Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Tortoise vs. The Hare

The Economy Crisis. The Second Greatest Depression. Whatever it is called, it is still a fact that we have to live with in this day and time.

One of the main reasons for this crisis, is the collapse of the credit system. In a nutshell, individuals and corporations wanted money that they did not have, turned to entities who had. With the success of that system, and the gains that were apparent on the economy, the credit system matured, and those money-having entities (banks) started giving out money that they did not have. Back then they were using a system of precedence to predict the return, and hence the limit on to which they can give out money. Further maturity of the system made insurance companies take a percentage of the risks off the banks, giving them the ability to give out more.

That collapsed (for whatever reason). Today, examples of the layoff figures are something like:
  • Citigroup - 59,000 layoffs

  • General Motors - 19,000 layoffs

  • Starbucks - 12,000 layoffs

On the other hand, less developed countries (or corporations based in less developed countries) are not directly affected by the worldwide crisis, except due to the interconnecting nature of the global economy. Like Sudan for instance, where there has been close-to-zero layoffs in 2008/2009, are only concerned that the international investors' cash flow will not be the same in 2009, and therefore, the gross annual loan figure will be lowered in 2009. However, Sudan's internal economy is still intact.

From my understanding stated above, it is clear that in order for any system to evolve, it has to reach a certain level of maturity before hoping on to the next step. Countries like Egypt, who have not jumped head-first into the game of capitalism, seem to be surviving (for the time being), because their banking system was not mature enough to get onto the next level of the extreme credit system.

This makes me think of a number of questions:

  1. Is the Middle-East ready for democracy? (Although it has not been exercised in the most democratic countries - Can you say War protests?)

  2. Is the Middle-East ready for freedom of speech? (Again, not exercised. Muslims are terror suspects if they talk about Islam anywhere in the world)

  3. Is the Middle-East ready for secularism?

  4. Is the Middle-East ready for equal rights for women?

  5. Is the Middle-East ready for human rights?

  6. Is the Middle-East ready for Capitalism?

  7. Is the Middle-East ready for GPS-based social networking?

Maybe we are ready, or partially ready, for a number of the items mentioned above. But in my opinion, we should evolve in our own time. We should evolve when we are ready. Evolution cannot be introduced or forced. Let us learn from others' mistakes.

You know, in the IT world (Windows), some large corporations adopt a do-not-install-a-service-pack-until-the-first-patch-is-released policy. The same can be seen in the Linux world, where enterprise distributions like CentOS are still running kernel 2.6.27, while desktop distributions like Ubuntu are running kernel 2.6.28.

As the saying goes, or in my case, I have slightly changed it:
"If I wasn't a Middle-Eastern, I would have wanted to be a Middle-Eastern"

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