Indian planning commission is out with yet another poverty estimate. They released this estimate yesterday which announced a decline in the incidence of poverty by 7.3 per cent over the past five years and stating that anyone with a daily consumption expenditure of Rs. 28.35 and Rs. 22.42 in urban and rural areas respectively is above the poverty line.
Any sane person with a sensitive brain will immediately spot the planning commission shenanigans in these estimates. Let aside the whole gimmickry of measuring poverty, the poverty line [sic] which they have used to measure [sic] poverty - viz., 28.35 rupees in urban and 22.42 rupees in rural areas - is a cruel joke on the poor people of this country. In their lust of lowering the poverty numbers to win elections and bureaucratic positions these planning commission members and those phony economists have sold their souls and forgot that 28 and 22 rupees is not even going to buy a decent one time meal for anyone in this highly inflationary centrally planned economy. I am not sure whether they are really serious about those 35 and 42 paisa! As Henry Hazlitt brilliantly pointed out in his book, The Conquest of Poverty, all these tricks of measuring poverty are worthless and basically harmful for the poor people. They are just another tool of fooling the populace in believing that the State officials are there for their welfare!
This event yet again illustrates one and only one fact that, these vulture politicians and bureaucrats just don't care a bit about the poor people. As I have said time and again, the State is a gang of criminals, writ large. They are just a bunch of murderers, looters, robbers and thugs. In fact normal thugs are better than these government thugs because after looting you once they will at least leave you alone! These people don't care if you live or die. For them the only important thing is their power positions and welfare of their own lives. Common people are really stupid in thinking that after becoming rulers these people - i.e., politicians and bureaucrats - are suddenly going to become very altruistic. People must understand that these government officials are every bit selfish as any other human being. These people, since ages, are using poor people and their poverty as just another means and an excuse for their own welfare. In the name of poverty the State awards millions of useless jobs to these so-called professional economists and other such pseudo-intellectuals. Poor always remain poor, and these elite class gets richer and richer.
If people in this country are really serious about eradicating the abject poverty, then, they must compel their government to stop doing all these phony business of measuring poverty. People must understand that only true freedom and the institution of private property rights for the individuals is capable of removing poverty. The welfare state will only do welfare of their own officials. They will keep on reducing poverty numbers "on paper" and thousands of poor people will continue to die everyday on the roadside.