THE stark reality is that internationally or nationally, the ultra-rich people are promising to grow richer in 2023. In India, too, the top 1 per cent rich people controlling as much as 40 per cent of total national wealth will continue to get wealthier. Though such wealthy people may be making headlines the world over, the ground reality that poor also continue to be poor (or even poorer) also needs to be understood in all its ugly dimensions. If the global economy is going to march in such an adverse direction, then the collective world leadership will have to sit together to redesign a more just and more equitable world order, failing which the humanity will face its doom in not so distant a future.
Even if the world has largely rejected Communism or socialism as ideologies, the pro-rich economic reality seems to suggest that even capitalism needs to be revisited and redesigned for the larger good of the human race. This thought makes its presence felt with greater vigour as the World Economic Forum (WEF) is beginnings its annual summit at Davos in Switzerland where world political and economic leaders will ponder over the ensuing world order.
It is obvious that the world now celebrates millionaires and billionaires with greater gusto, and that rich people are treated as national and international heroes and celebrities. When the human society celebrates the rich and riches, its entire value-system gets altered beyond recognition. For, in that case, the importance is given to the money and the people who make a lot of it. In that case, therefore, the importance of value-based living and virtue-based idealism are pushed to secondary positions.
This is the actual reason why capitalism as an ideology is getting an upper hand in the world of today. Though capitalism per se does not get much lift at least in pseudo-moral discourse of the world, the importance of money and big-money and its earners has grown in intensity and immensity. And most unfortunately, the political system across the world -- in any ad every country -- is being shaped and implemented to serve the purpose of the rich getting richer.
There also is a lop of lip service, as well, to the cause of the poor and the Governments are known to be following the flawed system of handing down the direct benefit to the poor without having them to work for it. There is not one single government anywhere in the world, including in India, that can vouch safe that it does not indulge in freebies to the poor as part of vote-bank politics. Different nomenclatures may be used to avoid the blame of freebies,l but the sum and substance of the concept of direct benefit transfer is this -- to feed the mouths whose hands do not work to earn the benefits.
This approach has topsy-turveyed the economic calculations and the governmental. Many Governments the world over are known to let go of the simple precautionary concept of issuance of currency in balance with the national reserves. This has often led to a false impression that there are enough riches available with the country, whereas the reality is altogether different. Unfortunately, however, the disproportionate pumping of currency into the systems leads to another flaw -- much of that money lands in the custody of the ultra-rich following the age-old dictum that money attracts money. The poor continue to remain poor, obviously -- as a natural consequence.
When the World Economic Forum meets, it must consider a possible alteration in this scenario. This may not be possible at such a late stage to use the current WEF session for this purpose. But at least, the leaders can consider this for the inclusion in the agenda for the forthcoming sessions next year and the years later.
This is certainly a tough agenda for the political world that thrives on the funding of its survival on the strength of filthy corporate money and ugly vested interests pumping funds with a hidden agenda. No matter this, it must be the common goal of the world leadership to rethink economic ideology and implement a new approach to global system in which there is a more equitable distribution of surplus. That will also mean a non-exploitative economic approach to natural resource management as well.