Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Slowdown Snippets

Ok, fine! So the world is 'slowing down'. And things won't look up anytime in the near future. demand is low, exports are hit, production faces a slump, factories get redundant, so workers are needed no longer and hence, pinkslipped...And all this has happened because some people in the other end of the globe went greedy and invested in unreal prospects so the bubbles popped promptly. And what do the world do? We reduce interest rates, increase credit flow-to pep up demand and put the growth plan back into action, among many other measures. But one sec, something is missing here, rt? Just the other day we said greed is bad and caused all this nonsensical melodrama, and quoted MK Gandhi big time (to the effect of, "the world has everything for our needs but not enough for one person's greed"). We blamed people for growing suicidal due to hyped up pressures of a consumer society and Kerala, especially, is being blamed for being a blindly consumerist state. But what we to do in order to get out of the crisis is induce once again this very greed, rt? To increase manufacturing, production, exports, there has to be demand, and to increase demand, there has to be some disposable income in people's hands, in order to provide this, they will be paid hell lot of money as salaries, commissions and perks once again as soon as the economy shows signs of slight recovery-bcoz only then does one think of upgrading one's mobile phone, or buying another car for the 15-yr old of the house and plan a vacation to Uganda. Rt? So in the end, we are caught up in the same old vicious circle? and there is no getting out? Or should we just sit back and relax as these are simply economic processes-for every boom there is a doom? Or even better, watch the 'maya' of time while it is turning the king into pauper and vice-versa?
On the brighter side, some economists say this is the best time to recognize the 'power of ideas'. That is, channel funds for green energy; fight global warming and climate change effectively using the newly-found slow pace now that economic growth is slowing down; spend more on social sectors such as basic sanitation, healthcare, drnking water and education; start up new enterprises with extremely good talent sourced cheaply from the laid-off lot, so on and so forth. But again, aren't these our immediate concerns? And remain so for at least a few decades more?Once boom-the-pied-piper comes back, should we stop all the good samaritan activities we are doing and join the mad rat-race again--make more money, more fame and even more money in whatever way possible and label ourselves a success? What about people getting left behind? What about those who don't possess the grit and sheer thick skin to make it to the top? What about those who prefer to be remain backstage, but are the pillars of outwardly success? So what is this ray of hope in distress mean to us? A temporary break to the back-breaking hardwork for looking good for the outer world, at the expense of feeling miserable inside.
To summarise, "Jai Ho, Let's be human for a short while"