The “food poverty line”, the warning of a silent massacre, and with the continuation of Iran’s clerical rule, the severity of the economic devastation have reached a point where even the usual words in the economy do not reflect the current situation.
This is why even government economists have become aristocratic. They use new self-made vocabulary to describe the current situation.
Government agents, instead of the “poverty line” whose amount is set at 10 million tomans, name another line called “food poverty line” or “livelihood line” which set be set at 670,000 tomans per person.
The “livelihood line” is the “death line.” If a family cannot earn this amount of income, it will be unable to provide food.
The “food poverty line” is 670,000 tomans
“Many working-class families are below the poverty line or on the border of the ‘food poverty line.’ The food poverty line is 670,000 tomans per person,” said Alireza Asgarian, the relief committee’s deputy for public participation, whose remarks were published in government newspapers on January 26, 2021.
Asgarian, speaking at the fourth webinar of the Higher Institute for Social Security Research, referred to the “centralized social security system for individuals” and said that there were currently a population of about 20 million people in need of social security coverage.
Regarding the current economic situation and the devaluation of the national currency and the rising unemployment of workers and the high cost of goods, he points to horrific statistics and he said: “There are currently a population of about 20 million people in need of social security coverage. The monthly observation center samples at 1,800 points and defines the food poverty line. Now the ‘food poverty line’ is 670,000 tomans per person, and if you consider a family of three with the minimum wage, many working families are below the poverty line or on the border of the ‘food poverty line’”.
Statistics of the Statistics Center of Iran and the depth of the disaster
These government confessions show only a small part of the reality of society and the enormous pressure that has been put on the people.
The horrifying reality is that, according to the Statistics Center of Iran, a population of over three million of the country’s working population are unemployed. But the indicator that the statistics center has for having a job is that: “If a person has done an hour-long job during the week, he is considered employed.”
A closer look at the statistical studies of the Statistics Center of Iran reveals the depth of the tragedy. A document published by the Statistics Center of Iran in the fall of 2019, states: “A review of the unemployment rate of the population aged 10 and over shows that 6.10 percent of the active population was unemployed. Based on these results, the unemployment rate was higher among women than men and in urban areas compared to rural areas.”
As can be seen, government agents have also included 10-year-old working children, who should be in the classroom, in the labor force. The reason is that they want to balance their statistics by increasing the number of working children and avoid giving real statistics.
Warning signs of a silent massacre
Various statistics on the number of educated unemployed in Iran have been published in government publications. In the mentioned statistics, the number of unemployed university graduates of the country is mentioned from 2 million to 4 million. This population is the main labor force of the country that should take the helm of the country’s economy after 16 years of education or more. But due to the destruction of the country’s economy in the fields of industry, agriculture and services, such a huge force has remained unemployed.
According to government officials, with a poverty line of 10 million Tomans, about 70 million of the country’s population fall below the poverty line. If we consider the new government criterion based on the “food poverty line” which is 670,000 tomans, even if one million of this population of 70 million who are below the poverty line are below the “food poverty line”, that would be a warning about a nationwide silent massacre. Because this population cannot afford the daily strength to survive.