Democracy is viewed as an expression of freedom of political and constitutional rights, among others. While this inalienable truth remains etched in the minds of Liberians, the sustainability of our democracy must be built on the economic of the empowerment of its citizens. And yes, economic empowerment will not be realized without quality education, food security, and healthcare, among others. Research has shown that nations that adopt economic empowerment of its people experience sustainable democracy compared to those whose people feel repressed, economically, in a democracy. Research done by D. Moyo in 2013 confirms that the lower the per capita of a nation’s people, the more fragile its democracy; and the higher the per capita of its people, the more sustainable its democracy becomes. While it is true that civil wars erupt from various reasons, principal among them is economic disempowerment characterized by corruption, willful isolation of the majority, and protecting the economic interest of a few.
Hence, with humility the following is proposed:
- Government establishes a criteria of National Economic Investment Policies (NEIP) indicative of humanistic capitalism that address challenges around economic empowerment, education and the environmental pollution, for long term benefits that move the nation to an emerging and sustainable economy ; for example, identifying certain businesses that must be exclusive to Liberians by virtue of the N.E.I.P.
- Create opportunities for Liberians to compete and become stakeholders of their nation’s natural resources ; for example, offering them opportunities to obtain substantial shares in companies that manage these resources
- Develop a good monitoring mechanism that ensures investments between governments and foreign partners touch the lives of the people; for example, assign auditors to confirm that the people in the cities, counties, and villages benefit
- A national budget (indicative of a nation emerging from war) that reduces the vast income disparities between civil servants and some government functionaries within the executive, judiciary, and legislature, amidst the threat of corruption. For example, adjust high salaries among some government officials and increase civil servants salaries that give them more purchasing power to boost the economy and help reduce inflation
- All Liberians must prepare to embrace the fact that economic growth and empowerment come with hard work by aspiring to higher heights in education, rule of law, reconciliation, and total involvement in efforts that benefit our nation’s greater good; and understand that government is not always the answer, but is an important partner in the quest for economic empowerment for democratic sustainability.
Finally, until we bridge the divide between our quests for democracy and economic growth, our democracy will remain threatened while leaders live in the band aid illusion of election by the people but do not carry out the mandate of the people. History has proven that elected governments that lead a people who feel economically left out and forced to become survivalists in their own home, eventually face the wrath of the people that no dictatorship or military implements can crush; Liberia is an example. The overwhelming lessons of history must not be overlooked.