Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Please take a smaller bribe...

Close on the heels of the PM's clarion call to cut wages (btw, this TOI piece is really good, it rips the speech) in the corporate sector, I, on behalf of the many honest people who work in the corporate sector call for measure of sobriety in corruption, nepotism and asset collection by politicians, political parties and their ilk.

Once again, our PM has got it all wrong, second, he is advising the wrong (some notes on how much Karnataka politicians are worth and add for all assembly and parliamentary constituencies and figure out the money out there) people. Maybe he can ask the politicians in his party to declare all those assets stashed away to come up with a voluntary disclosure of black money, benami assets, Swiss bank records etc? May I request a self imposed ceiling on bribes, kickbacks, favours and ostentatious lifestyle including star weddings as a means to drive down demand. Some of these measures can be directly used to alleviate poverty (it has alleviated poverty of many a politicians families 7 generation, I talk of the larger good.)

Not that this is the first time he is calling for a call to cut wages - he keeps saying different things at different times though.

Just one thing. The corporate sector pays for performance, quite unlike government schemes or companies. Work is something we do, not where we go and while our time. Most positions in the corporate world are based on something called merit - by and large. That is one word that nobody prints in government dictionaries anymore. The companies in the private sector make money thanks to the hard work of its employees and they share some of it in the form of decent (not outrageous) salaries with its employees. The government on the other hand takes money from honest taxpayers and it goes into, among other things, a laptop for the mayor of Bombay, to paint UP blue, sandstone elephants in UP, upkeep of Sonia and her families residences - 47 lakh in 3 years (see here for a great collection). How about fixing that, sir?

Meanwhile here is some government official calling for a world class Indian workforce. World class company with third class pay? Not possible, as any basic economics textbook will tell you. Which means, he is arguing for our industry to be non-competitive? With lower pay and incentive, profits would be hit - by and large, right? That means, lesser growth, lesser jobs? That means, he wants India to be worse off? Why would a prime minister want the country he rules to be worse off? Beats me.

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