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Economist calls for investment in education

April 17th, 2015

An analyst welcomes the government’s conservative development vision which aims at strengthening the Hungarian middle class. He warns, however, that more investment in education is also required for successful development.

No emerging market has ever caught up with developing countries through the implementation of neoliberal economic models, Zoltán Pogátsa writes in a long essay in Magyar Nemzet. The social democratic-minded economist contends that peripheral states need to abandon laissez-faire doctrines and strengthen their national economies in order to achieve fast development. Pogátsa believes that the Orbán government’s conservative economic policy vision sets out to serve these ends: the Orbán government interferes in the market, offers privileges for Hungarian investors and nationalizes strategic sectors in order to create a strong Hungarian middle class which will boost economic output, Pogátsa believes. To achieve this, the government uses nationalist rhetoric. Pogátsa likens this project to Bismarck’s, De Gaulle’s and East-Asian conservative economic models which have been successful in creating fast economic growth and development. Pogátsa adds that the success of conservative development projects is dependent on two factors. First, the government needs a constant increase in welfare in order to maintain its political legitimacy. Second, economic growth requires a qualified workforce. If the Hungarian government wants to emulate the success of conservative developing states, it needs to invest more in education than it currently does, Pogátsa concludes.

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