chapter  9
21 Pages


An assessment

Tackling poverty and gross inequality at their roots, rather than treating their symptoms, requires more distribution of the tangible assets that generate direct primary income rather than a reliance on gaining secondary income support and on automatic benefit from economic growth. Nationalization of giant enterprises, the redistribution of rural wealth (land and capital), the expansion of education opportunities, and the support of low-income groups were the main distributive policies pursued by Middle Eastern governments at their initial stage of development. Education, an important asset that determines lifetime earningpower, has already been discussed in Chapters 2 and 6. Examples of programmes on taxation, subsidies, fixing minimum wages and the delivery of free social services have also been briefly presented in country studies; how economic reforms have affected them is examined in Chapter 10.