The elusive confluence between economics & politics for the Kenyan citizen

kenya-via-ksbPolitics, interests, power and influence

The obvious fact that seems to elude most of us as citizens is that politics is a game of interest. Politicians have vested interest in the game; and their interest is to access power. However, power is not the end goal. The ultimate objective is always to have influence over who accesses and exploits economic resources within a given jurisdiction for their own benefit.

Ideally, we should live in a society where the elected leaders are responsible and perform their duties in accordance to their job descriptions. In this ideal society, leaders use their positions of influence to ensure that economic resources within their given jurisdictions are accessed, exploited and distributed equitably for shared growth and development.

However, man was created with both good virtues and evil morals engrained in our DNA. Therefore, the ideal leader’s ambitions more often than not get tampered with corruption, impunity and pursuit of self-gain at the expense of the electorate; who in the first place put them into positions of influence through the ballot. And there lies our greatest undoing.

A layman’s definition of economics

Economics sounds like a very sophisticated term that should be exclusively left for the trained economists to deal with; and then feed the rest of us with the output insights after analyzing the hard statistics. Nothing could be far from the truth though.

From my layman’s understanding of economics; it is a body of knowledge that helps us to understand how to acquire, exploit and equitably distribute scarce resources within our jurisdictions and beyond; in order to meet our social needs.

The confluence of economics and politics

We are living in a society where different people are in pursuit of satisfying their social needs through the acquisition and exploitation of economic resources. With economic resources being limited in supply against an ever increasing demand from a growing population, conflicts are bound to happen when everyone is scrambling for the same scarce sources of livelihood.

Civilization therefore dictates that we need to have a system of governance that helps us to regulate our interactions as human beings when looking for and exploiting economic resources to meet our social needs within and beyond our jurisdictions. To institute this system of governance, citizens elect leaders of their own choice to go and make rules and regulations that guide our interactions and how to distribute the economic resources within our society.

These rules and regulations are what we refer to as laws and policies depending on the different context where they are applied. On the other hand, the process through which we elect our leaders into our chosen system of governance and their work of influencing policies that affect our economic & social interests is what we refer to as politics. The leaders themselves end up being referred to us politicians, since they are the central players bestowed with all the powers and acting on behalf of their constituents in the game of politics.

The sole duty of these politicians therefore is to represent their constituents in the various levels of representation at the county and national level; with the main objective of ensuring that we the citizens have an equitable access to economic resources to help us meet our social needs.

Our politicians are obligated to concentrate on formulating, enacting and implementing laws and policies to foster our economic growth and improve our social welfare as citizens. Any other things that the politicians do apart from these are mere side shows to divert our attention from what really matters to we the people (common mwananchi).

When we the people wake up to this reality, the roles will be reversed; we shall be the bosses in pursuit of our economic and social interests, while the politicians will serve our interests by listening to us and not us listening to them.

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