Headline June 16, 2016/ ''' POVERTY & PRAYERS '''


PROPHET MOHAMMAD  -peace be upon him,  and peace be upon all the prophets of the world-  had a morbid fear of poverty and a poverty ridden world.

Some of his great supplications and prayers to Almighty God, was to seek deliverance and mercy from poverty, *for the whole of mankind*. The Prophet understood that the rights of the poor, increasingly and maybe irreversibly, get trampled to dust. 

ONE GREAT TRAGEDY IN LIFE IS that  Rights  do not always result in benefits. 

Even in advanced capitalist countries like the US and UK, people enjoy a lot of political and economic rights but the poor are still marginalised.

Don't market forces, in most cases favor the rich? Are information asymmetries not a big hurdle in the way of free market? 

ARE THE DEVELOPMENT EXPERTS who constitute a small group of individual competent enough to design solutions to the problems of the poor countries?

Would it not be better to leave the solutions to the thousands of people interacting in the free market?

Professor William Easterly, a former economist of the World Bank and currently professor of development economics at New York University,  is of the view that leaving the solutions of the problems to the free market forces is-

Far better option than imposing consciously designed solutions by the development experts.

AND, Professor Easterly does not prescribe any specific solution to underdevelopment and poverty alleviation rather he asks to leave the solutions to the free market.

Perhaps Professor Amartya Sen comments that  ''he is a man without a plan'' also apply to this book. Professor Easterly, however, cites the example of  Chung Ju Young, a starving farmer in Korea who went to establish  Hyundai Motors to his thesis,

''He knew that the worst way to solve your problem is to try to solve your own problem. A better way is to join an association of problem solvers,'' Easterly writes. 

Chung Ju Young became an auto mechanic learnt a lot about cars and contracted to car manufacturers for Ford Motors and eventually established Hyundai Motors.

According to Easterly, development experts often suggest solutions that the locals know will not work. Thus  the  'invisible hand' of Adam Smith is the primary principle that Easterly is advocating. People should be left to choose their own way.

Their political and economic rights should be respected. But the question here is what rights is Professor Easterly talking about?

Rights include both political and economic rights. the long list of those traditionally respected in today's mature capitalist democracies. it includes the political freedom from seizure of your person and the economic freedom from seizure of your property.

It includes the political freedom to assemble with whom you wish and the economic freedom to trade with whom you wish. 

It includes the political freedom to replace bad public service providers with good ones, and the economic freedom to replace bad private service providers with good ones.''

Undoubtedly, individual rights are an end per se. the poor have rights too but the questions are: does free market exist in the real world? 

Don't market forces, in most cases, favor the rich? Are information asymmetries not a big hurdle in the way of the market?

Pickety in his recent bestseller has pointed out how capital is inherently inequality-enhancing. The 2008 financial crisis has brought the free market philosophy under severe criticism. 

Professor Ha-joon Chang of Cambridge University is perhaps right when he says that there is no such thing as free market. 
''The usual claim by free market economists that they are trying to defend the market from politically motivated interference by the government is false.

Government is always involved and those free-markeeters are as politically motivated as anyone.''  

Professor Easterly gives generalised solutions to poverty alleviation and underdevelopment. He argues that democracy  [political rights] and free market {economic rights} are the real pathways to development.

Whether democracy and the free market guarantee the rights of the poor remains a debatable proposition. 

The real significance of the book: 
*The tyranny of experts, economists, dictators, and the forgotten rights of the poor*  however, lies in the fact that it has initiated a debate between-

'Authoritarian development' and  'free development'  and has advanced forceful arguments in favor of free development premised on the rights of the poor.

To sum, so many of you have asked me and keep asking me about the fight against poverty. The stark truth is that at the Highest Level, the philosophic level, the real debate is what kind of society you all want to live in-

What kind of a world do you want to leave for the future generation of students?

If you all want a world with equality, equity, fairness and justice for all, regardless of color, race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or nationality than the debate should be as to what plans and executions will helps us take on poverty.

For example, the question is not about offering education to all, it is about offering the same high quality education to all.; it is not about access of masses to some primitive health facilities, it is about state of the art healthcare for all-

And it is not about having a small room for a family of eight but about decent homes where all can enjoy indoor plumbing, sanitation and other amenities.

Thus the real question, the fundamental question  is about equitable and just distribution of resources and equal access to opportunities. 

The issue at hand is not just about money but about human dignity and equality for this world, and for the believers, for the hereafter, too.

With respectful dedication to all the Leaders of the Free World, and Students, Professors, and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW! -the World Students Society and !E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Moving Closer '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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