Opinion | The Northern Link UG | According to the World Bank, middle-income countries (MICs) are defined as economies with a gross national income (GNI) per capita between $1,036 and $12,535.1 MICs are one of the income categories that the World Bank uses to classify economies for operational and analytical purposes.
It is sad that Mr. Museveni and his cadre of Analysts based on what must be termed as ‘Economic Obstructions’ like Gross Domestic Product-GDP; Consumer Price Index; Stock market Value, Per Capita Income, and Inflation rate to say we are doing well and heading to a middle-income status or have achieved middle-income status.
They are wrong and incorrect measurements of development. It is actually misleading and one of the biggest deceptions and fallacies to an already failing system. This is because it is all about the Money sequence of Value rather than the Life sequence of value.
In the essence of not to lose the kickbacks they get, they never talk about the progress of this country based on the Life Sequence of Value which necessitates: The physical well-being of its citizens; The state of happiness of its citizens; The trust entailed among the citizens; and the Social Stability of the citizens, the inequality among the citizen’s etcetera
They will quote GDP statistics at the front of their arguments. GDP is the measure of total goods and services sold. Most panelists claim it correlates to the standard of living of people which is wrong, they would chest stamp in 1986 it was this and in 2021 it is this. But that is far-fetched from the truth. I always ask myself if besides quoting statistics, they would go beyond the figures and understand the truth. It would be fair enough.
The ideal question is do this comparison tell us anything about the quality of life? NO; Take, In 2009 health care contributed 17.3% of the GDP of the USA amounting to over $2.5 trillion spent. This created a positive effect on the GDP scale. However, this would be even better if the US economy increases to say $7 trillion. As this would create more growth and jobs thus a more positive GDP measurement.
But what do Health care services represent? It represents sick and dying people. The more unhealthy people are in an economy, the better the economy thus GDP. This represents industrial inefficiency, and social degradation the more you see it rise. The worst things are becoming with respect to social, environmental, and economic integrity. It is about creating problems to create profits. There is no profit in saving lives and even justice. This GDP rises due to increased necessity which is attributed to an increasing inefficiency.
The propagandists also use Per Capita Income as a measure to determine the average per-person income for a country. They use it to evaluate the standard of living and quality of life of the population, it considers the gross national income of the National population. Using the Economic obstructions like GDP, Per Capita Income, etcetera are wrong as they take into account only the Economic Aspect of Life and ignore the Social Aspect of Life like education, health, life expectancy, and sanitation.
Back to reality, why must 15 districts look better and more organized than the rest and why must they have a middle-income status as said by the New vision? Is it about varying culture, climate, geography, or ignorance of domestic leaders? The real reason lies in the role of political and economic institutions that is perpetuated by systematic corruption, sectarianism, Patronage, and Tribalism.
In the book “Why nations fail: The Origins of Power, prosperity and poverty” by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson state:
” Nogales, a city on the US-Mexican border is split half by a fence. The difference in institutional settings within them raises a crucial difference. One city, in the same geographical position, characterized by the same cultural upbringings, same population, same diseases but like completely different planets brought together”. Such is the fate and reality in Uganda.
How do you celebrate a ceremonial middle-income status in an economy where government expenditure on its citizens keeps going down, while money to service debts keeps going up. It is sad to believe that in 2005 all our existing foreign debts were written off and in a space of fewer than 20 years, we are in a worse state than we were.
A country with a debt of 73.5 trillion. Out of the National budget of 45.7 trillion, 27.8 trillion is going to debt servicing in the 2022/23 budget. In ratio, our real budget is less than last year and continues to go down annually. Tell me any country which achieved middle-income status with a national debt ceiling of over 50%. We are heading into an economic collapse but the NRM government can not accept the truth they already know.
We are slaves and victims of political lies because we have leaders who lack virtue, morals, and integrity which has been instilled in the populace too thus curtailing into an institutionalized problem. While talking about Aristotle’s political philosophy in “Masters of Political thought”, Michael B. Foster says; “If he has not a virtue, he is the most unholy and most savage of Animals. But justice is the bond of men in states, for the administration of justice which is the determination of what is just is the principle of order in political society”.
The lack of justice makes us see the looters taking more positions in decision-making without going to jail.
This has created a state where everyone is for him/herself, a country where no one is the brothers’ or sisters’ keeper. Plato earmarks that “In a well-ordered state, the citizens have compassion and sympathy for one another. When any experiences good or evil, the whole state will make his or her case their own and rejoice or sorrow together”. This is explained why you will see mockery contrary to sympathy when some people are in trouble, and gloom contrary to exultation. That should worry us more than anything else. It all comes down to the Systematic rot in our failing government.
We are living in tributaries of lies after lies. At this rate, let us calm down and wait for the economic collapse. Actually, the biggest threat to Museveni’s Government is not Bobi wine, Besigye, or the gun but rather the economy minced by the debt which continues to grow.
Almost all failed or failing states around Africa and the world have Debt as the base problem. From Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Afghanistan, DRC etcetera. As a country, we have Hit that ceiling, it is just a matter of time.
As Raymond Mujuni asked, “What changed the morning we woke up in a middle-income country?”.
Eng Jakech Boris Rwothomio