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Jakarta Post

It’s (not) the economy, stupid

  • Budi Akmal Djafar

Jakarta   /   Thu, September 20 2012   /  07:56 am

Every so often, we hear Indonesia cited as Asia’s new rising star ready to face the challenges and opportunities the world can offer. Its potential is massive and regionally influential; the country is ready for take off.

And for Indonesia, that hard-fought recognition is not confined strictly to commerce or market exchanges alone, but is reflected in how the country upholds the values of democracy amid its intricate tapestry of cultures. For many, Indonesia is a role model for success as it continues to prosper in the midst of global economic slowdown.

But one can’t help but wonder if these claims are justifiable today? Are we the ideal role model for economic growth and development among like-minded nations? The answer is both yes and no.

In the literature, the study of economics starts with a simple story. Think of a box (the economy) that produces all good...