Thursday, April 04, 2013

Can Bail-Outs Rescue Economies?

"A bottle of drinking water costs INR 50 (0.92 USD) in Dubai, and a liter of Petrol, INR 10 (0.18 USD)" When my wife mentioned this in a conversation, I was surprised, as she had expected.

Drinking water in Delhi costs hardly INR 12 ( 0.22 USD), but Petrol costs nearly INR 70 (1.28 USD) a liter.

This sparked a discussion on how bail-outs can help falling economies.

It always intrigued me how wads of notes drove the modern man's life, when in ancient times, the barter system had prevailed.

A million for a bottle of water

Suppose, I had a million dollars with me; I should be able to buy as much water as I want. However, if there is no water available, what value does my money have?

The value of currency undergoes drastic or total change with a change of location or life situation.

For people trapped in a desert or forest or sea, money is no big help. It can be a hindrance. So also when trapped in a hostage crisis or other calamity.

If you think about it, money does not have value by itself. There are a lot of things that lend value to money:
  • labour
  • infrastructure: power, transport, housing...
  • availability of resources
Labour: If there is no one to sell the water, or to perform the myriad processes prior to it, money cannot buy water indeed.

On another level, the value of money is enhanced also by:
  • people
  • love
  • moral values: honesty, sterling service,...
  • good manners
People: If one has a lot of money but nobody to share it with, it would be a lonely life indeed.
Love: Love gives us the zest to go forward in life. Give love to get love.

The real reason for an economy's fall: consumerism

When business aims solely at increasing profits, values suffer. When values deteriorate, business and business products also lose value. It is the sad way for man to realize that matter is subordinate to spirit. Spirit is supreme. Values originate from the spirit.

A life of pleasure-orientedness leads us further and further away from the Spirit.

The way out: bring back the values

It is time for us to place moral values higher than profit making. It is the quality of service that needs to have the top priority, profits will follow naturally.
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