[Marxism] Unemployment in the post-revolutionary Arab world

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Mar 12 17:50:40 MDT 2012

Unemployment in the post-revolutionary Arab world*
Ali Kadri 1,2 [Middle East Institute. National University of Singapore]
Copyright: Ali Kadri, 2012

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For more than a decade prior to the uprisings of 2011, the official 
unemployment rate in the Arab region was among the highest globally and 
around half the Arab population subsisted on less than two dollars a 
day. When unemployment is measured by imputing a minimum 
historically-determined level of subsistence into it, the effective 
unemployment rate would rise to nearly fifty percent. Armed with 
neoliberal ideology, the Western-backed comprador class squandered 
resources either by expropriating the working population or by 
surrendering them to capital at prices that were set by a global power 
structure from which working people in the Arab world were excluded. In 
this essay, I argue that the retention of resources and their 
redeployment within the national economy are indispensable conditions 
for development and job creation. Employment policies are best set 
subject to social efficiency criteria distinct from the salient 
neoclassical productivity ones.


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