Tuesday, 19 February 2013
An economic tsunami is ravaging America. It is only after the finance minister repeatedly assured, did the people lose their remaining peace of mind. May be Chidambaram is assuring us in advance due to a worry that he might not get a chance later. Anyway, the wise have made one thing clear long ago: Do not believe a thing until the authorities deny it strongly.
Chidambaram is not an economic wizard. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is one. One quality both of them share is that neither will utter a word about the subjects they are proficient in. All the time Chidambaram is talking about economics and Manmohan about nuclear physics. Unlike nuclear physics, all of us know a little about economics. But no one knows this subject thoroughly. When it comes to predicting future, economists fare no better than palmists.
No economist had predicted that the US economy is going to file for bankruptcy. The credit rating of the US banking giant was a triple Atill it went broke. Nobody had predicted the government or the economy of the Soviet Union was going to collapse until it happened. Both the political pundits and the economic gurus are toppers in one thing: there won't be anything that they didn't know about something, after it happens. They'll list out everything about why and how it happened.
It may not be right to say that nobody had predicted this collapse. About a century and half ago Karl Marx had predicted the inevitable collapse of capitalism. He wasn't lucky enough to see it in his own time. There is one problem... the structure his followers built up to replace capitalism had collapsed long before the collapse of capitalism, that is all.
The condition of the one and only global super power is rather pathetic. No accountant in the World Bank was worried about the fact that America had the biggest trade deficit in the world. They were spending many times more than what they were earning. They could buy any amount of anything from anywhere in the world. They had nothing to worry as long as they had a press, which could print out dollar notes. They ran the press paying workers overtime wages. If they print rupee notes there and bring it to India, there will allegations of forgery and legal wrangles. Why bother, print dollars and bring it here - nobody is worried. Not only in India, but all over the world dollar is accepted in return for any goods and service purchased. No other nation has this privilege. As if it is not enough, day and night they were borrowing. On an average they are borrowing for about three billion dollars a day, night included. US has the first rank in the field of debts too. 12 percent of the super power's population is below poverty line – of course, 'sahib's' line will be a bit above our own line, but in the case of poverty he scores first in the developed world. It is no simple boast that the US is the country with the highest number of citizens in prisons. Right now they are worried about imprisoning the entire population - everything happened because of their greed. When all those banks, swollen up with money they pocketed from the people crashed, the government has decided to pick the pockets of people to save these banks. Do not feel cheated; we will convert this largesse in to equity, they tell the people.
There's a saying that giving a post-dated cheque of a crashing bank is the worst treachery you can inflict on anybody. American government is inflicting such a treachery on its taxpayers. In order to save capitalism, capitalists are talking about socialism these days. There are no limits to the depths to which some people would sink to survive. The devil would quote scripture to save his ass. Some naïve guys have taken it seriously and have started believing that the US is going socialistic. But socialism is only for the banks , the public will have to do with capitalism. Once the energy to stand up is regained old practices will come back with a vengeance.
If the US can preach socialism, who can't? As for Chidambaram, he has no problem, he was just 10 years old when AICC at Avadi adopted socialism as a guiding principle. Impressed, he joined Congress and turned to a staunch socialist then and there. Now all those sweet memories of Indira Auntie's bank nationalization and Avadi are gushing back to mind. Surely, we are all socialists. Till the next episode of globalization and liberalization, socialism will reign.
The fate awaiting the global policeman is that of the retired cop who was a sadist when in uniform. Even the street urchins might test their peaceful catapults on his head. US was trying hard to get out of the traps it set for itself in Afghanistan and Iraq when a bigger trap opened up in its home turf. If the situation continues like this, Afro-Asian and Latin American countries will have to form an organization titled G-50 or G-101 to save the super power.
That is not the issue here. What I cannot grasp is the economics behind the allegation that India became a slave of the US when we signed the 123 treaty. Unless threatened with guns or tempted with fortunes, even we won't agree to become a slave to anybody. Everyone has a minimum amount of self-respect. Nobody has taken the trouble to explain how a country with neither guns nor capital can force India to become its slave. Even if India the great nation were to volunteer to become a slave, I don't expect the beggar America to oblige us. They might even shoo us away for trying to steal from their bowl.
Even though there isn't much prospects for others, the US nuclear scrap metal industry might have a field day. They are sure to dump all the unwanted technology in India. Whether or not we'll get any electricity out of it, some political wheeler dealers are sure make some fast bucks out of it.