December 31, 2009

On Economical Systems

Hubbie and I in general are on the same political wave length. I believe I am a bit more realistic in my thinking, and so does he, but other than that, we are like-minded. But what we really disagree on, are our ideas on the economical system this country should run on. He’s a staunch capitalist, I’m (according to Dutch model) in favor of the social-democratic model, a system which hubbie incorrectly refers to as ‘communism’. Just some random pictures; in the back of a 'Service'.

And so I was quite in favor of this podcast. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the figures mentioned in the talk (The auhtor mentions that a Beirut downtown new year’s celebration, Viva Las Vegas, is selling tickets for $5,500; this is twice the average annual income in Lebanon. I checked the web site, but cannot find the reference to the $5,500 tickets, the most expensive one being $667; The Royal Flush), but even if it is not exact, the gist is quite clear (and accurate, as far as I am concerned); the gap between rich and poor in this country is not healthy.

People do, and I quote the author of the article, Ghassan Karam, “have a moral obligation and an ethical responsibility to carry their fair share of the costs of running the society that they are members of.” (text can be found here).

Where did I get this sudden inspiration? I went to get an oil change for my car yesterday, and must have passed a minimum of 11 Hummers. Throw in some Porche Cayennes, and other high-end SUV’s, and I think I’ve passed more cars over $50,000 than under.
I just spend 10 days in Holland. I did not see one Hummer of Proche Cayenne. Not one! (Hubbie says that is because we are communist :)
More random pictures; in the donut shop.

Besides, even at ‘only’ 667 dollars, I don’t know anyone willing to shell out that kind of money to spend your New Year’s Eve with a group of people you don’t know. Do you?


m. said...

Yes, I do know a few people who are paying 500$ this year and paid 700$ last year.

If I were them, I'd just travel to another country for a week for the same price.

Ms. Tee said...

I am in total agreement with both you and Ghassan Karam.

I live in another "communist" country and haven't seen a hummer since, well, since I was in Lebanon last. Not surprisingly in this "communist" country where I live everyone is better off, not just the capitalists AND there are more wealthy people and more billionaires per capita than in Lebanon. To top it all off, they are one of Lebanon's donors. I do not see why a just system of redistribution and individual prosperity should be seen as mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they can be mutually reinforcing. Unless, of course, the prosperity of individuals is based on the exploitation of others.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you the gap between the rich and the poor in Lebanon is very very wide
Dutch way 1000 times better and the Dutch would never treat their maids the way the Lebanese do

Anonymous said...

I will take the Dutch model but Lebanese food

Anonymous said...

I would love to trade places with a

Marillionlb said...

No one can dsipute the fact that the divide between the rich and the poor is great. Sometime I feel that most of used to be labelled the middle class is fading away. One thing I would like to point out though and it is that you have to keep in mind that most of "fancy" cars you see on the roads are foreign imports (mainly US and European right offs)fixed up here and sold as second hand cars.

Happy new year to all

angie nader said...

what really trips me out, is how expensive lebanon has become since 2006.
when we left..everything was so cheap.
and i keep hearing that everything is really expensive now.

i'd never pay to party people i dont know...unless i'm with a group of friends somewhere.

Anonymous said...

The gap is usual for developing countries. It is the same in the Ukraine. People still working on the land with horses, and Cayennes everywhere. Tell hubby he lives in a developing country. Y.