Burak Kıllıoğlu: "Rich and poor"

Burak Kıllıoğlu: "Rich and poor"
Date: 28.6.2022 14:00

Milli Gazete columnist Burak Kıllıoğlu writes on Turkey's economy. Here is the full article.

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Neoliberal economic policies make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Probably no one left who does not know about this situation. While the rentiers offer great "opportunities" to those who earn money from interest, it only harms those who work with their labor, wage earners and small enterprises. The scene that emerges is nothing more than an exaggeration.
While the economic crises and depressions like in Turkey, enrich the easy earners, they cause those who make a living to work harder and impoverish them at a higher rate. While each crisis further erodes the middle class that truly sustains a country, it results in the division of social strata into the richest and poorest. If this trend continues, we may witness an unprecedented increase in both the number of millionaires and the number of people below the poverty line.
Of course, while the number of millionaires increases by 15-20 thousand, the number of those dragged below the poverty line increases by the order of millions. Since the Özal (former President of Turkey) era, which is the period when neoliberal economic policies began to be implemented, the rhetoric of "the middle class is dead", which we have started to hear, has been rasped as the middle class has been rasped by the governments with similar attitudes and understanding.
In the first years of the AKP rule, the hot money, which was abundant on a global scale, was attracted to Turkey by paying high interest, and the perception of fake wealth created by this means left its place to the real landscape as the external source ceased to be accessible. The real scene was that the society, which was accustomed and encouraged to “consume more than it produces”, once again fell into the cost of living and living difficulties due to inflation, as the faults in the economy became evident once again. Millions of people have experienced that the worry of life is reduced to bringing the end of the month.
It is obvious that the reason for this situation is wrong and irresponsible economic policies. While it is clear that the priority of neoliberal economic policies was capital rather than workers, a mass impoverishment took place in a very short time, when strange policies that lacked an economic basis and were fixed in a senseless belief were added to this. As a result, the wealth of the rich multiplied very quickly, and a significant part of the middle class was included in the poor class.
The summary of neoliberal economy is exaggeration. Turkey is experiencing this situation day by day, accompanied by an inadequate and irresponsible understanding of economic management, and in the form of severe turbulence. It seems that the oscillating state of extremes in exaggeration will cause the members of the society to align as those above and below. Even people who are strong in their jobs, have good and bad professional background, experience and can be considered as “well-off” are starting to feel the financial difficulties closely. In order to provide the most basic need of shelter, especially in metropolitan cities, figures such as 5-6 thousand lira are pronounced, we have already surpassed the low-income ones, even the middle class will have difficulty in sustaining their lives under these conditions in the near future.
Again in the near future, it should not be surprising if we hear of people having trouble paying their rent. A family that wants to pay the minimum amount in rent should have a minimum monthly income of 20 thousand liras, and it is necessary to ask how many people can meet these conditions in Turkey. In the upcoming period, it may be possible for people who are called white-collar to make a reverse migration from big cities to Anatolia.
If the policies implemented in a country make its citizens no longer able to live in the neighborhood, district or city where they lived until today, then there is a huge problem. The ideal policies are those that care about social justice, distribute income fairly, and ensure that everyone gets an equal share of the pie. Unfortunately, our situation is not even close to that. This unequal distribution and the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich are increasing day by day.
This seems to result in a devastating metamorphosis of society's settings and social strata. A society consisting of a small wealthy group and millions of poor people will not be compatible with either right, justice or economics.


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