Saturday, October 22, 2011

An economist looking on fall of Gaddafi

Libya is hardly such a poor country that is able to forment revolution. On the contrary, she is extremely rich. She has 47 billion barrels of oil reserve, the 9th largest in the world. Her oil production is 1.8 million barrels a day. And just 6 million population sits on top of these treasure trove. In comparison, China has merely 20 billion barrel of oil reserve to be shared by 1.3 billion people.

Libya's GDP per capita of US$11,000 is even higher than Malaysia. Looking at these numbers, I think Malaysia should get revolution before Libya. Gaddafi is no doubt scumbag, but there are many other tyrant who murdered as well, but are still well revered by its citizens till date. For example, Chiang Ching Kuo of Taiwan killed a lot of innocent in the earlier stage, but Taiwanese still love him.

The keys to Gaddafi's disgrace are meritocracy and FT policy

Libya is as meritocracy as Singapore
Retuers reported in 2009 Libya's unemployment rate is 20.74 percent according to the government's latest census figures. One would have expect she was suffering economic crisis. Far from it, Libya was then enjoying one of the longest period of economic boom due to high oil price. There are more than enough jobs for people, in fact Libya job market is so tight that she is supposed to have much better than ZERO unemployment.

Fortunately, Gaddafi was as clever as PAP and he was also just as meritocratic. He import lots of FT. According to Al Jazeera, there are 2.5 million migrant workers before the uprising. Libya's citizen is only 4.5 million.

Keeping 20% of citizen jobless and import lots of slave workers, the rich cheers. The country is ultra competitive. Meanwhile, the FT came and laughed at those daft, lazy and stupid citizens. Even if the citizen wanted to accept same wages as FT, the discriminatory employment practices would have prevented it.

If Libya has had 100% employment, the revolution will not happen, even if Gaddafi occasionally murdered one or two people a year.

Social control tools
Unemployment and poverty are used as a tool for social control. I think both Gaddafi and PAP feel that it is bad when citizens are living too comfortably. In Singapore, the government tries very hard to give citizen poverty even for the employed and at the same time maintain an illusion of paper wealth, by means of property. For any increase in salary, property will hike much more, vacuuming whatever the citizen have.

Revolution incubates slowly without any outward sign. When it blows up, the leaders will be caught off guard
Libya is a backwater of Arabic affairs. Everything was peaceful until around February 2011, situation quickly degenerated. And by the time Gaddafi tried preempting it by promises of economic development, it was already too late.

Causes of revolution
The whore western press present a bias report that Gaddafi's downfall is due to tyranny. Chiang Ching Kuo of Taiwan may be a mass murderer initially, but citizens quickly forget all his sins after he has taken care of them. The truth must be kept secret. The elites getting richer through exploitation of labor and impoverish of citizens are main causes. In short, a revolution can still take place due to inequality, never mind how rich the country is.

PAP you be careful 

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