Today I attended the 23rd I P. Desai Memorial lecture in Center for Social Studies, which is an ICSSR sponsored research institute based in Surat. They invited Padma Bhusan Prof. V S. Vyas (more about him here) to deliver the lecture this time, and I decided to attend this event because Prof. Vyas is a member of prime minister Manmohan Singh's team of economic advisers. Because he is a well known economist of old generation, and especially a high ranking official in the present government, he was obviously on my list of people with whom I want to logically discuss Indian government's policies. As a tax payer of this country and an economist myself, it is my right and duty to confront these high ranking government economists and officials.
Prof. Vyas was delivering a talk on 'Reaching The Unreached -To Make Poverty Eradication Programs More Effective'. His main thesis was, that so far all government poverty removal programs have failed, so how to make them more efficient! As can be discerned from the title of his talk above, his solution was to make these programs more efficient, and introduce more such programs for that purpose! This is typical thinking of a government adviser and a mainstream economist. This is the same old boring story of absurdity of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results every time! It was quite important to notice, that he, at least, accepted that the present system of government interventionism is a failure, but despite that he was not ready to abandon those failed socialist statist policies.
Because the event protocols did not permit me to ask many questions and do follow up inquiries, I restricted myself to only one fundamental question. I asked him, whether he sees any role of the instrument of 'Private Property Rights' in removing poverty? While asking my question, I cited the work of famous Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto. Now, Soto is no bastion of 'Private Property Rights', but because I didn't want to create any kind of big stir in the seminar hall (it was full of sociology professors and other academicians with statist leanings), I didn't mention Murray Rothbard and his Anarcho-Capitalist system as the answer of the problem of poverty. I just wanted to hint towards the instrument of 'Private Property Rights' and its importance in poverty removal, so I cited Soto. Prof. Vyas gave very confused and evasive answer. He ended his reply with this statement: Let's not underestimate the role of government! And I told myself, because discussion was not allowed, I am not underestimating the role of government, but you are overestimating the role of government - which is nothing but a legitimate gang of thugs - beyond anyone's imagination. I only mentioned Hernando de Soto's work on private property rights, and he gave this answer. Imagine if I had talked about Rothbard's Anarcho-Capitalism, they would've thrown me out of their seminar hall!
The pomp with which he came to deliver an academic lecture on poverty removal - police security vans with sirens ringing and tax payer funded luxury government car - and other such hypocrisies of all these government economists and other academicians is so nauseating. They all have made their lives better in the name of removing poverty. Poor are still poor, but these people are now tremendously wealthy and powerful. My overall take from this and other such events is this, that as long as these people continue the discussion of removing poverty, poor people will remain poor. As long as they don't leave poor people alone to manage their lives according to their own wishes, poor will remain poor. As long as there is an absence of 'Liberty', poor will remain poor.
These government officials are totally oblivious to the plight of common man. They live in their own castles, and don't realize the speed at which the economy and society is descending in hell. It is obvious from their actions, that no matter what happens to us commoners, they are not going to give up their political power voluntarily. They are not at all interested in changing the status quo. These people live in their own ivory towers and think that they can easily subvert the laws of economics without facing any dire consequences! But they are surely mistaken. Laws of economics do work in the social world, and the present system of exploitation of productive class of the society by an unproductive class will crash and burn in the end, and the free market will overwhelm these state officials one day. I only wish that things will change for better after the coming collapse. People should forget about getting any help from these officials. Even if they honestly want to, they can't help you via the system of state. People should start to take responsibility of their lives in their own hands and protect themselves from the looting hands of criminal government.