Economic prosperity is the noble pursuit of every state. Though the destination is clear, the paths that exist are as plenty as they are confusing.
Ideological differences aside, servants of the people have to recognise that some methods have worked more than others. It would be short-sighted if not foolish to shun these methods simply because they do not align with one’s political stances.
The rule of law is the backbone of every forward-looking nation. This utopian idea that the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor are all beholden to the same set of rules creates a strong foundation for fair play in the sectors of commerce, politics, and social affairs. The task of common prosperity is easier to attain when all are commoners before the eyes of the law.
Social justice is a key issue that a state must address before the nation can move forward. Freedom means nothing if two sets of realities exist for the liberated. Redistributive policies aimed at correcting the injustices of the past play a crucial role in affirming a common prosperity for all in the coming future.
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A social safety net ought to exist in the framework of an aspiring state. Beyond social grants and other free-of-charge services, the use of public services should not be an inconvenient second choice for those who could not afford private services. The towering difference of quality of services between private and public services is a situation which should make any state bow its head in shame.
No household should starve to send a child to school and no small business should go bankrupt footing private security costs. If social services are fixed, it would not be idealistic to assume that prosperity would be but an earshot away for many indigent communities.
The vision of the leadership is an unquestionable feature of a competent state. Real prosperity cannot be attained if it is not first seen in the mind of s/he who wishes to lead a nation towards it. The perception that prosperity has been achieved simply because close to a quarter of all households receive a measly grant or that it has been achieved because some out-of-touch economic metric shows ‘economic growth‘ demonstrates a lack of vision among the ranks of leadership.
The destination beckons those who wish to reach it, but if disagreements about which path to take continue to dominate political discourse, the destination will continue to seem further away than it actually is.
~ written by: Neo Malebana Ndlalane, IR student at the University of Pretoria.