May be it is me. But I know that many people reading this at what point have been confused by the term fiscal policy.
The first time I heard this term, fiscal policy, used was during my economics lessons in A-level, 20 years ago.
Our theatrical economics teacher, a one Musundi, introduced me to this word but there were missteps.
He asked: What fiscal policies can government put in place to ensure macro-economic stability?
I don’t know what other students heard but personally, I heard as if Musundi had asked for “physical” policy, given his strong Gishu accent.
Burning with what I thought was the rightful answer, I promptly put up my hand and was selected.
“One of the physical policies that can be put in place is to build a wall around Bank of Uganda, such that…” I blubbered.
He quickly interjected: “Kiggundu, the word is ‘fiscal’ not ‘physical.’ Where did you learn your English?”
I recoiled in embarrassment and kept quiet for the rest of the lesson.
That is why I am not one of the people who has joined the bandwagon to lampoon one of our presidential hopefuls who appeared to confuse the two terms, like I did, on national television.
In fact, after watching and re-watching the clip on social media, I am convinced that the politician had a strong case given the state of disorderliness in our society.
In my view, what Uganda needs now are not what economists term as “fiscal policies” but rather “physical” policies. Here is why:
There are rising cases of impunity especially among a class of people who believe that the country owes them gratitude for having been reckless to go to the bush and “liberate us.”
For starters, no one sent them there and if they eventually shot their way to power, that is their business.
Some of these people have started going around assaulting whoever stands in their way. Since most of the time they use physical force, we should also reply in the same currency. We need train a rapid response team of Kanyamas, equip it with batons and put it on standby. The team should be led by Moses Golola.
In case one of these so called historicals misbehaves, the team should be dispatched to physically deal with him or her. Fiscal policies of throwing good money at these people and lavishing them with expensive fuel guzzlers have hurt not only the economy but also some of the wananchi. It is time these people are hurt back.
Recently a group of youth, some high on something tried to attack a prominent opposition politician. The politician was from a radio talk-show where he had enumerated some of the fiscal policies needed to resuscitate our ailing economy. Now the youths did not want to hear any of his so called fiscal policies. They instead tried to physically manhandle him, which was a bad thing.
Yet in my view, political violence should be dealt with in the same currency, using physical policy. Those who visit violence on other people should also face the wrath of violence and suffer the consequences. That is when we will sober up and learn that political disputes need to be resolved peacefully.
Corruption remains a deeply rooted evil in our society. Part of the reason why the fiscal policies have not worked is because when government budgets for money to be spent in a certain sector, half of it ends up on the private accounts of some officials.
See, fiscal policies therefore are not the magic bullet to our economic development.
We have put in place measures to fight graft, we have a myriad of institutions, laws, policies etc but they have not worked.
Why not employ a “physical” policy to deal with the corrupt? For starters, the corrupt in our institutions should be identified and isolated. They should then be taken to a gazetted area where they are whacked kibokos day and night for six months. Believe me, things will get better.
From the little economics I studied, I gather that fiscal policies are employed to ensure economic stability, reduce on the Balance of Payments deficit and as measures to boost revenue of a country.
Those of you who have followed recent developments will agree with me that some of the people charged with managing our economy need to be handled “physically.”
When a group of people in the central bank decide to close people’s banks on their personal whims, without minutes and a strong basis; how does that improve the economy?
These people need a physical policy. We buy chains, wrap them around their feet and flip them upside down, from the tenth floor of Bank of Uganda. Even if we do this for just ten seconds, believe you me, they will become sober and manage the economy in a proper manner.
Have a nice week!
The rogue is a satirical column that runs weekly on The Nile Post.
You can reach the author on +256-788179369