In disagreeing with the President of Liberia in her conclusion that the economy of Liberia is fundamentally strong, Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh has presented action steps that can make the Liberian economy fundament ally strong.
The conclusion of the President was made on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 in her Address to the people of Liberia on the state of the economy of Liberia.
In responding to the President’s Address, Dr. Tipoteh said that the economy of Liberia is not fundamentally strong because it continues to operate to make the vast majority of Liberians poor. According to Dr. Tipoteh, for the economy to be strong, it has to be operating in a way that lifts the vast majority of the people of Liberia out of poverty.
Dr. Tipoteh recalled that the President said that the Liberian economy is like a bus running with many parts that need to be repaired and she is now determined to take charge of the economy directly by repairing the non-performing parts of the bus even if it means changing some of the non-performing managers of the economy.
But Dr. Tipoteh says that repairing the bus will make things worse because she is repairing the wrong bus engine.
Dr. Tipoteh said that the engine of the bus is the wrong engine because it continues to run to make a very few Liberians in state management and connected with the state to be better-off while the vast majority of Liberians become worse-off.
Dr. Tipoteh insists that as long as the economy of Liberia continues to operate, as it has been operating for over one hundred years, by producing for others to consume and consuming what others produce, the economy of Liberia will always remain weak.
Dr. Tipoteh argues that the economy is only strong when it operates to make the vast majority of the people strong. The truth of the matter, says Dr. Tipoteh, is that Liberia remains one of poorest countries in the world, ranking 156 out of 159 countries ranked by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and ranked as the second poorest country in Africa, by the World Bank, with 84 per cent of people of Liberia being poor.
For the government to display honesty through just one simple example, it could start with present national budget to buy furniture produced from Liberian wood from businesses owned by Liberians.
Such an action in the 2014/2015 budget would provide jobs and business ownership for thousands of Liberians. Such an action would be much better than trying to put 73 million United States dollars in the budget to boost corruption in a government that has not shown any strong commitment to wipe out corruption, as most of the cases presented by the General Auditing Commission and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission have not been processed to logical conclusion. These action steps are what Dr. Tipoteh presented to the people of Liberia in response to the President’s State of the Economy Message presented to the people of Liberia.