We Are in A
Paradoxical Economic Situation!
Dr. Masoud Nili, Economist
decision-making system is very complex, with different layers each having
different goals and considerations and these goals and considerations are
typically not intertwined. This means that one type of decision may be made at
a particular ministry level, and then at a higher level, the same decision is
made in a different way. In our decision-making system, things are very
difficult in terms of information flow and expert decisions.
When a problem arises or there is a problem and
its consequences appear, everyone enters the field. The public opinion expects
everyone to comment and clarify their position on the problem. But
unfortunately, such an expectation and partnership does not occur before the
problem arises; even on the contrary; often everyone prefers less
participation so that responsibilities are distributed because they cannot
guess what the implications of that decision may be later on.
It is true that we have already reached relative
maturity in terms of expert capability, but we need a similar cohesion in the
decision-making system to be able to digest the introductions and conclusions
used in an expert review while retaining its original identity. When it is not
possible to digest expert decisions in the decision-making system, the result
of any expert review and effort in practice would emerge as decisions that are
unacceptable not only to those who have made the initial proposal, but also to
those who want to implement it.
In this situation, the output of the
decision-making system is also not properly explained to the people because
anyone who wants to explain it is probably not in agreement with some of the
decision itself and thus the public opinion is not properly informed. On the
other hand, since there is no coherence in decision-making, this lack of
lucidity at the implementation stage also manifests itself as executive
failure. All of this is due to the fact that the growth of knowledge in the
country, and especially the growth in economic knowledge over the past two
decades, has not had a place in the decision-making and administrative system.
It can even be said that not only has this growth not been in line with the
growth of economic knowledge, but it has moved in the opposite direction. As a
result, today we are faced with gears that do not spin together.
Much of the openness we have had in recent years
in terms of resources is related to periods when oil prices have reached a
high level and, as a result, our economic decision-makers have received
God-given resources. When these resources are abundantly available to decision
makers, one is unwilling to think of economic reform and make decisions to
keep the economy away from the wrong course.
In such circumstances, decision makers are
usually reluctant to pursue economic reform, and there is no demand for reform
decisions at all, as the abundance of resources provides openings in the
various fields that make the structure unnecessary to reform. Conversely, when
resources decline due to falling oil prices or being exposed to sanctions,
such as today that pressure on resources has made a very difficult and special
conditions we have never experienced before, the conditions for economic
reform become extremely unfavorable.
of these two very different situations is policymakers’ refusal to make the
right economic decisions; in the face of abundant oil revenues, they think why
they should take measures that would reduce their popularity as in the
scarcity of resources the cost of implementation of the right decisions go up
In fact, we are in a paradoxical situation, which means that when
resources are abundant, we evade the right decisions, and when resources are
scarce and we are unwillingly directed to a course to make the right decisions
for the sake of economic reforms the grounds are not favorable. In fact, in
both conditions (resource abundance and resource scarcity), we are faced with
the policymaker’s refusal to make the right decisions to solve problems, and
the demand for sound economic policies, both in terms of resource abundance
and resource scarcity, is a small demand.