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Economist Advises Public to Temper Expectations on Government Reducing Inequality

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Economics Expectations Inequalities
Economics Expectations Inequalities

A professor of Economics at the New York University in United Arab Emirates, Yaw Nyarko, says citizens must have low expectations of government to address inequalities among citizens.

He said that it was impossible for the government to solve problems of inequalities due to inefficiencies, lack of capacity and scarcity of resources to do so.

“You guys complain that the Ghana government is corrupt. So why do you want the government to do everything,” he said during the opening ceremony of the 6th International Research Conference organised by the College of Humanities of the University of Ghana in collaboration with Oxfam International Ghana.

The theme for the event was, “Addressing inequalities: Building Socio-economic and Environmental Resilience for Sustainable Development.”

Prof. Nyarko observed that to meet citizens’ expectations, the government had been keen on raising more revenue through the imposition of taxes which make citizens worse off and further widen the gap of economic inequality among citizens.

“As we think about taxes and we think about draining people, there is cost to all of that. Be careful,” he said.

He informed that the minimum wage as an economic tool for improving the standard of living and for that matter, inequality could be a two-edged sword that could help people earn higher income and deprive people of work due to inability of employers to offer lower wages.

He said there was no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing inequalities and so called for thorough deliberation in the formulation of policies that seek to address inequalities.

“For Africa, it has to be about economic transformation, first and foremost, then technology and markets,” he said.

Mr Mohammed-Anwar Sadat Adam, Acting Country Director, Oxfam International Ghana, indicated that the organisation was committed to collaborating with like-minded entities to fight against inequalities.

“We tackle not just the symptoms but the systems that perpetuate inequality,” he said.

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