Thursday, July 16, 2009

The bogey of "inequality"

Dear Friends,
I am amused and irritated whenever i read and hear about the cry
"...growing inquality of incomes" etc whenever people comment about
liberalisation, etc.
I am not an economist and not much aware of economic theory.
But shouldn't the net poverty ratio and absolute number of people
in poverty be the most important criterion when we discuss about
"growing inequality" ?
Suppose a nation has 100 % people below poverty line and
all living on one square meal a day ; and another nation has
10 % people below poverty line, 80 % middle class and
10 % in rich category. Statistically, the first nation has
most equality of income and what not, than the second
nation. So which is better ?
I suppose, theoritically, with relative statistics, it
is possible to prove that war torn and starving Rawanda or
Sudan has less 'income inequality' than, say Sweden.
there is similar talk about China and India. But both these
large nations are much much better when compared to
Relative statistics ?

a reply from my Professor :
Dear Athiyaman,

At this URL you would get technical reasons for what you had stated so
clearly and elegantly in understandable English on inequality.  You will
have to (free) download the article from the site.


Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged

Dear JeMo,
As my english typing is much faster, i write this in english..
Ayn Rand did not advocate anti-humanitarianism or is not
for or against common charity or service. it is much more
complex than that. she had clarifed in Atlas Shrugged about
this. Her idea is about human motivation and what or which
CREATES everything and anything in this world. She does
not condemn or object to charity or helping fellow men.
But that motive (of helping fellowmen at ANY cost) alone is
not to be propounded as the most moral while all other
motives are immoral. this is her argument and stand.
Only her idea of selfishness is much misunderstood and
condemned.  Anyone who works for his profit and builds
an empire (thru legal means without usurping the rights or
properties of any other fellow men) cannot be and
should not be termed as a 'selfish' ,etc. In fact, it is
because of these entrepreuners and innovators that
we are able to live a much much better standard of living
than our forefathers. this cheap computers and internet
and transport and food and clothes, etc ; anything and
everything here..
And about the (false) sense of guilty consciousness instilled
into the psyche of entrepreneurs (like me) and industrialists
thru the incessant preaching of moralists and communists
and leftists (What ever that may mean), that we are
exploitators and inhuman creatures who are the enemies
of the working class and such. this kind of preaching which
is totally wrong and illogical has been going on in the name
of religion and socialism since time immorial. Ayan Rand
exposes these myths and talks about the state of
"guiltless spontaneousness" ; it is very important point.
Ayn Rand's whole philoshophy was against this tirade.
Yes, She is harsh and sounds abrasive and cruel at times.
and some illogic or impractical aspects in her characters
and plots. But, still she is one the greatest and original thinkers
20the century. No writer or philoshoper of her times came
out sharply in defence of capitalism (this term is a misnomer
and much misunderstood ; the ideal world shouild be
free enterprise, the stress on the term "free") than her.
We must view her in the context of her time and back ground.
She was hounded out of USSR and worked her way up in
US as a refuge. and there was a larger than life debate in her
days about the merits and demerits of capitalsim and
And pls don;'t conclude about her from the attitude of
IAS and IPS officer cadres. and we cannot generalise
about these ICS fellos too. Compare their attitude towards
civil servants of US or EU where they have very less
job security and hence more professional. The arrogance
of Indian IAS wallahs is not be confused with Ayan Rand.
And she died in her flat in New York in 1982, with her mind
fully alert to the end. Certainly she did not loose her
faculty or was confined to any institution, as you had
mentioned in your blog post. Pls read her associate
and a famous psyhologist Natheinel Branden;s book
about her. (Judgement)
Pls see :
about her not so famous book :
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal: (very important book)
more later.
Regards / அன்புடன்

K.R.Athiyaman  / K.R.அதியமான்