A people-oriented growth model for the whole world

Published 28.11.2014 22:36

During this week's meetings, organized by various nongovernmental organizations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered two very important speeches which I think are significant in respect to the economic and political journey of Turkey and the whole world.

Erdoğan said that the entire world should switch to people-oriented economic policies from now on and that economic growth will be sustainable and acceptable as long as it is participative and fair. He also mentioned that if humanity wishes, international institutions such as the U.N. can prevent poverty, civil wars and inhumane practices in the Middle East, Africa and South America. Erdoğan underscored that the U.N. Security Council makes decisions in line with the interests of its five permanent members alone and defined this as one of the mainsprings of inhumane problems currently being experienced throughout the world.

Erdoğan gave voice to all this as a result of experiences and afflictions that have so far been experienced by Turkey and the whole world. The same realities have also been reiterated by a number of political scientists and economists. The recent work of French economist Thomas Piketty, exemplified in his book "Capital in the 21st Century," shows us that bias in the distribution of wealth in the world is increasing geometrically and this will yield much deeper socio-economic results than the current crisis is now. Focusing on this reality, we know that the unrest that has broken out in the U.S. township of Ferguson is not an outcome of the security forces' wrong or individual practices. The Ferguson protests do not stem from simple friction between the black and white segments of the population.

The Ferguson protests are poised to become one of the most important incidents of the 21st century, which tells us that a new form of class conflict may emerge in the 21st century. This is "urban unrest," examples of which we saw during the Arab Spring. The security problems of developed Western nation-states will no longer come from outside - from other nation-states and external threats that were organized by Western powers. For the U.S., the most recent example of these threats was the 9/11 attack. I think that Ferguson is symbolically a greater threat for the U.S. and the entirety of the Western world than the 9/11 attack.

If the economic crisis persists in the eurozone and the EU cannot adopt a new perspective to expand toward its east, we will soon see similar protests in many cities of Europe. This week, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced a new economic investment package for Europe. This package of around 315 billion euros is expected to provide 1.3 million new jobs. In my opinion this package was introduced only to save the German economy, which is on the verge of recession. The European Investment Fund, which will be established as a part of this package, will largely be governed by Germany. For such projects to open the way for a new form of growth and balance distribution of wealth as Erdoğan said, the EU needs to be restructured as a whole and the European Central Bank (ECB) should be independent from Germany. In addition, the EU should soon establish a fiscal union and wipe out the debt held by southern European countries by establishing a common fiscal policy and issuing common bonds. The EU should also switch to a common fiscal policy that will fix the distribution of income and wealth in favor of southern and eastern Europe. Moreover, the German-centric financial capital's speculative gains and unearned incomes should be taxed. The EU cannot overcome crisis through German-centric conventional fiscal and monetary austerity policies, quite the contrary, in this way, the crisis will deepen further and evolve into social and political crises.

In November, some very important global summits, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and G20, were held. These summits were full of messages that will determine the future economic policies of for many countries. During these summits, developing countries discussed new, people-oriented, participative and equitable growth policies as iterated by Erdoğan. This is undoubtedly a new situation and the only way to overcome future crises. So, the U.S., which is grappling with the unrest in Ferguson, and the EU, which cannot get out of its current crisis, should pay attention to this.

Turkey has a president that speaks out. "Now, the U.N.'s structure must change, the U.N. should no longer remain silent when it comes to civil wars and human rights violations. What is the task of such institutions as the World Bank in a world where children starve to death? We need to switch to people-oriented growth," Erdoğan said. Turkey will take over next term's G20 presidency and we believe that many things will change in this world by the end of the first quarter of the 21st century.

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