Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Middle Class in Jordan : Yeslam Raasko

The presence of a big middle class is vital. It's the class the fills the gap between the rich and the poor, and as this class increases in size, the gaps starts to narrow. In Jordan, such gaps between the very poor and the very rich have existed, but never as bad as they are now.

In old days, it wasn't easy to distinguish a rich family from a less fortunate one. Both lived in the same area, both put on the same clothes and even both had the same kind of car. Despite the variable income from one to another, the rich maintained living a simple life and used the extra money they had mostly on education. This kind of simplicity was unifying.

What we're seeing now is an unbelievable gap between the 2 classes that exist in Jordan, and the middle class consists only of those who are not very rich in Jordanian standards or very poor, and most of this class are people who strive daily to avoid falling into poverty.

The essentials are getting more expensive. It's heart-breaking to see very smart students who cannot make it to a public university because they cannot afford 400 JDs for registration and tuition fees. A lot of people limit their transportation because they can't afford going on a bus more than 2-3 times a day, while expensive cars are driven by 18 yr-old men who believe they are the middle class because their parents cannot afford more expensive cars that their friends have.

As the financial gap widens, the emotional gap between people widens, and they start feeling they live in 2 different countries and will hardly feel for each other. The rich will treat the poor as someone who's naive, illiterate, stupid and a potential thief. The poor will look at the rich as a corrupt bastard who didn't work hard to become rich. Based on events from our recent history, Jordanians will not take it, and I hope it won't be too late before the government recognizes that.


Khalidah said...

Fares - You could not be more on target ... you really hit the nail on the head

It is so disturbing to see that happening in Jordan; some people live in palaces and some don't have a roof over their heads

I am not arguing that the rich should not show it and the poor should not feel bad because of his poverty; but I totally agree with you that the inflation has become too much for the regular citizen, and by regular I mean that guy who works 8 hours aday 5 or 6 days a week; still paying the installments for his car because it is actually more cost effective than moving around by cabs .. he has kids in the public schools ... etc.

really, something needs to be done and very fast ... I hate to see people actually fulfilling the assumption by becoming thieves for real ... this is creating hatred between people and this can never be good and is leading towards a disaster unless a change takes place

Thank you for this post

abdelstar alslimat said...

Wa rasak al bagee,thank you .

Knight said...

el moshkeleh enoh el7komeh be tetfaraj aw betsa3ed 3ala haek

el mal bejor el mal wel gamol bejor el seban

Ziad said...

I agree that the middle class is very important, and the only way to revive it is to make sure that the economy keeps growing fast.

The government can't remove inequality by making the poor rich, but it sure can do it by making the rich poor! So I hope that that's not what you're asking for :)

Khayef ti6la3 shoyo3i zay garabtak :p

Hareega said...

Khalidah, you're welcome, there's frustration among most people and i'm afraid the way they'll let it ut wouldn't be the most healthy!

Knight, thanx for the proverb awal marra basma3o lol !!

Ziad... o god no way i'll become a communist, i don't live in the 1950s anymore (akalt hawa),. The governement can do something , i'm not an economist but i'm sure that some smart moves can make the poor "less poor" and the rich not as rich, but the rich will always be mad if you take money away from them!

Anonymous said...

You got that right. But if you study history from economical point of view you can see that this is the natural evolution for a non producing society.

As for government, they can at least leave the lower class alone by removing taxes and customs aimed only for them. For example who will benefit raising customs on cars with 2000 CC or less and lowering customs on cars with engines above 3000 CC???