomous status never score. They have succeeded in their scheme of tactical interference, by which process they failed entire Gambian nation.

By twist of irony, SME stakeholders had no idea what was happening behind closed doors. All they saw was that IBAs could no longer meet their demands. There are many untold stories and those who contributed to failing the informal sector SME growth dream at government Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Employment, lot of them are still alive with that guilt. The scope of this article is not meant to cover full scale sabotage by government own staffers in failing the informal sector SME growth as strategy for boosting employment and economic regeneration through Indigenous Business Advisory Services IBAS.

When the deposed junta regime decided to abolish IBAS, none of the government economists and development advisers raised even a finger.

Although IBAS collapsed through tactical sabotage by hands of people at Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment, what they cannot claim with tangible evidence is the fact that Gambia does not a permanent institution for growth of informal sector SMEs as strategy for economic regeneration.

Not to do something about this gap created by past generation of government saboteurs will turn the current regime equally guilty and culpable for further economic failures.

National Enterprise Policy.

From what readily obtains, Gambia does not have required elements or the enabling economic environment for industrialisation.

There is potential for growth through informal sector Small and Medium Enterprises SMEs. Findings indicated that SMEs are the most viable route to economic regeneration and growth required by Gambia.

Unless by strike of chance oil starts flowing to attract industrial investors, Gambia remains a commercial economy relying on imported goods.

While at the negotiating table with development partners, Gambia Government will do greater economic justice by identifying viable road to growth in the informal sector Small Medium Enterprises. That sector is the engine of economic growth not just for poor nations like Gambia but even developed economies the world over.

It is a situation of futile attempts for Gambia to divert attention from development of the informal sector Small Medium Enterprises SMEs while engaging external development partners on industrial trade relations.

One suggestion in contribution to formulation of National Enterprise Policy is by supporting the revival of regional Business Advisory and Entrepreneurship capacity building operations as the IBAS model operated over the years.

Not everything is lost for good. The corporate memory required for rekindling SME informal sector business is within reach. Past managers, staff, and international experts that served to keep IBAS going despite all hurdles may be reached for their valuable input should the occasion arise to put Gambia on right track towards viable growth.

Gambia is not ripe for industrialisation. However, boosting employment in the informal sector small and medium enterprises is readily feasible and most viable. It takes right policy to keep a nation on right track to sustainable growth.

VICTIMS OF YAHYA ARE VICTIMS OF BARROW AND VICTIMS OF THE GAMBIA

May 2, 2018

BURAMA JAMMEH

JUSTICE FIRST!
JUSTICE LAST!
JUSTICE FOR ONE!
JUSTICE FOR ALL!

One of the enduring pain of Yahya’s reign is total and inhuman disregard to LIFE and other RIGHTS of The Sovereign people of The Gambia:

THE KILLED – 10s, 100s or even 1000s of our citizens were killed. Since there are no official accounting of these people no one knows the exact number. What is known to us are famous names and/or those involved or caught up in some widely reported events such as April 10/11 Student demonstration.

THE MYSTEROUSLY DISAPPEARED – there are handful of people who are reported missing and their whereabouts are up to this day a mystery to their loves and Gambians in general. One such person is Foday Makalo, one-time popular Opposition Member of Parliament for Upper Badibou during the so-called First Republic. One would assume he would by now show up somewhere now that Yahya administration has long gone. Where is he and the other missing individuals such as Ebirma Manneh?

The DEAD DENIED HOME BURIAL – there were others who passed away in foreign lands and were denied home burial as may be their wish and/or those of their families

Died in Incarceration or immediately upon Release – There are several people who were incarcerated for dubious reasons. They died during such incarceration and/or not long upon release. We don’t know if such death were in any way related to events during their incarceration or simply natural causes.

ILLEGALLY SEIZURES/TRANSFERS OF OWNERSHIP OF REALS ESTATE PROPERTRIES – We know number of citizens and sometimes whole communities lost their real estate properties to Yahya Jammeh and/or his aid. Whether such properties were legally/legitimately acquired by the earlier owner or not the redress is not another legitimate seizure. Equally ignoring the issues as is because you are not directly affected and/or because is complex is a hallmark in-just society with incompetent leaders.

THE EXILED – 1000s or 10s of 1000s were forced into exile away from their families and sources of livelihoods

The other groups of victims are those related to the above – PARENTS, RELATONS, FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS, etc.

In essence the pains of these atrocities are felt far and wide all over our land.

Throughout our Struggle we demanded justice for these people and ourselves. We defeated Yahya December 01, 2016. On January 19, 2017 we assumed the powers of governing The Gambia. But there are NO JUSTICE AND NO JUSTICE IN THE WORKS. WHATS IN THE WORKS IS ASKING US TO FORGET THE PAST AND MOVE-ON

THEY PROMISED TRUTH AAND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION: This is the probably the 1st worst decision of this government. The concept is completely flawed and their rational was…..oh, that’s what South Africa did. Sadly, they don’t seem to know the differences between the political dynamics between APARTHEID and crimes of Dictatorship perpetrated by Yahya.

i. The apartheid was settled by a multi-national (international) political agreement
ii. The apartheid was complex racial supremacy conflicts
iii. The apartheid lasted 1947/8-1991 – statutes of limitation and recovery issues will hamper the regular legal process. More importantly trying those cases will mean using international laws because laws of South Africa at the time allowed state sanctioned atrocities. The priority of that international community at the time was to strike a compromise rather than strike application of laws.
iv. Alleged crimes during the period under review are committed by individuals supposedly under the advice of their boss(es) and/or simply to please the boss. Statutes of limitation are no issue here and for most cases there are eye witnesses and/or forensic recoverable physical evidences.
v. Even in South Africa some crimes were tried in normal courts such as Stompie’s murder case involving Late Winnie Mandela. In Gambia we have cases with physical evidence such as photographs, eye witness accounts, forensic material, etc. such as Koro Ceesay, The Student Massacre, Deyda Hydara, prisoners such as Daba Marenah. Noticed that Mr. Marenah was aiding the dictatorship yet he has right to justice – unless we can guarantee justice for all, justice for any of us are neither guaranteed.

March 2017, Minister Tambedou, told us they will put up Gambia Truth and Reconciliation Act. This will probably be the worst Act against justice – NEW LAW(S) AND/OR COURT(S) FOR OLD CRIMES. RETROACTIVATION IS INJUSTICE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION. It is fundamentally against justice disposition to retroactively dispense justice. We don’t write laws today for yesterday’s allege crime – they ought to be tried under existing laws of that time.

We were also told, Dr. Barrow appointed Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow as the secretary of The Commission. Per records he studies history. What we are talking here is law, homicides and complex investigations. Any reasonable person would think someone with legal background is suited for that task such as a retired judge. This is what is called “square pegs in round holes”. Surely this is Dr. Adam Barrow’s incompetence but Dr. Jallow should also decline the appointment on the grounds that’s not his expertise.

Simply the whole venture is RUSE and not about JUSTICE…… Dr. Barrow and his clique are more interesting in quietly hanging on to power than better Gambia.
JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS WAS ONE SPECIFIC GOAL OF OUR STRUGLLE. Thus, The New Government could simply direct the Prosecutors at the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Office to investigate each case and brought to trial. They could also easy establish some Independent Authority by an Act of National Assembly and/or under some already existing law to investigate and brought to trial each of these cases. Either approach could afford the victims/Gambia the long-awaited justice.

They choose not to for whatever reason. Instead they have and/or are cooking up some approach that is not to bring justice but STATE DETERMINED IMPOSITION TO BE ACCEPTED BY THE PARTIES.

POLITICAL/GOVERNANCE PROBLEMS OF THE GAMBIA – BEYOND JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS: Gambia’s political and socio-economics are multi-faceted. A lasting fix will require holistic re-engineering of the whole state apparatus. Tinkering around the edges and/or moving/shifting personnel as done by Dr. Barrow is no solution. Ironically, Dr. Barrow has started calling up some Yahya AJJ Jammeh amazing. Amazing!

THE SOLUTIONS ARE AS FOLLOWING

a. Rewrite The Constitution: This is absolutely necessary because we have to Separate Governing Powers, we have to Limit Executive Powers, We need Term Limits, we need Decentralization of Governing, we need our Rights Redefined/Degrees of Absoluteness Established, Clean up Noises – remove bunch of laws of The Gambia/Acts of The national Assembly from the Constitution, knock out Military Decrees, Remove/Replace Military Election Administration Decree, etc.

b. Restructure, Reorganize and Right-Size Governments: A New Constitution shall lay out the parameters of each government. Each government will be by, for and of the people. This will cut costs and open up space for our civil liberties/freedoms. It will also serve as gateway to the beginning of prosperity in The Gambia.

c. Decentralize Governance: Establish a democratic government at each Region, District and Villages/Towns/Cities. Each has defined functional structure, roles/responsibilities, resource allocation and jurisdiction. Equally the overseeing responsibilities are apportioned both upside down and vice visa. Public Agents of these governments are directly elected by the people they serve (and not appointed by Banjul). They will serve within a Term Limit as maybe be prescribed in the New constitution. This is what is TRULY A LOCAL GOVERNMENT. What obtains today (and since independence) are simply a political apparatus for Banjul hegemony (Jawara, Yahya & now Barrow).

d. Decentralize Election Administration: Each Region should have their Own Independent Electoral commission. The Regional, District Election Commissioners and their Deputies should be directly elected by people they serve and not appointed by Regional Governor (or whatever name we may prefer) and will not serve under his/her direct dictate but according to the law(s). This Election Administration reform will start with regularizing National Citizen Register broken down into Regions, Districts, Villages, etc. This will afford us establish citizenship and eligibility not only for purposes of elections but many other decision-making purposes. Each Region will then register her citizens coded per Region, District and village/city/town. Such codification could be as simple but good enough as how your phone number is codified. Obviously, those wishing to transfer their votes can do so by turning in the present registration for a new one at the new location’s service centers and through a Central Coordinating Body the old registration will be automatically purged. This will operate like a Central Bank Coordinate or served as a Clearing center for commercial banks. The registers will be accessible to the public so that interested citizens, civil society organizations, political interest groups and verify the voter register for accuracies. Again, Elected Election Commissioners will have a Term Limit.

e. Other Vital Roles of Governing such as Community Policing/Law & Order, Courts, Taxation, Provision of Certain Social Services etc.: These are all areas that need both restructuring and reorganization. Reorganization of these roles will certainly reduce the size of Banjul Government to exactly what ought to be her rightful role/size while local governments may differ on roles based on need. Each government will derive authority from the people they represent/serve. They will also be trained and equip adequately enough to dispense their duties correctly while preserve our rights/civil liberties/freedoms and letting an enabling environment for prosperity.

f. Justice for Victims of Human Right Abuses and by extension National Security Preparedness: This is a very personal matter for some people. I personally know people who lose their love ones’. They can only tell the rest of us how it feels. Our hearts goes out to them.

Justice for one is justice for all! Defending justice of one is defending justice of all. Why’re you not upholding this basic principle whether you support/like the new government or not?

The abuses of citizens’ rights, civil liberties and freedoms guaranteed under our constitution was meted out by Security Agents presumably under the orders of their superiors. While over the last 2 decades Gambia reported to spent over 25% of her National Revenue on National Security and Community Policing. One can only wonder why so much spent and these atrocities weren’t prevented nor a single alleged political related homicide and/or mysterious disappearance case solved.

The best approach for The New Government to resolve these cases would have been to establish ‘A Investigative Body with Prosecutorial Powers’ to investigate each case and use the existing courts to a legal conclusion. This body could either be establish on some existing law and/or by an act of the National Assembly; however, they will look at these cases bases on existing laws. This could prevent undue political political/social interference and allow the new government focus of mainstream reform and other governing matters.

Instead The New Government fixated on some Truth and Reconciliation on justifications (South Africa did it) that has no similarity with Gambia’s.

Justice maybe delayed but not denied. And in a functioning institutional democratic Gambia those who betrayed the trust of public office should also face justice for doing so. TELL Dr. Barrow THE KILLED & DISAPPEARED (ALL VICTIMS) ARE CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED EQUAL JUSTICE AND NOT SELECTIVE RECONCILIATION. That would simply mean they don’t deserve EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW.

g. Etc.

These reforms are not just some fanciful importation of some western ways. Democracy simply happened to be the best form of governing so far devised by mankind. It allows all of us to have equal say in our common affairs, it amplified systems that allowed fair and just dispensation of our common affairs and it enables environment where each can freely labor to maximize the outputs of their talents. These were why our forbearers choose an Independent Democratic republic over other forms of government.

Instead of democratization and justice for victims of our struggle, Dr. Barrow is singing an empty slogan of ‘One Gambia one People One Nation’ and A Delusional Fantasy Economic Agenda. There is no issue of over our territorial integrity or unity as people of The Gambia unless a government or political interest make it a problem. The slogan is pointless! There is no money for whatever Dr. Barrow claimed. Sadly, Dr. Barrow doesn’t know that fact. If he Knows and doing what he’s doing – then he’s no better than Yahya. Over 15% of our National revenue is spent of Dr. Barrow and his livelihood (State House). More troubling is that Dr. Barrow’s government costs poor Gambian tax payers 190% of National Revenue. This means our tax revenue is 90% less the costs of our government. Thus, we have to fetch that from elsewhere – the answers are BEGGING (GRANTS) AND DEBT (LOANS). This is impoverishing the nation. Just like his predecessors (in fact worst by comparing the numbers), Dr. Barrow Administration seize money from the poor from karting to Koina in the name of taxation only to pay for their lifestyle. SAD BUT TRUE!

GRANTS AND DEBT WILL NEITHER UPHOLD OUR PRIDE AS AN INDEPENDENT NATION NOR WILL THEY LEAD US TO PROSPERITY.

My hope is majority compatriots think, research for themselves rather than being told and/or simply following the noisy crowd.

God Bless Gambia

To the Gambia Ever True

Your A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economic Part 16: Wealth Creation and Poverty

April 24, 2018

SARJO BAYANG-A SOCIAL THINKER

Having to share the national wealth into equal portion for each member of society when everyone is not contributing to creation of that wealth by equal commitment will not be fairest deal. 

Rich and poor have their different challenges. Those with larger share of the collective wealth strive to keep the balance for longest time. The poor on their part have no fear of fall. They need daily meals and simple smile on the face some of us may take for granted.

Cashflow moving one direction ends up in the hands of those running fast enough to catch pace with speed beyond flying objects.

Minting more coins and printing additional bank notes is no quick solution to free the rest of us from the cash trap battering saints and sinners in a society of diverse interests.

Money may not be growing on roof top of tallest buildings. Yet we see men and women operating on big wings chasing the cashflow only few of them control. 

How few people control more wealth in society

Given the choice, everyone prefers having abundant cash reserve to pay for whatever brings good life. The logic of keeping cashflow in limited supply is to create a situation of unequal possession. That situation invites the occasion where many continue to chase the cash supply in circulation but only few catch enough or more.

Communist principle of income and wealth distribution states “from each according to his ability to each according to his need.” Carefully considered this communist concept of wealth creation and distribution encourages capitalist drive for exclusive possession without calling it that name.

Not everyone contributes to wealth creation by equal measure. Therefore, distribution of gains on equal share basis will impose constraints for those who contribute the most.

People differ by account of personal resourcefulness. That difference is what pays the extra dividend. Some people are optimistic and make optimal contribution with high yield resourceful productivity. Other people are pessimistic and make least contribution to wealth creation that society banks on.

Those who set higher targets are driven by achievement motivation gears in operation. They are limited in number and not afraid of risk leading to success or failure. These are our higher achievement motivated enterprising persons who do business or venture into other wealth creation engagements. They have big wings to fly high and capable of lifting others on the journey to success.

Middle ground is occupied by another sector of the social divide. That is the lot who are aware of wealth creation and prepared to commit some efforts moving goods and services from point of production to the end user compact majority waiting to be served.

Third layer of the social fabric consists of those who risk least for fear of failure. In their majority they prefer taking whatever comes their way with least inclination for making efforts. They easily settle for third place in the race.

Social fabric is peopled by most productive and least resourceful with middle class. The irony is that producers of what we all require depend on the lack of resourcefulness in others to create and build their valued stock.

In the eyes of those unable to see full picture of economic reality, the rest of us depend on few capable hands that deliver goods and services being paid for as matter of need. If you pay rent, shop around, use public transport or own means of mobility any time, your contribution to wealth creation sets the clock ticking. You simply contribute in creating wealth for others to enjoy.

Social Capital Development and Growth

Value adding contributors to the national wealth can be identified as bankable social capital resources. From household level and extending to wider population, building resourceful social capital is high priority felt-need.

Bankable social capital is no free-gift descending from thin air. Creative awareness is capable of high yield productive gains.

Parenting at the household level provides the primary raw material and first step in building social capital. Task of further advancement in social capital growth rests on the state as enabler.

Government has responsibility to create enabling economic policy instruments and robust operating environment.

Creating the operating environment for development and growth of social capital is not enough. Social thinking patterns require shifts in gear engagement.  The economy is driven by a mindset not based on crude social values. It takes enterprise culture, social responsibility, and economic development focus from personal to national driveways in building social capital.

Economic superstructure that creates the environment for businesses to flourish is sustained by clearly mapped road links where short cuts may not be readily viable.

Social capital is developed and grown for enhancing wealth creation through entrepreneurship. Enterprise culture makes that to be achieved better.

Being enterprising goes beyond ordinary conventional wisdom. Entrepreneurship is fuelled by high spirit of achievement motivation. It is a combination of goal scoring attributes where even the occasion of failed attempts becomes a motivation for greater success. Every successful person will tell you their story of failed attempts which provides motivation to beat failure for success at last.

Enhanced productivity in social capital development and growth requires good planning by government while encouraging the population to be enterprising. Further commitment on part of the government is by instrumental policy provisions and the will to achieve realistic goals.

Deprived, Hard-to-reach and Marginalised Communities

Tell those in least developed societies that poverty and deprivation inflict same deep cut wounds on the city poor. They will think you are making up to give them comfort. Even in the least developed nations, those who control resources enjoy relatively better living standards than the rest.

Governments all over the world suffer chronic guilt for not doing good enough to salvage marginalised and hard-to reach sectors of society.

Deprived, hard-to-reach, and marginalised communities in one part of the world share the same fate as those in other parts of the world. You do not need to be blessed for believing without seeing.

Governments in least developed like industrial nations have no enough storage room to hide the ugly deep cuts of hardship suffered by deprived and marginalised social divide.

What any curious observer finds an interesting contrast is that industrial nations with all resources at hand are still coping with the guilt of deprivation suffered by marginalised communities.

Although there is visible presence of poverty and deprivation even in developed nations, that does not provide the occasion for least developed nations to keep increasing their stock of resource poor persons with untapped wealth creation potential.

Poor, deprived and marginalised sectors of the social divide deserve better and to alleviate that biting situation demands responsibility from governments at their front gate. Whole communities succumb to deep biting pains of poverty and deprivation for generations. Poverty alleviation remains one unresolved economic challenge for politicians around the world.

Even when marginalised sectors of society work hard enough to raise their income levels, they still pay for living costs at prohibitive prices. Governments are good at setting up revenue generating tracks for national wealth creation although that does not translate in poverty alleviation.

Hand to mouth survival is universal identity mark for low income sectors of society around the world. The good life that excess income provides is one big dream for marginalised sectors of the social divide. Low income equates to weak purchasing power. Price levels and other costs rise to blow off rooftops.

Pro poor slogans are heard loud enough during political debates. With the poor not always present during such talks, they are being talked about and not effectively engaged.

Dependence syndrome in society is a condition that fuels poverty. Making people believe that it takes the power and resources of others to create better living for them encourages a cycle of dependence. Depending on others means a person or community waits to be provided for.

Such dependent communities and individuals deserve improved living beyond hand-to-mouth. They need the capacity to create wealth as bankable source of revenue over longest run.

Income Generation and Wealth Creation

Small and Medium Enterprises also known as SMEs have long been recognised as prime drivers of national development with prospects of income generating activities as source of wealth creation.

In addition to propelling the informal sector business, SMEs are source of taxable revenue required for economic regeneration and growth.

By development and promotion of entrepreneurship, the potential for economic growth has sustainable prospects. Spending increases with addition in disposable income. When productivity is boosted there is increased spending.

An enhanced enterprising population invariably translates into increased productive hands lifting the economy higher up.

This does not suggest that with more enterprising engagement in society, poverty melts away so easily. Business in general fuels the economy with income generation and wealth creation propelling growth.

London in United Kingdom which first settled as cluster of villages is now being talked about as commercial capital of Europe. Some of the villages that make up London into the city of commerce we hear about still maintain their identity and character.

With income generation and wealth creation set in right gears, growth potential rises higher. Taking London UK as an example, there is no doubt that income generation and wealth creation serve as key to growth.

When London settled as a village, there was no anticipation for high volume traffic, so much the reason why some roads remain narrow and one-way traffic. The London Underground emerged out of necessity thanks to increased commerce and trade. In later years, the city introduced Congestion Charges as traffic curbing mechanism.

 Poverty Alleviation through Small and Medium Enterprises SMEs

Empowering the poor goes beyond the granting of political freedom to criticise and blame government.

Economic freedom entails enhancing the capacity of people and communities to live sustainable better conditions without recourse to gifts and aids.

Promotion and development of enterprise culture is viable poverty reduction strategic intervention that worked for number of countries.

Overall orientation and strategic focus of developing Small and Medium Enterprises SMEs is for economic transformation. Individuals and communities are not only salvaged from deprivation. They are transformed to economic saviours.

In practice, when poor communities and individuals take calculated risk to invest in business, they are paving the way to wealth creation through enterprise engagement for economic regeneration.

Further gains include their contribution to national wealth creation as generators of taxable income. Poverty is not a choice and those caught up in the trap deserve an enhancing platform to alleviate their condition.

Motivated by enterprise culture, small and small enterprises have greater potential as poverty alleviation strategy on the journey towards sustainable livelihood.

Good governance also requires provision of the enabling economic environment that gives people choices as value adding contributors in national wealth creation.

Your A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy Part 15: Corruption

April 24, 2018

SARJO BAYANG-A SOCIAL THINKER

Talking about corruption, someone said it is like a chunk of honey comb. That those who have it locked in their jaws cannot pronounce the name.  

According to right thinking members of society, who may not always have any influence over matters, injustice is corruption by extension.                                                                                                 

Laws become corrupt when they prevail without proper balance of justice. Legal injustice is a matter for the courtroom. Economic injustice raises moral questions.

Naming the devil and here comes one with many identities. Corruption traps are visible to curious observers every step of the way.

Without careful attention, many people easily fall into the trap of corruption and not knowing. Corruption and injustice are twin evils bearing slightly different names.

Legal and economic injustice of corruption

Do we need dictionary meaning of corruption while our open eyes are face-to-face with unnamed elephant in the room everyone tries to ignore?

Considered from political, economic, social, and legal perspective, corruption is induced by injustice within society by diverse ways.

Legal injustice relates to judgment in the court room while depriving rightful owners their share of resources thereby giving undue gains to others is part of economic injustice. Alienation and other forms of segregation in society are attributes of corrupt social values.

Corruption is so rampant and yet, people pay blind eyes to some of its manifest. The vocabulary of statistics picks up corruption as it relates to incorrect or doubtful data. Corrupted data is considered invalid for realistic assessment.

Advocates of civil society rights flag up issues born of corruption. When people are not treated fairly, perpetrators of the unfairness are no lesser corrupt than the rest in other domains.

By design or default, whenever some people gain undue advantage at the cost of others doing without, injustice is seen to be prevailing. The occasion permitting such unjust access or denial is corruption by extension of its infinite variety.

 

Abuse of Public Position for Personal Interest is Corruption

Taking undue advantage of entrusted position to divert resources for personal interest can affect others adversely. Corruption is not only a matter of economic interest seeking. Playing bias to create undue advantage for those being favoured is corrupt practice. Choosing to give favour without observing rules of fairness also counts as corruption.

When it affects resources and economic situations become an issue, corruption can be easily recognised. That is why people in charge of public resources attract so much attention and scrutiny. They are mostly associated with corruption unless proven otherwise.

Revenue collectors in some countries operate like private banking service. Not everything they collect from people falls in the book of accounts. Public trust is at lowest in matters of revenue collection. Some of the revenue collectors are openly corrupt. Their grabbing and amassing of money or material possession indicates that they operate with more than two little hands. Corruption cannot be ruled out without pains.

Everyone talks about justice delayed as justice denied. There is so much noise about injustice. What comes close to the lip and not often said by word of mouth is the ugly face of corruption.

Whenever there is outcry for injustice, due process of law is likely corrupted. But who dares to call our competent legal body corrupt without them asking you for proof with “evidence”.

Lawyers are strong brick layers in their own capabilities. Call them another name and face the challenge if you have no proof or evidence.

Bribery, Corruption, and Embezzlement

Those who give bribe are no lesser corrupt persons than the bribe takers. Illicit exchange of money for favour is the most visible practice in corrupt dealings. High scale corruption operates at other levels where the net is not big enough to catch size of fish involved.

Greasing the palm to make it soft is common saying in corruption language. Due process is largely flawed at very high cost to justice.

Roots of corruption can be traced extensively. Those entrusted with public resources are centre of attention due to the amount of shared interest.

Corruption is social issue and spreads branches in all other areas with human trace. Biased influences with unfair sense of consideration for others propel corruption.

In some countries, traffic accidents are largely caused by corruption. You may wonder how car accidents have link to corruption. Here is how.

Traffic controller blows the whistle and car driver is asked to produce documents. Lights and breaks get checked for any faults. No faults driver carries on. Another car is checked for similar faults. Something wrong with break and lights. It is during daytime and everything seems fine. Driver hands something by the left hand. Journey continues. One hour later a fatal car crash is reported. Whose fault?

Bribery, corruption and embezzlement can affect the entire economy. Bribe takers fill their personal pocket at expense of public revenue. Over the long run, where will that place the economy?

Embezzlement of public funds is rampant financial malpractice. To keep many invisible hands in that illicit cash traffic can cause a business or whole government revenue at sinking levels. Corruption is the root to the few examples given and there are more.

Impact of corruption on the economy is beyond measure. Corruption affects business, society, legal system and the economy in vast ways.

Corruption in the legal system

By standard best practice and in principle, laws are meant to protect life and possession of everyone in society. You wonder what is there in the big book of laws for those of us without money or material possession that the law is to defend.

We have seen how money plays hands in defeating justice in matters between rich and poor. Rules are often bent down to knee level when the few in possession of money and material step on wrong side of the law. The same rules get tougher for those without means of taming the law.

If there is one word close enough to the lips, any sensible person would pronounce it as corruption. Others may still prefer calling it as eruption of justice.

The legal arena has good share of corruption and they are quick at defending it. Don’t you wonder why legal fees are lot more expensive than some other professional services cost?

To bend the rules that are made by other strong legal hands require toughness that the layman cannot stand.

Apart from challenge of interpreting the law to influence judgment, the legal tussle of bending rules in winning cases has much in it beyond eye level. We cannot all see through the thick layers that lawyers dare to erect their flag post.

Politics and Corruption

It may be wrong to say that politics is corrupt but that is what most people think. Some politicians openly play bias in favour of those they call loyal supporters. They don’t hide their bias at all.

In project work, politicians sometimes take decisions by awarding contracts to whom they prefer by no account of merit.

Projects with high capital involved often require approval by politicians. That is where state ministers and top administration get their hands greased before the ink flows. Some of these are done behind close doors and those not part of the game may not get near enough to feel what flavour by smell in the kitchen. Association between politics and corruption is close tie.

When politicians allocate resources, they are more likely to give better share to those in their good books. That has become a norm to an extent nobody questions about it.

To suggest that politics is entirely a game of corruption may seem an extreme assumption. Some politicians know the boundary and strive to main fair balance in standard best practice. Just because some politicians are corrupt will not justify a sweeping statement painting all by same brush.

Thumbs up for our very genuine politicians serving best collective interest all the time. Why politics is associated with corruption, we may not have enough answers.

 

Global Fight Against Corruption

Until formation of a global coalition in the fight against corruption began, the subject was a taboo.

Civil society is getting increasingly sensitised on corruption and the need for curbing it. Governments around the world are taking to task with rising pressure from the citizenry.

The year 1993 was when Peter Eigen a German found Transparency International, TI for short. Peter discovered corruption at various levels of government and the economy.

National Chapters of Transparency International make joint efforts to keep civil society informed. Over so many years now, the Corruption Index profiles nations around the world from least to most corrupt. There is hardly a nation on this planet without an element of corruption. The damage done by it is where big difference lies. For more about the global Corruption Index of nations and related matters, here is link to Transparency International www.transparency.org

Who is not Corrupt?

Let those who feel clean throw their towel in the ring. Anyone guilty of bias has elements of corruption. Bias judgement and unfair distribution are norms in corrupt society.

You may choose not to be corrupt while someone uses your backyard as dumping ground of corruption. Society is soaked in corruption extensively. Traces of corruption when left to go on will grow in larger proportion. Injustice is a manifest of corruption by infinite variety. Least corrupt society enjoys greatest justice in many ways.

YOUR A B C AND 1 2 3 POLITICAL ECONOMY

March 24, 2018

SARJO BAYANG-A SOCIAL THINKER

Part 12: What A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy mean

About politics in relation to economic reality of society, both prevail with numbers and letters. The count begins with period in political office according to the constitution. Numbers extend to include economic value translated in money count. Lettering spells out who the rulers are and those to be ruled on what terms. It also includes what will be provided during a term of political office. Thus, we have A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy in perspective.

Curious about why social reality linked to the economy gained the popular name political science, I decided thinking outside the box in exploration for clarity.
The more I tried to accept political science for what traditional academics seek to impress, the harder my mind outside the box defeats me. Then I thought something deserves a better look in the eyes of truth not just how everyone is told, but objective reality at best reasoning.

My years of critical reflection and observing various experts revealed to me their ability to simplify complex issues while the rest of us complicate simple issues adding to more confusion
Learning the alphabet and numbers could have been a complex encounter for the unschooled, especially children. Thanks to our elementary school teachers for sinking it in with fun and sometimes strictness.
Thinking about it critically, all that you needed in your toolbox of schooling are set of letters and numbers better called A B C and 1 2 3.

For the remaining of your educational pursuit along the schooling track, how you associate and utilise those letters and numbers at whatever frequency or scale makes any difference between you and the rest of us.

Then I concluded without hesitation that creating better political awareness is possible by loading toolbox of everyone in society the A B C and 1 2 3 of economic reality binding all of us the political arena houses.

By my account of critical exploration social reality in the context of politics and the economy belongs to another domain. That in my view is something else beyond political science as many of us are made to believe without asking pertinent questions. Those issues below provide the inroad on our journey in search of economic life line political power hinges on.

The Concept and Perspective of Your A B C and 1 2 3 Political Economy

Everywhere in society when people talk about politics, they relate everything to economic conditions. People want good roads, schools, hospitals, recreational facilities, policing for security, and plenty of food on the table. They expect politicians to do something about these and many other needs. Economic reality tells us there is not enough for getting everything everybody wants at every time. Therefore, if we are unable to get so much of what we want the rule says we go by the economic thinking of making a choice in distributing our limited resources to get optimal satisfaction. We settle for what gives us the best possible satisfaction. In that way of deciding what is best for us according our means, the rich and poor enjoy similar level of satisfaction although with vastly different possession. That is why both rich and poor rub shoulders in the market or street corners laughing about different matters. You still smile about what gives you the occasion to do so.

Individually we all make personal economic decisions based on resources at our disposal. The economic principle of scarcity and choice governs us all and that is true even for those who may not be aware of such rational allocation in principle. To an extent everyone performs the job of an economist without being called by that name. Nobody in their right frame of mind will prefer squandering limited resources at hand. Knowing it or not, we are all faced with this critical economic situation requiring rational choice over limited resources.

Collectively, the national economy is life sustaining property of everyone in society. Government is the organised establishment given permission to make the rational decision on behalf of everyone. Money is collected by a sitting government from various sources and kept for everyone to benefit from. The same government pays specialised institutions and individuals employed to facilitate distribution. Those employed as financial milking agents collect money. Others are employed as custodians of what is collected. Final decision is taken by those with political authority; people at the top. We are not sure if people given the gigantic responsibility of making crucial economic decisions by any occasion utilise high capacity and competence or simply rely on impulse. That is where everyone needs to think seriously before placing in the hands few the keys to our collective economic powerhouse as they assume the lofty political seat of authority. That includes holders of key positions at local council level. Local councils are by extension the financial milking fat cows of public revenue. Leaving them free may result to so much milk spilling at a cost.

Further exploration of politics and the economic superstructure reveals how we are all linked to the national grid of values. It is fatal error by some of us when we think of handing political power to groups and individuals who end up taking full custody of our shared resources without being competently scrutinised. The risk is too high when people are handed the exclusive power over resources affecting livelihood of everyone in society.

Key line of enquiry and overall orientation of Your A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy is in the perspective that by empowering an individual as head of government or their political party through votes, they are being handed keys to the economic powerhouse. Doing so just by sweet talks and soul soothing cool promises can be risky at very high cost to everyone.
Everyone in society has very high stakes with high interest to deserve high power and influence over collective resources. For some reasons many of us simply resign and surrender to the few that promise they will manage our economy when we hand them political power.
People deserve to make informed choices and that is better done when everyone adequately knows that political power is linked to economic livelihood of all in society. That information is hidden from the rest of us. The need to make it simple is what motivates Your A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy.

How Scientific is Political Science?

Considering how unpredictable our politicians can be, one is inclined to wonder how scientific political science becomes. Granted that science does not create and that scientific task in bulk is lot about observation then the job of political scientists becomes more challenging than ever thought about.
Whereas scientific research involving experiments relies on evidence with uniformity, then observation and behaviour patterns of politicians will break all test tubes in the lab without clean results.

Yes, the objective of drawing valid conclusion from critical assessment cannot be applied to political samples just so easily. Political behaviour in social relations is such a fat bite for easy chewing. Patterns are so diverse that laws of precision as applicable in science proves more difficult in measuring the behaviour of this complex social person taking political nose dive at everyone’s risk.

Calling politics social science is still not enough making a case for observing, analysing, and drawing valid conclusion from such variety in behaviour patterns. Similarities in political conduct does not make the job any easy for near perfection. It is baffling how a body of knowledge as political science remains scientific by word and action.
The complexity of political behaviour deepens further when you think principles apply to the letter. Given that party politics operates within the bounds of constitutions and other regulatory instruments, we still see the same party shifting gears with any change of leadership.

Experience provides ample evidence at hand indicating that no two set of political grouping perform at perfectly regulated order of dispensation. Personalities weigh in with their special likes and dislikes which changes the game as each captain prefers, without needing to obey the referee.

In all nations around the world, any new political dispensations come up with their preferred ways of dealing with the economy, regulations, and laws as they deem fit. Nothing stays the same. New ministers take up established old jobs and sail with those they feel safe along the journey.

From the critical perspective of unpredictable political behaviour and dynamics of social awareness, political science faces increasing challenges beyond existing book knowledge. So much has changed and lot more lined up for continued change due to technology and patterns in social awareness. The need for resettling the drawing board can be no better time.
Goalposts requiring shifting with rules of the game subjected to changes. Politics can no longer be the same game as usual. There is economic life line in politics where everyone is connected and deserving to be catered for.

Everyone Connected to the Economic Life Line of Politics

Elsewhere in the series on Your A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy, we explored the economic link to whole society where everyone is connected. All the time majority of us take politics for granted as though we are not counted. We surrender our rights and commit serious risks in politics thereby bearing potentially damaging economic implications.

How we all relate to the national economy is no bedtime story telling for lulling little children in sleep. The truth is that politicians by their majority deviate from discussing economic reality in total seriousness. They say one thing when seeking votes. Once seated in power, they do exact opposite and feel free to bend rules or change them to suit their momentary personal goals while in authority.

Listen to that politician telling you how they think of making changes by promise of better sanitation, healthy cashflow, booming economy and all others. If you ask how that is possible, half of the politicians don’t rely on any concrete plans with resources assured. Most likely, they know what their limitations are but will never want to scare voters by telling you real facts and figures.

If people complain about lack of money, some politicians may be thinking of printing more bank notes as possible solution to acute cash shortage in society. Without a productive economic base, will people chew bank notes for survival at all. Of course not. Unhealthy cashflow is like bad blood transfusion causes more illness. In case of the national economy, pumping more money chasing after few goods and services indicates economic sickness at all levels of society. There is no enough political muscle to keep a sick economy alive even over the shortest run. Politicians must stop tongue twisting deception and learn to speak clear economic language to those voting for them. People deserve positive change in their living conditions. The good life that motivates politicians to seek that high office is what ordinary people in society also want. Politics is national grid for total economic settlement of everyone. You are equally connected like anyone.

The political Arena is one big Social Lab not just for Experiments

Thinking of it in broad dimension, entire political dispensation places everyone in one big social lab with experiments carried on real people and real economy. Politicians test their ideas by coming up with schemes that may not be readily feasible. They decide about matters at conference rooms in the absence of key stakeholders like the tax payer public.
Should anything go wrong with ideas that politicians put to test without second thought, the damage is extended beyond them. Just because it takes public resources, individual politicians or their parties hardly take responsibility. One failure leads the way to more failures when priorities are not properly set in right order.

Dictatorship is worse with experiment on public resources due to their excessive political power. They are not alone. We see numerous cases where public resources are squandered with little or no value adding effect. Politicians are not punished for putting public resources at risk of failure. They have mandate and therefore use it to their maximum personal advantage.
Matters get more serious when politicians exercise power without recourse to policy and procedures. Some politicians feel they are above regulated conduct which misleads them to carry out resource consuming experiments at prohibitive high costs.

The point needing to take home is that politicians around the world are granted unrestricted access to public resources. If they are not sensible and considerate, that can lead to abuse of power. Some of them get punished once out of power. They would have already done extensive damages beyond repair.

Knowing that some politicians cannot resist the temptation of abusing office power through corruption it is most prudent subjecting sitting public office holders to competent scrutiny.
When citizens subject their political post holders to scrutiny in good spirit that is not offensive to the public post holder. On the other hand, advocacy and scrutiny in pursuit of good governance can be done with utmost responsibility. It will be wrong and seen offensive where citizens cross the boundary of their responsible conduct towards public office holders as seen in extreme situations where the occasion does not call for such.

The voting public has responsibility to scrutinise public office holders by refusing to remain quiet as docile spectators. Political experiments involving huge cost to public resources are open to scrutiny thereby mitigating any losses.

Politicians are meant to be competent economic drivers of society

Everyone looking for public office in political capacity will be doing more justice by demonstrating working knowledge of the national economy.
Politicians without working knowledge of how the national economy runs will put public resources at risk. Due to distorting images associated with some politicians, even the better ones face tough challenges.

It is not reasonable expecting every political office holders to shine as Class A Economist. The truth is that even those we bank on as economists guiding political officer bearers, not all of them pass the test of times.

Highly competent financial experts like their counterpart economists are seen being swallowed by debts to their throat. That is because they are unable to utilise book knowledge in real life situation. Some economist by title are also entangled by daily challenges of real life economic situations. There are economic models that have failed in some nations where bulk of our branded economists are trained.

Perhaps with working knowledge of how the economy operates through prudent allocation of resources, our politicians will keep their feet on the gas pedal and propel the nation to everyone’s desired prosperity.

Your A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy seeks to stimulate public interest by focusing attention on how everyone relates to the national economy. In that context, those who are licenced to drive the economy on the superhighway of politics genuinely require the right tools and proper driving ability for most assuring journey to prosperity we all deserve.