Haves and Have Nots: Who’s responsible ?


Top and bottom 1% together

Around 400,000 such persons (lying on the street above) can be fed for a day, with the amount of money spend on this car.  If you love cars, that’s one thing, but otherwise, are you part of this income disparity or against it ?

Now, check out following Income disparity comparison around the world. Red being greater inequality and Blue less and Purple in the middle.

gini map twotonefull pos.jpg

 

Have a look at this short video clip:

 

Ever wondered, why we see vast difference between haves and have nots, in almost every country. Rich are filthy rich (no offense), while poor living in extreme poverty. Rich throw half of the food eg in Saudi, when they’re full, while poor eat half meal to their satisfaction, once a week in Somalia. Some have made cars with gold, while others spend their life pondering how to accumulate gold for their girls marriage in India. Some go on vacation in Spain with entourage of more than 3000, while others save money his whole life to perform Haj (Pilgrimage) travel to Makkah, with two or three family members.

Let’s take a look at some startling facts:

  • Just like in America, the wealthiest 0.5% control over 35% of world wealth, Credit Suisse has compiled and released its latest “Global Wealth Report.”
  • “The combined wealth of the world’s 200 richest people hit $1,000,000,000,000 in 1999; the combined incomes of the 582,000,000 people living in the 43 least developed countries is $146,000,000,000.”
  • Pakistan’s 36,000 elite millionaires owns 40% of Pakistan’s total wealth (Rs. 2,118 billion) as per SBP report.
  • I remember, in 2011, US dumped food worth $6 billion, because it doesn’t want to disrupt global food price, if it gives on charity to any country.
  • “The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”
  • “The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48 nations (of the world’s countries) is less than the combined wealth of the world’s 3 richest people.”
  • “The wealthiest nation on Earth has the widest gap between rich and poor of any industrialized nation. “
  • “20% of the population in developed nations consume 86% of the world’s goods.”
  • “It would cost approximately $40 billion to offer basic education, clean water and sanitation, reproductive health for women, and basic health and nutrition to every person in every developing country.”
  • The number of U.S. residents living in poverty edged up to 46,000,000 in 2012
  • The richest 1 percent of the population received almost a fifth of the national households’ income in 2012, thus breaking the previous record set in 1928.
  • 870 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.
  • The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.
  • According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
  • “The developing world now spends $13.00 on debt repayment for every $1.00 it receives in grants.”
  • We normally pay 10 times more on a meal, while we can eat ourselves modestly and instead feed 9 people with rest of the money.

Now take a look at the situation of debt of the majority of population and find how it’s skyrocketing for the poor and falling for the rich. This clearly tells us that rich are getting richer and poor are getting poor. I heard ‘Interest’ or what we call it as ‘Riba’ has such effect ? Following data is from US trends, to elucidate the point, rest of the world has similar picture.

Growing income inequality has led to ballooning debt loads for the bottom 95% of Americans.

Now look at the income disparity graph as an example from US, over the decades and see how the Top 1% progressed in it’s income and how the bottom percentiles have remained subdued, effectively increasing the divide between haves and have nots over those years.

Picture speaks a thousand words, I’ll leave following photos to your imaginations.

I will never waste my food 

“It would cost approximately $40 billion to offer basic education, clean water and sanitation, reproductive health for women, and basic health and nutrition to every person in every developing country.”

Did that happen all of a sudden ? Why did that happen in the first place ? Should we hold ‘Haves’ accountable or are the ‘Have nots’ culprit themselves ?

Sources & Further Readings:

http://myscienceacademy.org/2013/09/13/us-inequality-at-historic-high-surpassing-roaring-20s/

http://www.massrecycle.org/getinvolved/advocacy/organics-waste-ban

http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats

http://www.facethefactsusa.org/facts/supersized-hunger-pangs-supersized-waste-infographic

http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/02/news/economy/income-debt-inequality/

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/05/income-inequality-around-the-world-is-a-failure-of-capitalism/238837/

2013, and we still have Quota System


It’s been more than 60 years since Pakistan’s independence, yet we struggle with dealing (let alone resolving) some of the fundamental issues that hamper our progress, eg Feudalism, Quota system, racism, illiteracy, injustice, lack of healthy food and health facilities and shelter for living.

Quota system in Pakistani law is the root cause of Racism in the country, which has resulted in widespread economic disparity, thus hate.

I was startled to hear this, on SamaTV, earlier today (Mar 2013). I thought quota system was a thing of history, what we faced in college/university admissions, but the guest said that there has been hiring in the Police department, also referred KMC/KBCA, using quota system, denying deserving candidates on merit. I don’t know how many institutions are corrupted like that, but since it’s a law, it applies to every government institutions.

The original 1973 constitution had fixed a period of 10 years for the job quota for the provinces, but the governments in the 1980s and 1990s enhanced it to 40 years which were to expire on Aug 13, 2012. Check this, last year (2012) Law Ministry got approval for the extension of Quota System in Sindh for the next 20 years.

Take an example of CSS (Central Superior Service of Pakistan), where only 10% of posts are reserved on merit (1). I still can’t believe that! 90% of our bureaucrats are recruited through lowering the selection criteria, while other more intelligent Pakistanis are denied to serve the nation? And you wonder what’s wrong in our governance, why there’s so much inefficiency and corruption? We are doing irreparable damage, by putting Quota system in any institution.  

According to the current recruitment policy listed at the Central Superior Service of Pakistan website, only 10% of posts are reserved for merit.

FPSC (Federal Public Services Commission) allocates jobs in civil services institutions (every govt. organization, WAPDA, EOBI, Steel Mills, Railways, FBR, Excise & Taxation, Water board, Defence, Finance, SBP, including Police) on the basis of merit and provincial or regional quotas. As per their rule, they are:

Merit                                                                                                               7.5 %
Punjab (including the Islamabad Capital Area)                                           50%
Sindh Rural                                                                                                   11.4%
Sindh Urban                                                                                                  7.6%
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa                                                                               11.5%
Balochistan                                                                                                    6%
Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA                                                                        4%
Azad Jammu and Kashmir                                                                      2%

The passing percentage of the candidates in the written examination of CSS was 30% in 2002. In 2013 that figure has plummeted to a barely believable 2.09%. If you amass inefficient people in bureaucracy, how would you attract bright minds in such places then ?

If we inject inefficiency into institutions, how can we expect efficiency as the outcome ?

Do we need a scholar to tell us, what happens, when merit is killed. Do we need someone else to explain, what’s going on around us today, as it breeds a whole lot of issues in our society, viz. injustice, economic disparity, nepotism, inefficiency, corruption, bribery, feelings of deprivation, unemployment for skilled resources, resulting in hatred, fighting, killing and chaos! Don’t you see how many people leave country, to get fairer chance in education, job, services, etc. So much so, these issues have become so complex, we consider them incorrigible.

Quota for a time being is ok for greater educational access for the underprivileged, but it shouldn’t be renewed for 20 more years after being used for past 60 years. But it’s effectively discrimination, if used for job/hiring and you know discrimination is prohibited in Islam, may it be on the basis of race, color, family, land, or ethnicity. You cannot favor one over other.

Quota system has been declared un-islamic by Federal Shariat Court and illegal by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

If some sectors are underprivileged, it’s the Govt’s responsibility to provide sufficient opportunities for their services (eg education, jobs, health), instead of resorting to unfair means and compromising on quality, through giving advantage to someone less qualified, over the ones who’s worked hard to earn it. Imagine a doctor hired at a Govt. hospital on lesser grades (based on quota), how will he/she treats the patient ? And then we wonder why Doctors aren’t respected anymore, unlike the way our culture treats this profession sacredly.

Quota clearly deteriorate the quality of service and causes hatred among deprived parties. It’s time we abolish such policies and promote hard work and equal opportunity. And we can very well improve our society as a whole. You know, when a small Pakistani businessman understands it and never compromises on quality of service, why can’t we do it as a nation as well.

Quota system is unconstitutional, unethical, and unIslamic.

Let’s appreciate, share and demand ‘MERIT’ and bring back harmony and progress in our society.