Sunday, January 31, 2010

King's Interview with Fareed Zakaria

In his interview with Fareed Zakaria, King Abdullah stressed that strengthening of the middle class would be a definite plus for the future of Jordan, he didn't exactly use these words but I understood it to mean that way from watching the taped interview.

As far as I'm concerned there is no clear definition of what is a middle class in Jordan supposed to mean, over the past few years columnists in the newspapers talked time and again in their daily columns about the slowly but surely diminishing character of the middle class.

To a casual observer such as myself, Jordan has two classes, the elite, or should I say the super duper elite class and the rest of the population class. I can't possibly give you a definitive percentages because this isn't based on any empirical inferences but rather on a casual personal observation.

If I would have to speculate though I would say that ninety to ninety five percent of the population is a mixture of upper lower, and lower class, while five to seven percent represent the elite class.

In essence the King is absolutely right because there is no such a thing as a middle class in Jordan, it may have existed at some point in time over the past fifty or so years' but over the years and due to the massive changes that have taken place in Jordan, the middle class melted away and was down graded to upper lower and lower class.

So our task now would be to start looking for a mechanism with which by it we can create some sort of a definition of what a middle class is? And when we do-- we need to create another mechanism that would lead to the strengthening of that middle class.

In my opinion, middle class in Jordan consists of someone who is married, has two children, owns a house or an apartment paid out, earns approximately JD 1500 per month. Has a paid out late model car, has health and life insurance, and eligible for social security or pension upon reaching retirement age.

I have no idea as to how many people meet that definition, but unless a large percentage of the population start to emerge meeting this narrow definition then the middle class is no where to be found.

Let us not kid one another, life is very expensive in Jordan, salary of JD 500 a month is considered a poverty line, and that is a fair description, salary of a JD 1000 a month would be barely enough for a family of four, that is why I chosen an income of at least JD 1500 per month to be able to live a half way decent life for a family of four.

So let us join hands with the king and start to coalesce in a fashionable approach that would not only redefine what a middle class is, but also strengthen it in a way that would signal a powerful Jordanian men and women, young and old middle class citizens.

No comments: