( Help has been sought from book ‘Lessons of History’ by Will Durant and ‘End of Poverty’ by Jeffery D. Sachs)
At the other end of the scale history reports that “the men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things, and the men who can manage money manage all”. Look at bankers, watching the trends in agriculture, industry, and trade, inviting and directing the flow of capital, putting our money doubly and trebly to work, controlling loans and interest and enterprise, running great risks to make great gains, rise to the top of the economic pyramid. They are the real masters.
History, according to Karl Marx, is economics in action-the
contest, among individuals, groups, classes, and states, for food, fuel, materials, and economic power.
The experience of the past leaves little doubt that every economic system must sooner or later rely upon some form of the profit motive to stir individuals and groups to productivity. Substitutes like ideological enthusiasm prove too unproductive, too expensive, or too transient.
Uneven distribution of wealth is the real cause behind societal unrest. It requires to be managed through strict governance.
Jaffery D. Sachs in his master piece book ‘ End of Poverty, highlight the unimaginable divide between the richest and poorest parts of the world. Writer takes into account the four countries, Malawi, Bangladesh, India and China. In Malawi, 84 percent of the population lives in rural areas; in Bangladesh, 76 percent; in India, 72 percent; and in China, 61 percent. In the United States, at the other upper end of the development spectrum, it is just 20 percent. Services account for under 25 percent of employment in Malawi, whereas in the United States, they account for 75.
If economic development is a ladder with higher rungs representing steps up the path to economic well-being, there are roughly one billion people around the world, who live in utter poverty: too ill, hungry, or destitute even to get a foot on the first rung of the development ladder. These people are the “poorest of the poor,” or the “extreme poor” of the planet. They all live in developing countries (poverty does exist in rich countries, but it is not extreme poverty). Their cash earnings are pennies a day. Next is
low- income world, where roughly another 1.5 billion people live above mere subsistence. Their daily survival is pretty much assured but they struggle to make ends meet. Death is not at their door, but chronic financial hardship and a lack of basic amenities such as safe drinking water and
functioning latrines are part of their daily lives.
Another 2.5 billion people, including the Indian IT workers, are up yet another few rungs, in the middle-income world. These are middle- income households, but they would certainly not be recognized as middle class by the standards of rich countries. Their incomes may be a few
thousand dollars per year. Most of them live in cities. They are able to secure some comfort in their housing, perhaps even indoor plumbing. They can purchase a scooter and someday even an automobile. They have adequate clothing, and their children go to school. Their nutrition is adequate, and some are even falling into the rich-world syndrome of unhealthy fast food.
Still higher up the ladder are the remaining one billion people, roughly a sixth of the world, in the high-income world.
The good news is that, more than half of the world, is experiencing economic progress. Not only do they have a foothold on the development ladder, but they are also actually climbing it. Their climb is evident in rising personal incomes and the acquisition of goods such as cell phones, television sets, and scooters. Progress is also evident in such crucial determinants of economic well-being as rising life expectancy, falling infant mortality rates, rising educational attainment, increasing access to water and sanitation, and the like.
The greatest tragedy of our time is that one sixth of humanity is not even on the development ladder. A large number of the extreme poor are caught in a poverty trap, unable on their own to escape from extreme material deprivation. They are trapped by disease, physical isolation, climate stress, environmental degradation, and by extreme poverty itself.
Pakistan can not be categorized at the moment in extreme poverty not on the ladder of progress. Pakistan is struggling to find it’s place to further its policies of economic wellbeing.
We may conclude that Economic history is the slow heartbeat of the social organism, a vast systole and diastole of concentrating wealth and compulsive recirculation. Concentration of wealth is natural and inevitable, and is periodically alleviated by violent or peaceable partial
redistribution. Subsidies, discrimination in revenue collection, corruption, and burden on poor people and salaried class is not a solution. We need to find a way to go near the ladder of economic prosperity.
Atique Ur Rehman