Youth in the Middle East and North Africa need to succeed in a "double transition": first, they need to obtain relevant skills and credentials that make them employable, and second, they have to find a job in a notoriously non-meritocratic labor market.
Like many things, there may be a time and a place for using subsidies. But they need to be better targeted. And, often, there will be better alternatives. Alternatives that do a better job of protecting the poor.
Recent popular protests in the Middle East and North Africa region, although likely to have a negative economic impact in the short run, might actually help to unleash the countries' long-term growth potential.
While the IMF and the labor movement might have some differing views, our goals are ultimately the same -- standing against narrow domestic interests, against nationalism, against war. And standing for better living standards for all, and for peace.