…economic, political and socio-cultural application
In the first part of this series, I laid the introduction to the subject and put forth two (2) of A. B. A. Fuseini’s seven (7) notable quotes. In this second and final part of this series, I will enumerate on the five (5) remaining notable quotes in the ensuing paragraphs;
- ‘‘When pepper settles on the forehead of a person, it is a sign of danger to the eyes’’
It is usually said that nothing happens to a person unless he/she allows it. To the extent that pepper to the eye is one of the bitter enemies, no one should sit idle to allow pepper to settle on the forehead. If it happens it means that it was willfully caused.
In developing a progressive society, it is imperative that the factors of production are adequately employed. When government negligently takes political decisions to the detriment of its citizens thinking that some of the citizens supports it, in the long run the repercussion affects the entirety of the country.
Continuous bad political decisions are akin to pepper settling on the forehead of the country which has turns to be a danger to life and property as experiencing in Ghana now per the International Monetary Fund (IMF) terms and conditions for a three billion dollar ($3b) loan. Simply put, it is self-inflicted by bad leadership decisions. A resultant effect is also seen in the suffering of the economy.
Basic food issues in Ghana is another clear example of self-inflicted pain by bad leadership. Our planting for food and jobs slogan clothed as an agricultural policy is a good example of a whooping failure of a country that sets out to feed itself but sat unconcerned for the worst to happen. Today, staple foods like gari is no longer a basic food item due to the price.
Another example usually cited is the Banking Sector Restructuring (BSR). More money was put into the process than what was required to revive those banks. Not only did the process caused high unemployment in the sector and many businesses that depends on the sector, but also its attended challenges. The aftermath of the BSR exercise remains a daily economic discussion synonymous to government allowing pepper to settle on our foreheads.
The irresponsibility of leadership is detrimental to an entire community. Those who suggested private solutions to public problems soon realized that since no person is an island, the deterioration of the public good affects all. For example, if the school system is bad, it will affect the quality of labour for national development hence; investments in industry will be a waste. Could this have been a contributory factor to the poor banking sector performance?
- ‘‘A baby who pulls his mother’s clothes down is not looking for anything but breast’’
Staying focused is a necessary ingredient for success. The economic development of a country cannot be left to happenstance; it must always be a focused exercise. Today, a non-confusing aspect of the Ghanaian life is the bad economy. Necessarily, every Ghanaian has a common dictum of what a bad economy looks like.
In his magisterial account, ‘‘Adam Smith, 1776, an enquiry into nature and the causes of wealth of nations,’’ taught us so much as to how the economies of nations are developed. If Adam Smith lives today, he will add lessons of brutally mismanaged current state of the economy Ghana to his appendices. Albeit, in death the sound of present economy of Ghana gives his skeleton a cause to worry that his high-minded education in economic is not the least adhered to even when ‘‘self-acclaimed economic messiah’’ is proclaimed to be the head of the economic management team.
Every Ghanaian want a flexible basic economic life. So far, it is not clear what government is doing about the economic hardship meted out to Ghanaians by its own mistakes. A government that promised ‘‘heaven’’ to buy its way into governance suddenly seem to have brought out all the people in ‘‘hell’’ to mix up with the living thereby creating an economic ‘‘hell on earth’’.
Economic development is not about political lip service. Government must manifestly be seen to be solving the economic challenges of the country rather than merely talking about the economy in complex and confusing ways they are the only people who understands.
The baby will pull the mother’s clothes down when the baby is hungry and the mother refuses to notice it. Most probably, a baby that is well fed will usually sleep without disturbing the mother that much.
Pulling the mother’s clothes down can take many forms. Sometimes it comes with lots of crying and tantrums synonymous to citizen agitations in strike actions to show that it is hungry enough. When government fails to meet the economic needs of the people, strike actions becomes eminent.
- ‘‘A man who has died in the market, there is no need to announce his funeral’’
The economic malaise of Ghana is so endemic one do not need to be told. In a recent video circulating on WhatsApp, the Vice President was seen buying ‘‘wakye’’ and in his usual showmanship of the distorted digitalization agenda, attempted to pay with momo; a payment platform application which they did not create yet make a show of. When the total cost of the ‘‘wakye’’ was mentioned as sixty Ghana Cedis (GHs 60) to him, he showed a big sigh indicating his surprised at the high cost mentioned contrarily to what he had expected.
Interpreting the non-verbal clue to the Vice President’s sigh on hearing the total cost of the ‘‘wakye’’ can be said to be an express affirmation of the hardship Ghanaians endure daily to buy basic food by the roadside. Perceptibly all feel the indication that the death of the economy need no announcement.
Politically, the economic failure of the Vice President need no announcement to his own party that he is obviously a wrong choice for their number one position. Is it not amazing that even the number one man who also happen to study economics in the university is also clueless? This is a double agony of two economic minds that have failed woefully in managing the basic economic lives of their people to the extent that gari has become a luxury good.
Maybe unprecedented in the political economic history of Ghana where the country is led by two (2) graduates of economics yet the worst ever performance in the economic management. Truly the man, who has died in the market, there is no need to announce his funeral: a symptom of the present economy of Ghana.
- ‘‘If you can pluck feathers from the tortoise what would you do when you get a fowl’’
This fourth quotation will be placed simply in between the economic situation and the level of taxation of the people. Sheer wickedness makes a country tax its people exceedingly abundantly more than their earnings in irrational ratio. Simplicita!
Excessive taxation is described amply in the bible. It is amazing how the taxman quotes copious scriptures and yet closes his eyes to the economic plight of the people. I can surmise he takes his inspiration from the caution of the same bible, which does not sanction the non-payment of taxes even when they are excessive as described in the Old Testament.
More so, in the New Testament dispensation there were accounts to the effect that government must collect taxes and urges the people to pay even when parts of that taxes is known to be used for sinful purposes. Nobody goes away with ill-gotten wealth. Graciously, also be minded of the judgement day.
- ‘‘A short man will never thank God for his height unless the day he sees a dwarf’’
Ingratitude has its punishable reward. If the reward for a people who entrust their care to a leadership is hardship, certainly there will be no blessing on that leadership.
Again, ingratitude makes a short man never to thank God for his height. When they assume power and riches they feel they are the tallest probably because they can afford long heel ‘‘guarantee’’ shoes. When they lose power and losing their riches becomes eminent, that is when they realize that being short is a blessing in disguise.
The dwarf days will soon be here and the short man will be reduced to a height shorter than a dwarf will. Power is transient and soon when it is lost, the wicked will dissipate like the morning fog but the prudent use of power leaves good eternal memories.
In conclusion, the biblical quotation in Jeremiah 12:5 ‘‘if you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets of the Jordan? (New International Version). Hon A. B. A. Fuseini has reminded us to seek deep understanding into proverbs specifically the ones that speaks to our human development.