PC586 Tunisia Situation - Opinions 2

- For young Tunisians its simple, but for me it's very complex with the truth being hidden a Russian Doll inside another Russian doll etc.

- Subsidized food prices keep people poor
- Facebook and Tunisian "Revolution"

1 - Tunisian society is a cocky adolescent who thinks he's a grown up.

- The actions of Tunisian demonstrators seemed not smart to me .. "Why would any logical person throw stones and fire at police who have guns ?", but then you realize that most of the demonstrators who naively believe they are invincible. But you can also see such naive adolescent attitude in the minds of the wider public : TUNISIA thinks it's FRANCE and thinks it has the right to cars, holidays abroad and fancy phones.. No it's still a developing country, way behind France at the moment though of course it could surpass it in the future. Today the fact is Tunisia is a society which has had 50 years of dictatorship so it's people are children to democracy and not worldly wise to the outside world and real economic facts .. Thinking "everyone has more money than me , and everyone gets more sex than me ..life is like a porno film for them" The truth is different as the Albanians and Serbians found out when they ended their 50 years of communism it's not easy to get into the culture of democracy in a short time, which took 600 years to develop in the UK. 15 years later Albania is getting there whereas Serbian cultural values and still stuck in the 1950s.

- Tunisia isn't France, but neither is it undeveloped Sub-Saharan Africa. Many working garment factories, productive orange farms.

Now is time to bring the bad 15% back into the community instead of going for destructive reprisals.

- I don't know much about Tunisian Politics, but I can see possible trouble coming : 10-15% were heavily wedded to the old regime and profited from it, including all the different Police forces, secret police, informants, business contacts etc. So it's easy to imagine reprisals against these 15%. They still have have guns, but the army have bigger guns so it could turn into a mess of killings. What is certain is all sides have children, and children are innocent and shouldn't have to suffer, if their father's are punished. What is needed is something to heal the rift between the 15% and the people. Now "there for the grace of God go I", If there were 2 similar school boys 20 years ago and one through family circumstances went in the Police he would have been locked into that role and get into doing things his classmates didn't

- I'll say the same as what I wrote for SERBIA : that yes really evil things happened and those people who did it were evil AT THAT MOMENT . However we CAN'T CHANGE THE PAST, WE CAN ONLY CHANGE THE FUTURE, So even though that man was EVIL AT THAT MOMENT he's is not that same man today or in the future. If we recognise that we are different men at different moments in time we can go to a future, where we can go into a future with these 15% included in the new society. They are going to need A COUNCIL FOR PEACE AND RECONCILIATION LIKE SOUTH AFRICA. Of course big crimes need to be punished, but there needs more healing than punishment especially as it is wrong to punish the children for the sins of the fathers. summary

- FEAR OF REPRISALS so allow the BAD MEN to SHOW they can be GOOD

- Jan 12th hope to be at the CS meetup in Marsa - no that got abandoned cos of curfew, Thursday moved into Tunis Medina, Friday - Still Contunuing to be a tourist arrived in Nabeul (museum etc), but sudden events of change then dusk curfew, Sat - calmish, Sat night - Dads and Lads neighbourood guards start, Sun - Kelibia, but all hotels closed due to backlash so YHA, Mon - some bloody foreigners caught with weapons (turns out to be just some Swedish hunters) so we get checked all the time, Kerkouane archaeological site, but closed now in El Haouaria -Remember how the people thought Obama meant big change for America but what do I know about Tunisian Politics ? .... BBC reports "a group of Swedish nationals - who said they were in the country on a wild boar hunting trip - were attacked and badly beaten in Tunis after it is believed they were mistaken for a group of foreign mercenaries." hotel and army checked our bags ... loads of Dads and Lads checkpoints here

Subsidized food prices keep people poor
What came first ... the - Wage rise or food price rise ?
- Do you think the poor would like a wage rise ? Where are the poor ?.. In the countryside, right ? So for them to get bigger salaries the income from what they produce must rise. But unfortunately governments have been interfering in that process, by trying to keep the price of food low. With their might they have been successful and have kept city government workers quiet by giving them low food prices instead of raising their wages. All city people rich or poor benefit from this ..The guy who owns a mobile phone shop profits from the high price of foreign goods. He sells phones at $100 when the same phone costs $50 in France or the UK; so he can have a 10% profit margin and make $10 per phone, yet he benefits from the labour of country people at a low price. If food prices rose countryside people could benefit. If carrots & potatoes rose from $50 to $100 per tonne the increased profit margin would allow their wages to rise say from $5/day to $10/day. But oh My God restaurant prices would rise. Yes at the moment the restaurant owner buys his ingredients for $1 and sells with a profit margin of 20% for $1.20, However if his ingredients cost $2 then his 20% profit would be 40c. Those rural workers would be able to buy his meal if they chose cos of their bigger salary; in fact after 1 meal they would have $7.60 left over instead of $3.80. The city government worker might have a hard time with a $2.40 meal, he'd ask for a wage rise. But the government should have money from the tax directly paid by farm workers and the extra tax money coming in when farm workers spend extra money at shops etc.
- This was the case in the UK when in 1996 a minimum wage was introduced, suddenly the economy got a huge boost as the low paid spent their increased wages, and instead of employment being reduced as anticipated it increased.

- Australian charities did research to find why girls became prostitutes . They found rural farmers in Thailand and Cambodia couldn't make enough money from rise growing rice so they sent their daughters to work as prostitutes. The Thai king is always saying it is wrong for rice prices to increase and he cannot be criticised cos he is regarded as a god. Of course with low prices at home the Thais can only get a low price when they sell to the rest of the world. On the other hand rice in Japan and Korea is 10 times more expensive so their farmers earn good money and rural poverty is not widespread.

- Hey Tunisian students get your hands dirty. In Tunisia if farming was more profitable then the higher wages might attract unemployed students into working with their hands.

- When small governments try to fix the market it ends in a mess. When Chavez in Venezuela told shopkeepers to reduce the price of milk, the public found milk was no longer available in shops at all as farmers rather than accept low prices sold their milk to cheese companies instead.

- Yes to cheap food prices, but through efficiencies not subsidies. The restaurant which serves 2000 customers per day will still be able to offer cheaper foods.

- Will this positive change happen in Tunisia
- No, subsidized food prices are an easy way for politicians to buy votes. (Keeping the public sweet with cheap sugar.) The public lack the political maturity to vote against them and the Tunisian politicians won't have the balls to vote for them. ... Even in the UK where surveys say people prefer tax rises over service cuts, the politicians refuse to drop their talk of tax cuts.

- Food prices must rise so rural farm people can earn more money

Facebook and Tunisian "Revolution"
- actually I would have a different opinion

- it might be a revolution to you, but to me it's rather boring. As a foreigner the political situation in Tunisia is none of my business and I think people who spend all there time on Facebook speculating is rather boring. There is no point guessing what will happen : what will happen will happen. And unfortunately speculating generates a lot of untrue stories.

- There is only one reality the truth , but there are a billion fantasies. Rather that say "I don't know", most people are too quick to believe a simple fantasy explanations.

- Then when after time the true facts arise .. the explantion is complex and difficult so people prefer to stick to the simple explanation.

- my problem is, that to explain things properly a lot of time is needed. Facebook is convenient for the flippant shallow comments , but these don' explain the world properly. There are many reasons why facebook is a load of crap.

- I still keep meeting secret policemen and informants , but it doesn't bother me cos I always tell the truth anyway. I think during Ben Ali people were accustomed to not telling the truth ;; so now they feel they can talk freely , but I have always been able to talk freely ;; that's why the revolution doesn't make much difference to me.

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