Posted in Dark Thinking

The Poverty Dilemma

Before i begin this post I’d like to give you a few disclosures. The Conversation provided below does not reflect my views. It was just a conversation with a ex policy maker who i will not be naming no matter what the response is. The ex Policy Maker shall be referred to as “X”. A Lot of the Content below might be offensive so i suggest you read it with an open mind and do not take offense even though it it is offensive because the discussion was being undertaken as a philosophical question and there is no way to prove whether policy makers do think in this way or not.

A jolly drinking session with a X recently turned into a philosophical one when I began discussing Socio-Economic Policies of My Country – India. India is a densely populated country. While the media has a tendency to exaggerate a lot of things in our country, there are some shoddy truths as well. It’s not all bad as people make it out to be but its not as good as the other make it out be as well

X and have sat down for conversations and drinking sessions on more than One Occasion. A Scotch in one hand and the weight of the world on the other. The conversation veered it’s way to the topic of Eradicating Poverty in India.

Me: X, I have a question, why is it that despite constantly providing subsidies and loan waivers to the poor, we are not able to find a proper solution and change the state of the Country?

X: Erza, you sort of provided the answer in your question itself. Imagine, I tell you once a year, I’ll pay you a sum of money for nothing in return. This sum of money won’t help you grow or anything but it will be enough to cover your debt and give you a clean slate. What you choose to do after this is up to you.

Me: Ok, that sounds interesting. I’d like that

X: Now, the fear in undertaking debt has been eradicated from your mind right?

Me: Yes. I can try to move up the economic ladder by undertaking a small debt to help me get of my feet and will be able to pay back the debt with the money I earn.

X: Now, what new venture would you undertake?

Me: Well something I’m good at of course.

X: Right, now imagine that you are not properly educated to the ways of the fast moving world and even though what you are good at is important it is looked down upon by people who are higher on the Socio-Economic Ladder. They are thus, not receptive enough and the probability of you succeeding has drastically reduced right? Now this happens year after year and your debt is taken care of no matter what.

Me: That seems pathetic, although, I am happy that I don’t have to worry about the debt I’m taking. But, honestly I’d lose interest in what I’m doing and there is a very small percent chance that I’ll actually get back to educating myself and start something new.

X: Exactly. You’ll continue doing what you do no matter how unsuccessful you are. As long as it barely make the ends meet you’ll continue doing what you have to do, to be able to afford Food, Clothing and Shelter. The payoffs are usually intentionally done by policy makers because it ensures there is always a social economic strata that exists below the poverty line.

Me: I get the Logic but why?

X: Well India is already densely populated and we come from a culture that considers jobs like cleaning the streets, sewers, masonry, carpentry and a whole set of careers as “lowly” careers. We expect someone else to do this for us as we would never dream of doing such things on our own . Now imagine the Government actually equips people below the poverty line to move up the socio-economic ladder. Do you think they would still want to continue picking up jobs like this? We live in a country where even a Carpenter and a plumber are looked down upon. Well if not explicitly, then at least in a way where we do not consider their career as important as ours, until something needs fixing.

Me: I agree that’s messed up. But it still doesn’t explain the conscious effort to ensure the existence of a “Below-Poverty-Line” Population .

X: Well imagine that most people who are doing this work empower themselves to move up the economic ladder, they would stop doing such work. with a lack of work force in these areas, our country would have to import work force from other countries . We already have a resource deficit in our country and our nation as a whole cannot afford to sustain a larger population. To ensure the country does not go into a resource crisis, conscious efforts are taken to ensure that the “Below-Poverty-Line” Population exists by giving them freebies and waivers to prevent a incentive from arising that would push them to pick up careers that would propel them faster up the ladder. Although I will say that it doesn’t work on everyone and people who are determined enough to move up, do equip themselves with knowledge to make a career shift and hence make the change happen. However the percentage of this type of people are too small to affect the country’s resources.

Me: *Flabbergasted*

I had no comeback to this. Was it right to suppress a segment of people to ensure the entire country wouldn’t suffer? Does the Logic have any factual loopholes? I had absolutely no answer to any of it.

SO here is a question for you, what would you do in X’s place? would you have taken a similar call to ensure the welfare of a larger population of people? Would you wrap a horrible deal in candy, and push it out to the masses so your popularity would increase while continuing to suppress the people?

Something to Ponder on. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Till them stay insane!!! it’s your girl Erza S signing off (Beep Beep Beep)

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