When the American’s began their Q.E. monetary experiment, they effectively exported inflation. That destroyed any political economy tethered to the American’s under Bretton Woods. It meant that regimes began importing inflation at record speeds. It meant that most populations in unreformed economies experienced skyrocketing prices for staple products.
Tunisia’s Arab Spring was ground zero, but its origin rests in the impact of capital flows immediately after Q.E. began. Remember Nixon’s Treasury Secretary Donnelly at the close of the gold window and the non-convertibility of the greenback, “its our money, but its your problem.”
For Tunisia’s leadership to begin consolidating its gains under the Arab Spring, it needs to adhere to severing its regional attachment to the Muslim Brotherhood and begin assembling the ethical foundation for a Muslim Solidarity movement.
Tunisia’s General Labour Union (UGTT) is still the largest organized labor union in the nation. Even though its a difficult neighborhood, the vast majority of Tunisian citizens have a long distinguished history of embracing the French Enlightenment with indigenous gains unseen in Algeria or elsewhere throughout the Maghreb.
Having the IMF begin to demand deleveraging and privatization only makes sense if the Tunisian social base possesses a strong civil society with minimum sound governance. It has. It still does. The hope going forward is for Tunisian nationals to begin the moral, intellectual work embracing that politics is applied ethics.
As it now stand, Tunisia’s greatest per capita export is terrorism. Some 6k have joined up in Syria and throughout the Levant aspiring to embody the very romanticism propagated by Muslim Brotherhood partisans.
But Tunisia has strong currents of tourism that welcome foreign currency, even though foreign direct investment remains low. Carthage possesses large quantities of phosphorus in Gafsa and well known reserves of natural gas and oil. If it could field a social framework of inclusive economic growth, matched by quiet borders in Libya, Algeria and Egypt, Tunisia can become a beacon for Islam.