Mon 13 Jul 2015 10:23AM

Inequality, how should we respond?

PP Pirate Praveen Public Seen by 181

A child born to a rich family, even in the poorest countries, will go to the best school and will receive the highest quality care if they are sick. At the same time, poor families will see their children taken away from them, struck down by easily preventable diseases because they do not have the money to pay for treatment.”

Many people believe that inequality is an inevitable part of the surge of economic growth and globalised technological progress. But in fact inequality “is the product of deliberate economic and political policies”, of which the two biggest drivers are market fundamentalism and the capture of power by economic elites. Both of these are in abundant evidence in the India of today. Market fundamentalism — much in favour with India’s successive governments, but pursued with particular fervour by the one led by Narendra Modi — is the insistence that economic growth requires reduced government interventions, and further freeing up markets. It opposes public investments in education, nutrition and health, and progressive taxation, and demands dilutions of labour protections and acquisition of people’s lands and forests, all of which further fuel inequality. Accordingly, dramatic reductions in public investments in the social sector, weakening of labour protections and the land acquisition law, mark the first year of the Modi government.


Vidyut Tue 14 Jul 2015 1:04PM

I don't think India (or indeed the world) can escape some form of socialism from the state - whether welfare, or health services, or education. The reason is that a nation is in fact a kind of agreement. I follow the laws of the country in return for my potential to thrive. Everyone following the laws, paying taxes, etc provides a certain standard of life in terms of safety, intervention in conflict, infrastructure and more. A person who is not able to thrive has little interest in upholding the structure making his life difficult.

Call it socialism or a very capitalistic interest to give enough handouts to keep the deprived masses from threatening the entitlements or taking what they cannot earn in numbers too large for law enforcement to fix.

Honor demands that the view of governance deliver on this informal agreement meticulously, so that all citizens thrive and in turn obey laws. This, in my view means that a government must make it priority to ensure basic needs of all before spending on specialized purposes.

This is my view.


Vidyut Tue 14 Jul 2015 1:09PM

Also, a lot of government spending pretends to serve all, but in reality serves the elite. The poor do not consume so much electricity. Govt measures to increase available electricity as well as the deficit are a result of pretty much uncontrolled use by those who can afford to pay the bill and thus believe they should be allowed to buy as much as they like. The poor rarely use airports for example. So this "tax payer's money" concept used by people to selectively oppose what they don't need is basically a con. Far more people don't need airports. Why not oppose those?