Saturday, January 30, 2010

An open letter to all the finance ministers of Indian government

Mr. Finance Minister,

Budget year is here and you are again in the prime focus. As is the tradition, you have asked the populace to present their wishes for the coming budget to you (as if you can fulfill their wishes!). I doubt and I am sure that none of you can and none of you are going to fulfill my following wishes but anyways I am making them.

My wish list:

  1. Abolish all taxes,
  2. Reduce government expenditure to zero,
  3. Once you do this, you resign and leave government for some productive work in the market.

Yours truly,

An individual who is fade up with the government......

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hypocrisies of Gujarat Chief Minister: Garib Kalyan Mela OR Garib Ko Aur Garib Banao Mela?

On one side Gujarat chief minister is handing out free cash doles to poor people (see here) and on other side he is blaming central government for the rising prices. This shows the ignorance and hypocrisy of the chief minister. If he knew what actually inflation is, then he would have never blamed the central government. Inflation is, increase in the quantity of money and credit without any backing of production. Stated otherwise, handing out free cash doles to poor people, under his “Garib Kalyan Mela” is itself inflation! Chief Minister is creating inflation on one hand and is blaming central government for inflation on other hand! Now surely central government is also responsible for inflation but this does not deny the fact that even state governments are responsible for inflation. Actually, government taken as a whole is the chief source of inflation. Shifting the blame of inflation on central government by the chief minister is hypocrisy.

Poor people (and the masses) do not understand the situation. They feel as if their chief minister is a benevolent person. But is he really? His actions show that he is NOT. Because handing out of free money to poor will only result in increasing prices or alternatively speaking will erode the purchasing power of that free money. When those poor people will go to spend that money in the market they will find that their free money buys them less goods and services than before! Their condition is now worst and not better. They are made more poor by their chief minister! What looks like a help to the poor person actually is a harm done to their standard of living.

Citizens of this country need to realize that no governments have ever helped anyone, except their buddies. Citizens and those poor people need to understand that by giving free cash dolls chief ministers (or for that matter anyone) cannot make a poor person rich. If that was the case then we would have eradicated poverty years ago simply by printing more money.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Slavery Day Indians!

Indian people celebrate their 61st Slavery Day (I mean, Republic Day, which is a false connotation) today. On 15th August, 1947 Indian people were freed from the slavery of one master i.e. the Britishers, and today on 26th January, 1950, they again became (and continue to be) the slaves of their new master, their own Government! Very few people realize the similarities between lives of Indian people under the British rule and their life under the rule of their own government, but, similarities are there for sure. Here is a list of these similarities:

  1. As Aamir Khan has depicted very vividly in his movie "Lagaan", Indian people were robbed by the Britishers through heavy taxation called "Laggan" under their rule. Is there any difference between that era of "Lagaan" and today's era of heavy "Income Tax" and all other, around 24 different forms of governmental taxation (see details of different forms of tax in India here)? No. Indians are still paying their "Lagaan", but, now to their new owners i.e., to their own government. Britishers use to punish those who do not pay their "Lagaan". Has this situation changed a bit? No. If you do not believe me then try not to pay your income tax and you will see the legal robbers knocking on your doors next day to rob you and put you behind the bar. This "legal robbers" is your very own Income Tax department! It is in reality a "Robbers Department"! I wish Aamir Khan make a movie where Indians are shown to resist paying "Lagaan (Income tax)" to their own government!
  2. Britishers use to "divide and rule". Has that situation changed a bit now? No. Indian politicians use the same modus operandi of "divide and rule". They have divided Indian people based on their different caste (e.g., SC, ST), religion (Hindu-Muslim divide is the starkest one) etc. And yes, the biggest divide is of two major castes. One is a "tax paying" caste and other is "tax consuming caste". Through this various divisions Indian politicians are ruling over Indian people since last 61 years.
  3. Britishers use to kill the rebel people. Has this situation also changed a bit? No. Indian government has killed (Khalistan) and is killing everyday thousands of rebel people in the areas of Assam (ULFA), Andhra/Bihar/UP/MP (Naxalites), Kashmir etc. All these movements are secession movements by different region population. They just want the Indian government off their back.
  4. Whatever problems were there under the British Raj, were still here with us. Poverty, unemployment, widespread government induced inequality, inflation, wars/riots, corruption are still rampant. Situation has changed a bit but the change is only of degree and not of kind.
  5. Common man use to be afraid of the Britishers and today they are afraid of their own government.
As you can see, in all these similarities, the only difference we can find is that, the Indian people were ruled by a foreign master in olden times and now they are ruled by the local masters! So, Happy Slavery Day Indians and I wish and hope that one day you all open your eyes to see that you all are still slaves and not free people, as you all are falsely pretending to be!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

3Idiots: An Idiot Movie

The movie 3Idiots created lot of controversy these days, without any concrete reasons though. More than anything else, the movie proved the idiocy of bollywood producers/directors in understanding the very important concept of, freedom.

The movie, basically, tries to send a message of 'freedom of thoughts' in Indian education system, which in its present state is simply a system of rot learning. Unfortunately, the movie turns out to be completely against the 'freedom of thought' message, when in the end of the movie hero (Aamir Khan) becomes very rich scientist by having 'patents' of some 200 inventions! Now any person who favors 'freedom of thought', as is the case with our hero of this movie, can never ever support the system of 'patents'. But the hero not only supports 'patents' he actually uses that system. By taking 'patents' our hero restricts the very 'freedom of thought' which he tried to promote while in his engineering college! He forgets that, his 'patents' will stifle the creative imagination of other inventor scientists. His 'patents' will kill the very innovative thoughts which the movie is trying to promote! In fact, taken to its extreme, the IP system can stifle the free education system which movie is supposedly trying to promote (see here for the evidence of this where some Harvard professors are trying to take 'copyrights' of their lectures!).

This grave logical error is made by the script writer and the movie crew simply because probably no one of them know, let apart understanding, what actually 'freedom' is. India is a socialist country and a repressive society where words like 'freedom' are complete strangers to most of the people. I am sure, if the movie script writer was aware about the ideas of libertarian thinkers like Stephane Kinsella (here), Jeffery Tucker (see above article of Harvard professor and copyright issue), and economists, Boldrin & Levine (here) then he would have not made this logically contradictory error in his movie. But Alas!

And in between all these, ironically, the movie producer and the book writer Chetan Bhagat, on whose book the movie is supposedly based, quarreled openly about the 'copyrights' of the book. Such a nice way of promoting 'freedom of thoughts'! Chetan Bhagat proved himself to be a 4th Idiot by making such noise about his copyrights once the movie was a hit. He, in this particular case, proved himself to be a bad entrepreneur who could not foresee the success of this movie in advance at the time when he sold his copyrights in few lakhs rupees to the movie producer. He could not see that the movie will make 175 crore rupees in just one week. If he was a good entrepreneur then I am sure he must have sold his book not in lakhs but in crores. Actually copyright itself is not any rights because no one can own an 'idea'. So the whole quarrel was useless and illegitimate from Chetan's side. The movie script was very different from Chetan's book and that made it a different product and not a copy of his original book. And these people forget the advantages of copying and the dangers of copyrights (see this nice video on this issue).

Without a deep understanding of the libertarian ideas one cannot truly promote freedom and that was the case with this movie too. In the end the movie 3Idiots turned out to be an absolutely IDIOT movie.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Compulsory voting in Gujarat: A State gone wild

The recent bill of “compulsory voting in local elections” passed by the government of Gujarat is absolutely unethical, immoral, unconstitutional, and undemocratic. Gujarat is a state which is passing bills and enacting legislations which are in direct contradiction with the Indian constitution and more importantly are against human ethics. For example, Article 25 of the Indian constitution gives a right to every citizen to follow religion of their choice. India describes herself as a secular country. But Gujarat government recently has passed an anti conversion bill where any person who wants to convert (change) their religion has to take State government’s permission! I fail to understand what kind of secularism is this? Notwithstanding the Indian constitution, this bill is a direct attack on person’s liberty and thus is absolutely unethical. The recent bill of compulsory voting in local elections is also similarly unethical, unconstitutional and undemocratic act of the government of Gujarat. The absolute human ethic principles say that, it is unethical to physically force or threaten to force someone to do things against his/her will. Moreover, the Indian constitution gives a fundamental right of freedom of expression to every citizen. The state cannot force an expression of vote on any of its citizen.

This step, more than anything else, shows the increasing desperation of the government for gaining the much wanted political mandate in elections which is required for its continuous existence. For survival state needs to at least demonstrate the support of its people and that support they are loosing slowly as reflected in declining voting percentages in various elections. It is very characteristics of all the governments that it never likes to loose people’s attention. They know that if people will realize that government is not important for their life and they can easily avoid it then government will become unnecessary evil (and not a necessary evil!). This very well can result in government’s demise. Realizing this threat to their existence, government tried to resolve it first by television advertisements (remember that “Jaago India!” campaign). Despite that, in recent elections people did not turn out to vote. Frustrated by this, government has now done what it is known to do best i.e. to force people to vote and thus the present ‘compulsory voting bill’.

The impact of this bill will be myriad. On one hand, it will result in increased tax burden on tax paying caste of the society for funding the bureaucracies, which will come into existence because of this bill. This step will bring India one step closure to totalitarianism. In an already socialist country people will come under little bit more pressure from the government and their already difficult life will become more difficult. And, on other hand, this step itself can very well be self defeating. Government is inherently highly inefficient in all its various activities. Similar case will be with this bill. Implementation will be impossible and it may very well result in vast protest from the populace who is aware about their natural rights. This bill will give chance to people to go and tell the politicians why they are not voting in the elections and results of that will be indigestible for the politicians themselves. Under the pressure from their own politicians government will be forced to repeal this bill. The former effects will surely take place while the later may or may not. In any case people’s life will be more difficult for sure.