Archive | Current Affairs RSS feed for this section

Economic Manifesto – 2

11 Dec

The argument is wrong on many counts.

Let’s take the first one, what if he had not invested.

I turn and say what if he had not invested, what would he have done with the money?

Money not invested is dead money. And money doesn’t increase in value lying in vaults and banks. The individual if he is to protect his self interest he needs to find ways to make money grow. So in that sense he had no other option but to invest, whether in his idea or someone else’s idea. Investing the capital is without option.

Now the other argument is, who bears the risk of failure. If the venture fails, the employees would lose nothing rather they would gain as they would received salary for the months they would have worked, while the investor would lose all his saving. Post which employees will find employment somewhere else, while investor would be left twiddling his thumbs.

This argument can also be answered saying failure is inherent risk and when the investment was made individual had no compulsion to take a particular direction, the decision was made on self volition. But that will not address the economic part of the question. Because the logic of the question is based on the argument that if a person to liable to lose everything with no one sharing the loss, he also has the right to gain everything without sharing it with everyone.

The argument highlights one factor and conveniently ignores the other. The impression they are trying to create is that the investor has put all his saving in the venture and its failure will make him a pauper. While on the other hand it tries to prject that the employee without much of an effort would find another replacement job.

If I were to reverse the logic and pose the same question differently. What if the investor after the failed investment, shuts down the venture, and moves on to something else, which succeeds, while the employees who had put all their efforts and commitment behind this business, get branded as failures and become unemployable? In such a case, what is the responsibility of the investor? And if this is a possibility, that what is the stake of the employees in the success of an idea?

To be continued…

Economic Manifesto -1

10 Dec

One of the basic beliefs in the capitalist mind is that the one who takes the risk must have the highest right to enjoy the benefits of success. Now I am no socialist but despite my strong capitalist leaning I cannot fathom or agree upon this fundamental principle.

Let’s try to break the whole process in sub-parts. This is a very simplified approach but for the purpose of argument it will suffice.

  1. There is always a beginning, in which there is an individual who has the capital. And the individual is seeking returns from this capital.
  2. He has many options, like putting the money in bank but that only protects the value of money but doesn’t enhance it.
  3. That obviously is not what the individual desires, he wants more than that. He thinks of an idea.
  4. He hires people, promise them salary and certain incentives. All of them together start operating.
  5. The idea turns out to be successful business model and profits are made.
  6. The promoter or owner, keeps the profit and everyone is happy.

Objective of the owner is to maximize his profits. That means he must reduce cost as much as possible. Only through lowest possible cost that he would be able to maximize his profits.

The extreme example of this capitalist approach is slavery, wherein the worker doesn’t get more than food for his basic sustenance. That is the lowest cost for the owner.

Though slavery has been abolished the mindset still exists.

Capitalist model promotes slavery, as the system glorifies the individual who takes the risk, a bit too much. It tries to promote the myth that without the risk that particular individual takes there would be no progress.

Such theorists and propagandists perpetuate the myth of a man against the society. Standing alone, fighting the unchanging rigid world, struggling to bring to the world his beliefs and in the process making lives better. And such a man if he succeeds should enjoy the fruits of his herculean labor.

Now obviously it is bull shit.

Such individuals do exist but they are few and far between. Even those individuals do not have the right to such extreme benefits. And in any case if you look at the history of any break-through, the creator rarely has benefitted from his creativity, it normally is the financer who gains from such inventions and discoveries.

In most of the cases it is profit that has come from opportunity.

Now we go back to the beginning.

Individual has money.

Agree.

He wants returns.

Agree.

But this step has another question that has not been asked.

How much return does he seek?

10%, 20%, 30%, 100%??

There must be some value in his mind that there must be justification for expecting that return.

  1. And is the return in perpetuity??
  2. Is thinking of an idea and executing of an idea have the same meaning?
  3. What about other people who helped make it a success? Do they have a stake in monetary success of the idea?
  4. And what happens if the idea fails

I am of the opinion that a return has to be established. And this has to be fair return philosophy and NOT maximization of return approach.

The detractors of this approach would say that if the individual had not invested, there would have been no wealth.

This argument is fundamentally flawed.

To be continued…….

Inqualaab Zindabad

29 Apr

It was very interesting to watch the protest of Anna Hazare last month and slowly dwindling media footage with every passing week.

As it was interesting to watch “No one killed Jessica”.

As interesting it is to wait for the next movie by Martin Scorsese.

We live in such interesting time.

Do you think Anna Hazare who started the protest and the Anna Hazare who is a celebrity are the same people?

Do you think anything when touched with filth can remain pure anymore?

Does having a thought involuntarily change us in any way? Or an action done consciously stronger?

What makes more sense forced action or self-discipline?

I won’t take bribe.

I won’t give bribe.

If you have seen “A bridge over River Kwai” you will remember the protagonist who falls in love with his own creation losing every other reality in its relation.

Can we break a system we have made with our own loving blooded hands?

Are habits so easy to forget?

Equality is a myth. Not a myth it is a joke.

We should change the system. They should not take the bride. They should not do this, they should not do that.

Who the fuck is this “they”?

Ah, they is not I, they is them, someone else, some faceless, nameless person, I don’t know, haven’t seen, haven’t heard.

It is not me.

It is not my father.

It is not my uncle.

It is not my friend.

It is not my neighbor.

It is someone else.

Someone I don’t know.

But someone I hate.

Someone who is fucking it up for all of us. And specially for me.

And I am with you Anna Hazare.

But sorry, I will not stand in the queue for a rail ticket but pay the agent to get me a ticket in black. Come on that’s a legitimate business.

Sorry, I cannot stand in this queue, I will call up my influential uncle and get ahead of the line filled with these stinking sweating animals. You don’t think they are humans?

I don’t pay bribe but I just asked if he will do my work for money.

But I am with you Anna Hazare.

I remember now, I was supposed to fuck the system by participating in not buying anything strike day.

We must thank Anna Hazare for letting all of us know, without him we would have never heard of such noble thoughts and acceptable behavior. If it wasn’t for him how would we know-

Don’t take bribe

Don’t give bribe

System is rotten

Rich rule the roost

Honesty is a good policy

Be good.

Don’t steal.

Violence against weak is a crime.

Those school years, stories about great souls were just stories and for exams to be passed. Zillion Hindi movies are just entertainment and Mahatama Gandhi is dead. Remember he was shot, assassinated.

Oops did I just call Anna Hazare entertainment? A TV show? As unreal as superfluous as those never ending TV shows.

I cannot.

How dare I?

Didn’t I see the government capitulate and talk to him?

Isn’t the Lokpal Bill being considered and soon would be implemented?

I did, I know, but then there is this niggling, bothering little voice irritatingly telling me that every office already has these small lines that give complaint numbers in case of bribes.

Don’t remember anyone using it.

Except for some brave souls.

Souls without crowds behind them but individuals standing up to their morals and values.

I always suspected that people are idiots but I didn’t know that they were morons of such extent.

There are two interesting concepts self-affirmation and self-delusion.

In self-affirmation I clap very hard when I hear someone saying things which I believe in. So a part of the crowd that clapped and chanted probably was already non-corrupt.

End result – nothing changes.

Self-delusion is when I refuse to acknowledge my complicity in an action. I still clap hard as I group myself with self-affirmation group.

End result – nothing changes.

I have the utmost respect for the self-affirmation group, they need no Anna Hazare for they have themselves to fight their battles.

The other group, that’s majority who participate yet don’t know will ensure nothing changes.

But what about the corrupt you ask.

There is no one who is corrupt.

When I say no one I mean no one.

Individual can never be corrupt.

Individual can never create corruption, even if he desires.

It is a collaborative exercise.

Groups are corrupt.

And beauty of group is that it is nameless.

It is them.

It is they.

Not I.

Never I.

To tell you the truth, I don’t give a fuck about Anna Hazare and I don’t give a fuck about me, He is good and so am I.

I give a fuck when I am with you because we are assholes.

Change will happen when the belief changes from “they are corrupt” to “we are corrupt” and “We will not be”.

That day you will be honest.

I will be honest.

And we will be honest.

Now the closure, I will tell you a secret: That day will never come.

Asses in Corporateland

23 Mar

“My company does not respect performance”
“That guy got such an underserving promotion”
“Woh chaat chaat kar….”
“Let’s see how far he goes without talent and through favoritism”
“So fucking unfair”

Today morning I was driving to office with a colleague and the conversation veered towards the above mentioned sentiment. He started sharing with me his corporate sob story of how he has worked so hard and for so many years yet another guy who is so very underserving is rising up and the usual associated shit, which I am sure you can easily hear in your head. We all in our course of work life have said and heard these refrains and laments in the past.

How can people be so dumb?

What do they think corporate world is?

Some fucking NGO??

Ram Rajya??

Some idealistic society???

For some reason people tend to consider the corporate world to be a perfect society. There are two mistakes in it, one is to think it has a parallel with the society and it is a miniature of the outside world they live in, the so called society.

I don’t have much of patience on this issue and will put my views succinctly and please don’t think the argument is a censure of the capitalism in any manner. And just my views.

Three points-

1. It is not a mirror of the society. It has rules which are independent of the society justice system. Do not mistake it as a perfect world where all things that happen are just and right.

2. The world does not operate as a barter system in its relation with its customers. It’s only smoke and mirror. In a way it is closer to the crime and criminal world in construct. The things it offers it tries to extract a price as high as possible in comparison to its actual cost of manufacturing. It in a way is a con game. And the ones that bluff the best are the winners. It requires a different kind of mindset to succeed, if I can think of an appropriate world, it will illusion.

3. If illusion is the reality of the corporate world outside the same will also hold true inside. The guys who can create the best illusions inside will succeed. What goes outside must happen inside. And it is best for the organization to succeed. It needs such people only. It doesn’t need honest, hardworking, committed people; it needs con artists who know their trade the best because dear friend, that is the business.

So stop cribbing and go find the best artist in the trade and become his or her apprentice if you have desire and ambition to succeed in this parallel, alternate reality universe.

And this argument is a con trick.

I dare you to find the flaw.

Signs of time

24 May

It was the peak hour, the cars were crawling bumper to bumper. The non-moving cars then came to a halt at the red signal.

Suddenly door of one car opened and this youngish looking man in a pathani suit ran out leaving the car behind, he ran between the cars and was soon out of sight amidst that sea of cars.

Drivers and passengers in the cars nearby saw the man run, they all froze for a second, paralyzed by fear, one of them woke up from the stupor, shook himself and opened the door and ran. He screamed as he ran, asking everyone to abandon the cars and save their lives.

Within seconds it was mayhem as everyone left their cars and scrambled whereever they could see space, most not knowing why they were running, yet knowing why they had to rush.

It was maybe less than a minute from the beginning till the end, when the boy in the Pathani suit came back to his car still adjusting his pajama knot to find a sea of empty cars.

Why Congress won?

26 May

Lots of analysis on Congress victory in these elections, like cricket now we have become experts here also, I am sure I can also add my two bit.

I will not talk about multiple individual factors like Rahul Gandhi factor or Advani calling Manmohan Singh weak but would focus on a single factor that is the voter to a large extent.

In these elections the most important factor were two large groups, youth & the lower middle class and their vote to a large extent decided the victorious versus the derided. Now the question is why did they behave the way they did.

Let us first look at the main platforms of the two main parties, and they cannot be more stark, where Congress focused on the individual and his prosperity, BJP focused on the nation and its stability/growth. It was a tussle of a micro versus the macro.

And the times we are living in somehow make micro more important than macro. Economic instability is making people unsure of their own future and a person needs to first solve his problems before he can be concerned with any larger picture. And that is what worked for Congress. 

If elections had been held maybe 2 years ago when we as a nation were getting prosperous and had a shinning outlook, then macro (like terrorism would have been a platform) because in that scenario a macro element like terrorism would have destabilized my micro secure universe. And to protect my micro I, as a voter, would have focused on resolving macro issue and would have supported a party which I would have believed could have resolved that issue.

I am of the opinion, a voter looks at everything from an individual presepctive (and correctly so) rather than a mass good lens ever. What changes is what he sees is more important for him and in this case immediate comfort of next meal and job was more important than Taliban & Pakistan.

I just hope Congress does not belie his hopes.    

I promise to vote

21 Apr
Elections are here and drumbeats are ringing across the country this time from every nook and corner, and sounds emanating from every hole “lets vote. This time you must vote. Your vote counts, your vote will change this country, vote will remove this politician, your vote will change this state, your vote will change this system and your vote will take this country on path of progress, blah this and blah that…..”
 
Bilkul sahai bola bhaisaab/behenji, par mera ek sawaal tha, will this vote also change you; you, the Indian, you the individual. I agree to vote, if along with politicians you, you also promise to change.
 
So raise your hand and say- 
1.      I agree that everything is not controlled by politicians. I agree that we cannot blame politicians for all our ills. Ills damning this country are not their fault but my fault. I am the Indian, who is also a government employee and no one voted me in this position and I chose to be one. Despite that it is I who has been corrupt and lazy and uncommitted to this country and only by individual choice. I could have done my job well but my greed for money & power swayed me from this path. I do not blame the system, as I am the system and politicians have nothing to do with it. If you vote this time I promise to do my job with full sincerity and honesty.
2.      I agree that even after 60 years of independence and getting educated, I am till communal, caste driven and with a parochial mindset. I think my region/religion/caste is the best and every other region/religion/caste  inferior and my enemy. I do not see them as humans and definitely do not trust them. But if you vote I promise not to see them as Hindus or Muslims or Christians or Sikhs or scheduled caste or Brahmins or Bihares or Bengalis or Madrasis or Bhaiyas or anything other than Indians and fellow human beings. I would make opinions based on nothing else except their actions and my decisions would be based on merits and not dictated by any form of kinship.
3.      I, the businessman, who also is not a politician, would not be driven by my gluttony and greed. None of my decision would be based only on the logic of economics and I would look at greater benefits beyond just paper. I would consider society and large and also my environment, my air, my soil, my water…. If you vote this time, I promise I would be wealth creator, wealth distributor & wealth preserver and not a wealth hoarder or wealth destroyer, natural or created.
4.      It is my fault and not dictated by any politician that I as a male, have been a sexist all my life. It is I, who has believed that women are weaker sex, play objects, created for my pleasure, entertainment and service.  It is I, who as a father did not send my daughter to school. It is I, who as father married them off before they turned 18 and ignored their personal ambitions. It is I, who as father gave more importance to my sons and hated my daughters for being girls. It is I, who as husband beat my wife for not giving me a son and made her bear 8 kids to get my heir. It is I, the brother who fought with others for at staring at my sister but raised the skirt in public of someone else sister for fun. It is I, the same brother who refused to give my sister her paternity share of will. It is I, who as a man has made life hell for women by my predatory behavior. It is I, who as a man burned that woman who lost her husband. It is I who has been all this and more and worse. But I promise if you vote this time, I would consider women as equals, human beings and not objects. I would give them equal rights and equal opportunities, as a father, brother, colleague, friend or just as a man.    
5.      It is my fault, as a woman, that I have been treated ill because I let them. But the bigger sin that I have committed is that I let the same happen to my daughter which happened to me. It is I, who believed that I am weak, it is I, who did not fight and it is I who needs to change first before the society changes. If you vote this time, I promise to change myself and change the world with me.
I think this much of change in this election would be enough, must keep some wishes for next election.
So dear voter, if you have this on your personal manifesto and you promise me this, I promise to go through manifestos of all political parties and would try my best to find a right candidate for you with my vote.
Mera Bharat Mahaan.