(MENAFN- Alghad Newspaper)
Diplomats in Jordan are taken by the scale of the paradox, between Jordan's size and relative tranquillity on one hand, and the complexity of the regional situation on the other. They know the real gravity of the situation and the criticality of Jordan's role, regardless. People, however, the general public, usually tend to see the more simplified, plane side of Jordan, which is tricky, as so much complexity and contradiction hides behind it!
Make no mistake, this paradox, all over, makes analysing and understanding Jordan and its role an outstandingly difficult task.
The entire Jordanians situation is paradoxical, and the 'parody —again— lies in there being so much entanglement with almost everything that has to do with Jordan.
A report by Samah Beibars, published by Alghad, highlighted by Jumana Ghunaimat in her article yesterday, underlines a disturbing fact that 75 per cent of Jordanians spend more than they make. Meanwhile, the Syria Crisis Response Plan was met by only 20 per cent of the funding requirements for the current year, 2017, despite the scale of the refugee crisis in Jordan.
This means that Jordan, with its limited and periled economy, is stretching to cover an 80 per cent requirement deficit for the crisis, while Jordanian families have not the 'luxury of savings, on contraire!
Now isn't that a parody like no other?
In the meantime, the Minister of Labour declares that there are currently in Jordan some 800 thousand foreign workers without permits. How much is lost in revenue to this waste in budget?
These permits are supposed to bring in tens of millions for the Treasury, lost to illegal workforce, which speaks much about the structural imbalances in our labour market.
Unemployment at no less than 18 per cent, some 40 per cent among youth!
Notably, all of the above issues concerning Jordan were on the front page of AlGhad's Sunday edition! We have not yet spoken about the massive class gap or bread! There are bakeries in Ajloun still running tabs for bread, as the government considers lifting bread subsidies! Not a word is said about tax evasion, which costs the Treasury roughly around one billion dinars every year!
The point is that these imbalances and gaps only speak of the government's myopic and short-sighted approach to our problems.
Our problems go beyond the half a billion dinars the government wants to allocate for next year's budget and how to get the public to accept it!
Holistically speaking, we need fundamental solutions now more than ever, as we prepare to embark on a path of odds like no other we've ever known!
This is the crossroad, and on this historic, slippery slope, conventionality will be the end of us, obviously!
It is evident from all the failures we've seen and the free-fall of our governments' credibility and approval rates over the years that our ways are not enough!
For example, there is a difference between credibility and approval, on the one hand, and populism. The government must know that!
Among the questions we must ask are those; what is the economic identity of Jordan? What do we want in the future? How do we address the major imbalances; fundamentally, from labour to taxation?
A ground-breaking shift must take place in public policy and the official mind-set, in order to arrive at revolutionary understandings of our reality and how to address its questions.
Otherwise, the government is bankrupt of any real solutions to our issues, and the people are just fed up with the government's commitment to failure!
This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.
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