Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Money has no value unless you spend it !!!

This is a crazy world!

Japanese save a lot. They do not spend much. Also, Japan exports far more than it imports. Has an annual trade surplus of over 100 billions. Yet Japanese economy is considered weak, even collapsing.

Americans spend, save little. Also US imports more than it exports. Has an annual trade deficit of over $400 billion. Yet, the American economy is considered strong and trusted to get stronger.

But where from do Americans get money to spend? They borrow from Japan , China and even India.

Virtually others save for the US to spend. Global savings are mostly invested in US, in dollars.
India itself keeps its foreign currency assets of over $50 billions in US securities. China has sunk over $160 billion in US securities. Japan 's stakes in US securities is in trillions.

Result:
The US has taken over $5 trillion from the world. So, as the world saves for the US - Its The Americans who spend freely. Today, to keep the US consumption going, that is for the US economy to work, other countries have to remit $180 billion every quarter, which is $2 billion a day, to the US!

A Chinese economist asked a neat question. Who has invested more, US in China , or China in US? The US has invested in China less than half of what China has invested in US.

The same is the case with India . We have invested in US over $50 billion. But the US has invested less than $20 billion in India.

Why the world is after US?

The secret lies in the American spending, that they hardly save. In fact they use their credit cards to spend their future income. That the US spends is what makes it attractive to export to the US . So US imports more than what it exports year after year.

The result:

The world is dependent on US consumption for its growth. By its deepening culture of consumption, the US has habituated the world to feed on US consumption. But as the US needs money to finance its consumption, the world provides the money.

It's like a shopkeeper providing the money to a customer so that the customer keeps buying from the shop. If the customer will not buy, the shop won't have business, unless the shopkeeper funds him. The US is like the lucky customer. And the world is like the helpless shopkeeper financier.

Who is America 's biggest shopkeeper financier? Japan of course. Yet it's Japan which is regarded as weak. Modern economists complain that Japanese do not spend, so they do not grow. To force the Japanese to spend, the Japanese government exerted itself, reduced the savings rates, even charged the savers. Even then the Japanese did not spend (habits don't change, even with taxes, do they?). Their traditional postal savings alone is over $1.2 trillions, about three times the Indian GDP. Thus, savings, far from being the
strength of Japan , has become its pain.

Hence, what is the lesson?

That is, a nation cannot grow unless the people spend, not save. Not just spend, but borrow and spend.

Dr. Jagdish Bhagwati, the famous Indian-born economist in the US , told Manmohan Singh that Indians wastefully save. Ask them to spend, on imported cars and, seriously, even on cosmetics! This will put India on a growth curve. This is one of the reason for MNC's coming down to India , seeing the consumer spending.

'Saving is sin, and spending is virtue.'

But before you follow this Neo Economics, get some fools to save so that you can borrow from them and spend !!!

Images Courtesy: taxdollars.ocregister, http://blogs.rediff.com/kingoflife/

The article originally posted by Ashok Sehgal (Original source unknown) and sourced from here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Celebrations

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 16; the sixteenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

She heard the deep voice of Amitabh Saying “Cadbury Celebrations! Kuchh meetha ho jaaye”. Celebrations are the last things on our minds, she thought. A mother of three who had to take care of them by working as part time maid in four households and knitting woolen blankets for the riches in the evening. And she didn’t have the support of her husband either. That drunkard bas***d had run off in a drunken spree from his home and came in the way of an incoming train.

Suppressing her sobs she focused on work of Diwali cleaning that she was currently engaged in. “what a pity” she thought “I clean every one’s home spic and span and that too when I have a single room which, however much I try, cannot find enough unoccupied space worth cleaning”. With three adolescent children with her in the single room accommodation, there was barely any space to live; let alone worth bothering with for Diwali cleaning.

Though she was the sole bread earner for her family, the thought of getting her children to work in order to support the family never entered her mind. Not even for once. She wanted a brighter future for them and was ready to make any sacrifice to ensure that they do get ample education for some future not involving cleaning others’ homes. Not that the children never offered. The eldest, Rajesh, offered to quit studies and work part time at a nearby factory at the age of fourteen, five years ago when her husband died, met with a determined NO from her. At nineteen, he was now enrolled in a vocational institution and training to become an electrician.

But money was getting harder to earn these days. She had to work hard to make all the ends meet. And it was at occasions like these when she felt so sorry for herself and the life that her kids were forced to live.

“Maya!” came the jarring voice of madam. “You haven’t cleaned the side table in the drawing room yet. Soon you will finish the work haphazardly and go to that Mrs. Sharma. Do I not pay you equally? Why does she get more work done than me?” she carried on.

By the time she was done with the chores of Mrs Sharma, it was already dark. And she had not bought anything for Diwali as yet. Nor did she have any money for it. “Yet another day in the dark especially on the day of lights. Such is my fortune that I cannot even provide enough to get some candles and sweets for my children.”

As she went to their room, she was surprised to see her children standing outside the door. Anticipating some trouble, she went to them in trepidation and asked them if something was wrong. They consoled her and assured her that all was fine. They just felt like waiting for her on the door for her. They took her hands and guided her inside. Inside, she was pleasantly surprised to see a stack of candles and Diyas, a pack of Cadbury chocolates and some firecrackers besides them.

“Mom we wanted to surprise you with this. We have been saving for these for some time now just so that, for a change, we could work towards providing you with something”. And that in itself was a bigger celebration for her than all the sweets and lighting in the world combined.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

PS: This is my first ever attempt at writing a short story. Do tell how did the attempt fare?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gender Discrimation of the second kind

"This post is written for BLOGESHWAR and Anubhooti."
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Those who say that gender discrimination does not exist in the world are lying to you. We just try to pretend that it is not there but it is very much present, always! I have been a witness to blatant gender discrimination and so have you. It is just that we men are not yet courageous to admit that we are irked by this. Yes you read it right! I am talking gender discrimination against men!

DO you not believe me? Let us walk through!

Looking at the range of colors available in the market: When you go to the market, all the shades that the guys have, say, in their jeans are black, brown, blue, blue-black, black-brown and darker or lighter tones of these shades. In all, there would be like five or six different variety of clothes. And that’s it. On the other hand, when a girl goes shopping she will have like a couple of hundred different designs of clothes to choose from in the first place. Then come the dozen odd colors in each dress. Then they come to the material in microscopic details. And then there are matching accessories for each dress and what not! No wonder that over 90% shops in any market cater to women’s attire.

FB wall of men and women: An average guy, when he posts any status update, will get a couple of comments and some half a dozen likes. On the other hand, when a girl posts any update, however insignificant it may be, will generate enough buzz to put Google buzz to shame.

In India, when you go to any place; there are bound to be queues. Even in these queues, the fairer sex has a special place as a parallel queue. Even in Delhi Metro, they have a segregated coach to themselves. Now, how effective it is, is a matter of discussion. But it is the idea that counts doesn’t it?




Shifting our focus to the stupid box, we forever keep on hearing about the “Saas-Bahu” dramas. Have you ever heard of a “Sasur-Damad” soap? You have Komolika bindis available in the market but do you see Loha Singh moustache anywhere?

There are even some vocations that are an all women territory and if a man decides to go into that domain, they are considered in the same category as people would consider Rakhi Sawant and MNS folks. Nuts! Not only vocations, there are several places of education which are dedicatedly reserved for the fairer sex. Were it the other way round, there would have been a furore. But not here. After all the "ladeej" need their share of privacy!





Doesn’t all this talk make you think if women are the ones being discriminated against or is it the other way round?

Images Courtesy: newsthatmattersnot, Doghouse diaries, delhimetrofreak, hubimg, nela.iblog, connect.in.com

PS: The post is written with a sense of humor and I would appreciate if readers could practice the same. I know that women, in general, are very shoddily treated in India and we do need to be more proactive in prevention of cruelty to women and girl child.