Saturday, July 13, 2013
Pro-poor or pro-poverty?
India is one of the poverty havens of the world. We have all heard of India's teeming millions, probably since childhood. While one could blame the British for all our mistakes pre-1947, it has been almost 67 years since they left. We are still one of the poorest nations on earth. Many countries in Asia, which started with similar poverty levels in the 1940s, have progressed faster — some of them dramatically. We, however, remain poor.
The continuance of poverty is particularly surprising because there are so many smart and powerful people who claim to be representing the poor. Politicians, academics, poverty economists, NGOs — there are so many people trying to help the poor. It is baffling, then, why we can't seem to get rid of poverty. Our public debates are virtually controlled by left-leaning intellectuals, who are some of the most pro-poor people on earth. And yet, they seem to be get-ting nowhere.
Well, they won't. Because while they may be experts on the poor and their suffering, they have little idea about the one thing that eventually removes poverty — money. Yes, it is over-simplistic, but it is perplexing how little our top thinkers and debate-controllers know about wealth creation, true economic empowerment, productivity and competitiveness. For, if they did, they would not support one of the most hare-brained schemes to have ever come out of our illusionist politicians` hat — the food security Bill. Read More