The Huffington Post: What Egypt Needs Now: Jobs
Egypt is going through an extremely painful re-birthing process, and almost everywhere you turn the pundits talk of the political, social and religious challenges the nation and her people face. Respectfully, I have a different view of both the original crisis that removed Mubarak from power, as well as the core crisis that envelopes the nation and her people today. And that argument centers around the economics of Egypt, and her people.
When Mubarak originally took office in Egypt the population was approximately 30 million. Today the population is nearly 90 million. And while the economic indicators supposedly suggest that the nation continued to grow in GDP consistently during Mubarak's reign, I would suggest that this so-called economic growth centered around the tight-knit Mubarak regime associated elite itself. Meanwhile, literally millions of young, increasingly educated, aspirational and Internet-connected Egyptians found themselves without either job or opportunity -- sitting outside that bandwidth of so-called economic growth. Put another way, Egypt had become a nation within a nation, or worse, a rich nation operating alongside another one called everyone else.
What I think Egypt and Egyptians need most now are JOBS. Why, because any society without a strong, aspirational and growing middle class population is a society at risk. The middle class is not just an aspirational dream, it is a practical and necessary stabilizer for a real democracy.
Middle class people don't want to riot, and they don't want war, they want to go shopping.