Friday, June 05, 2009

sathya on Inquality and human values

Whenever I used to contemplate about the “economic imbalance” in society, i.e. many are poor, whereas a few are rich, it always occurred to me that lack of Human Values is the fundamental problem. And I used the oft-quoted paradigm of “IT industry pays best than rest” to conceptualize this.

To illustrate this, let us take a case study of a super market. Let us describe the services / transactions / stakeholders in a diagram as follows (sorry about the pathetic arrows!).

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As all of us know, supermarket never manufactures things. Assume a poor farmer producing rice/ wheat / vegetables / fruits supplying for this supermarket. If the base amount he would get for producing the commodity is ‘x’, the supplier (whose job is relatively simpler than farmer) gets at least ‘3x’, and the supermarket would sell the product with an equal or more profit. And there are customers, who are ready to pay this figure!

Let us go back to diagram. People do not mind paying 2 rupees for an item, while they could get an equal / slightly low-quality item for Re. 1. Many of them buy things which they would seldom / sparingly use. And the supermarkets price the products based on these “strategies”. Thus, rich people continue to become richer.

Of course, one may argue that it is the so-called “knowledge” which makes people rich (software guys are, after all, smart!!). I have come across many of these so-called “know ledged” whose whole intention is to “Live and Let Die”. They do not hesitate to trample others for their well being. The poor, for the simple reason that they are less / illiterate, inspite of their hard work, remain poor.

A little thought would reveal that if only we practice, what Sathya Sai Baba calls, “Ceiling on Desires”, i.e. putting a stringent limit on our otherwise uncontrolled desires, having a little “discrimination” (what we really need / what we do not), and sharing of wealth (giving back to society from where we got riches), would equalize / balance the economy.