For a change, I don’t want to write about the judicial crisis ignited by a chain of actions and reactions on the part of the country’s two major institutions. Nor about the do-more theme orchestrated by the world’s most feared power-wielders. Nor the lament that in the end it is poor Pakistan that is made to pay the price of America’s war on terrorism. Nor the farcical comedy that is being staged under a new title every day. Yesterday it was ‘Deal’. Today it’s ‘No Deal’ Tomorrow it may be ‘Deal’ again.
Today I happen not to feel like writing also about the ever-green subject of the famed uniform that is adored by some, and despised by the others.
The Plunder of Pakistan too is an evergreen subject for well-known reasons, the most notable being the theme that everyone ‘else’ has indulged in it ‘except me’. This subject too has, for me, lost much of its punch and sting because of its over-repetitive use.
If I just have to write about a ‘well-thrashed’ subject, then let it be corruption.
May I write again that over-regulation and corruption have always gone hand-in-hand? Also that a centralized system thriving on corruption on which bureaucracy thrives, saps the vitality of the economy, and brutally punishes the competent, the enterprising and, most importantly, the poor?
May I put forth arguments to establish that a centralized system raised on discretionary powers creates not national wealth but colossal stagnation?
I think we all happen to know all that.
We also happen to know that there are no shortcuts out of poverty. Subsidies, bailouts, handouts, industrial licenses to the favoured create not affluence but economic drain, and inflation which is the crue-most tax on the poor.
We have known all that for decades. Now we have also come to know that economic reforms leading to deregulation and privatization also are not a guaranteed way out of corruption, drain and poverty. In our country the people are destined to get the worst results from even the best of ideas.
The reason is simple.
Everyone is engaged in wrong-doing and villainy.