Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
This quote is very apt right now for two situations in India. One is the noteban and the other being the supreme court’s (SC) orders to ban liquor shops near the highways in the country to prevent road accidents.
On the night of Nov 8th when KingModi announced the plan to scrap old notes, ohh it felt really FUCKING GOOOOD. I mean here is someone who means business. RIGHT THE FUCK ON. Most of us to some degree understand that those high currency notes were a problem. US for eg has the highest currency note of just $100. I don’t know much about other countries and that info doesn’t matter much in this discussion anyway.
I think the simple explanation for the initial good feeling came in because of the “do something”. It gets to the best of us. We in india are so fucking hopeless(which comes from being clueless) that just the fact that something THIS BIG is being done to FIGHT CORRUPTION/BLACK MONEY gets us incredibly wetttt. And of course the BIGGER the something which was done the more in awe we stare at it and backwards rationalise it to justify it being done.
You must have heard the “if they’re doing it, it must be something.” After all it’s the “experts” doing it. I get it a lot when arguing against the idea of getting govt’s permission(aka: a permit) to start selling alcohol or drive a cab or start a school. The sheer size of the move be it some law or anything from a compelling authority like the FUCKING govt covinces people that there is some worthwhile value behind the whole jig.
The THIS BIG part of the move needs some refocus. KingMODI eliminated 86% cash in the economy in one night. The 500 and 1000 rupee notes were the most used in the country.
No wonder people have commented that this was equal to draining the blood out of the human body. The destruction which it brought has been documented by libertybrlitzkrieg here and has used the opportunity to argue for completely decentralization of the moneytary system from the govt’s foolish hands. Doesn’t make sense to quote the same thing here again so I link you to all those articles and of course they are great sites to follow.
I want to throw my psycho analysis on the matter.
As of now I’m starting to think that the whole act was carried for entirely different reasons than the one being stated about fighting black money or the cashless BS. This because the sheer scale of stupidity makes it impossible to accept that all the advisors, economists and the bigshots of the govt are so utterly foolish that they chose this method to fight the black money problem, I mean for fuck’s sake these are the times of the internet and you can pretty much read blogs and figure out policies.
But having said that. We in India, or our politicians or the govt machinery have always come up with such idiotic methods to problems. And the fact cannot be ignored that the move is popular even among the educated masses. So the scary stark reality to face is that it’s possible that the govt did infact really think this is a great way to solve the black money problem.
I mean recently a supreme court judge has come out with the ruling that there be no liquor shops around 500meters from any highways. How much time does the moron think it takes a cross 500meters? And on top of that he really underestimates drunkards if he thinks 500meters will keep them from having a drink! They have now gone ahead and made it a point to scrap the permits of any hotels in such zones etc. This is in line with how the cops will ask you, peaceful citizens to vacate beaches in the night here in Mumbai. All this has gone unquestioned for too long and it seems as a society we do not even understand the meaning of terms like freedom, liberty, peaceful citizens etc.
Let’s deal with demonitzation for now.
The BIGGEST damage bigger than the economic damage done is the psychological damage such moves make. The idea that creating a better society takes painful sacrifices, long queues and a hell lot of personal inconvenience is now etched into people’s minds. This is along the lines that for India to become a great and prosperous nation, we have to halt the brain drain so that smart people stay back and do great things here. This sort of self sacrificial thinking has come back to us. We even have a hit movie where the dude quits his fucking job at NASA to come live in an Indian village.
While in reality what we need is to sit back, relax and open a good economics book! In fact we already have countries like USA, the most succesful. We have to do with economics what bollywood and pop culture does with hollywood—copy it! The only “sacrifice” needed being huritng our eyes by reading more and our heads by thinking more.
In a country where a good 50% makes no more than $2 a day we are told that this noteban will fight black money! When you can consider that most black money is already in overseas accounts, in gold, real estate and whatnot you are forced to go back to the theory that this was not done for the reasons being stated at all.
But Modi and cheap fuck politicians like him cannot sell this idea with dramatic hashtags. The #ReadFreeMarketEconomics does not have as much oomph factor to it as #SurgicalStrike, whatever the fucking strike is at. I still support the man of course, for the alternative is a whore house. We still have to work with a party like the BJP till we can create a better one.
Another psychological damage done further by this noteban is it paints people who don’t pay taxes as some sort of devils and of course those people more often that not are going to be the super rich folks. So now the conversation moves from non taxpayers to rich people in general which then turns into good vs bad or in this case as kingmodi would have it GoodMODI vs BlackMoneyPeople.
What we instead should be discussing is human behavior and incentives. The govt meddles in the economy and makes it extremely difficult for anyone to conduct business in the country. The taxation is complex and too high and the govt is an utter failure in conducting any of its core duties in India. Of course it makes sense to save as much tax as possible.
Finally the very act of flushing out black money or fighting it or fighting corruption for that matter are extremely stupid ways to deal with the problems. Those are not the problems to begin with in the first place. The govt now tried to be a hero by conducting all those raids on some abc abd xyz people and caught thousands of crores. This is a sick joke being played on the people. In this country 90% politicians, IAS officers, political parties, police forces are DEFINITELY corrupt. Raiding them will basically bring the society to a fucking standstill.
There are thousands of court cases against this scum in the system which have been going forever. India has few judges and fewer courts as repeatedly pointed out in stats, simply increasing the funding of the judiciary would have probably gotten rid of more black money than what he achieved with this drama.
The real problem is the GENERATION of black money and the incentives for corruption in the system. The REAL problem which then becomes the INDIAN GOVT ITSELF which cannot simply mind its own business and ignores it basic duties of protecting the nation from threats, maintaining law and order with the police force and courts and maintaing and creating public infrastructure.