Tesla In the News: Originally published in Foreign Policy on August 23, 2018

By Aaron Magid 

Jordan’s heir apparent, Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, took to the stage last month to deliver a somewhat surprising economic message. Speaking to students just slightly younger than himself, the 24-year-old graduate of Georgetown University hammered home the need for independence. In an era of innovation and dynamic global change, Hussein declared, Jordanians can no longer depend on outsiders to provide for their livelihoods: “We live,” he said, “in an era of self-reliance.”

His words echoed those of the country’s former prime minister Hani al-Mulki, who gave the following warning last October as the country headed toward a financial crisis: “We have to rely on ourselves,” he explained, “as donor countries have made it clear that they cannot help us if we do not take measures to help ourselves.” Mulki’s solution included a new tax law, endorsed by the Jordanian Cabinet on May 21 and sent on to the Parliament for approval, that would have lowered the level of earnings at which income tax kicks in from $34,000 to $22,500 a family. At that rate, 90 percent of Jordanians would still have been exempt from paying. Regardless, Jordanians were outraged. Soon, protests erupted against the unpopular law, ending with the prime minister’s resignation…

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