We Need to Grow Up

As if we were children. That's how we're being talked to. 

We're being scolded – told that what we're doing is not working, instructed on what we should be doing differently if we want to be successful.

Why is this happening? Why do we need someone else to tell us what to do? Is it because we're not doing it? Is it because we're acting like children?

The advice we're getting is coming from the International Monetary Fund.

“The region’s traditional growth model based on redistribution of oil revenues through the government budget and public sector employment is no longer sustainable and new sources of growth and fiscal revenue will need to be found,” the IMF notes in a new report entitled Learning to Live with Cheaper Oil.

The report outlines the steps we need to take to make a successful adjustment to this new reality. Though acknowledging that we've already begun to take some of these steps – such as reducing subsidies and considering the implementation of taxes – the report concludes that we're not moving fast enough and that we need to do more.

“Implementing further large fiscal adjustment is no easy task,” the IMF concedes. “It will require difficult choices and adjustments in the implicit social contract between governments and citizens….”

The report is well worth reading and the advice it offers is good. We should take it to heart. But we should also develop the habit of self-examination, frequently assessing the strengths and weaknesses of our societies and quickly making necessary corrections without prodding from others.

We should not act like children, nor should we tolerate our citizens acting like children. Yet, for years we've done just that. We've encouraged them to be dependent upon government, now they are, and now we're in trouble. We need to encourage our citizens to be independent instead, self-sufficient, productive, entrepreneurial.

If we'd cultivated those qualities all along, we would not be facing this present crisis.

Organizations in this story

International Monetary Fund 700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20431

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