Economy and its Management
The economy and its management is becoming complex by the day, nay by the hour. Simplistic versions made on the electronic media make it more so. Every now and then I see some wiseguy, without a care in the world, making wisecracks. Occasionally, a geriatric would be on the air, talking of things as they were during his time.
One of the advantages and the disadvantage of this is that the general public feels that the economy is not being worked at all. That its working is the easy and that the government of the day has a magic wand in their grasp and it is the easiest thing for them to work the economy without a care in the world. The statement that the government is not doing enough is heard so often that one wonders why we are on crutches all the time and why the government must do one thing or another.
The government can do that much and no more. In a country that is devoid of responsible behaviour by the rich and the powerful, with the apathy of the poor, together, means that the working of the economy is hurdled by these kinds of people. We are great lawbreakers and we simply have no regard for what is to be managed by our conscience.
The one billion jobs that were created by their lordships of the last regime converted this nation into one of Chabriwalas [Hawkers]. The easiest entry point to a self-job is to have ease of entry. What could be easier and cheaper than a container of food, prepared at home and sold to wary migrant travellers from the rural areas? There are so many of them looking for a job, seeking cheap stomach-fillers. The rural areas problems are different from the ones of the city slickers and the city slums. The problems have been compounded by the variations in the social systems of this nation.
Even the educated do not know how to make the most of their abilities and how to make changes in the jobs workable. The simple rule is to stagnate and keep on the beaten path but then that runs out of steam sooner than later. Not very many civil servants have worked on the mind and its development. It takes years of service and ability of a different kind to do that. Cognitive effort has to be taken seriously in as much as it enables the mind to work in wonderful ways. The mega-cognition that comes with working on the mind may be seen to be illustrated by some examples. This complexity that is now visible in the economy has to be worked by different mind tools. The previous ones won't work.
When a problem, a complex one, is to be attacked the mind wavers and tries to ward off the problem for the time being. We generally put it off and wait for a time when there is some peace or serenity in the system. We generally refer to it as one of being in the 'mood'. The mood is a lazy response to the problem at hand. This can be overcome by focused and time-borne action. That will lead to disruption of the rhythm. The delayed response is a defence mechanism of the mind. We all know that hasty actions are wasted ones.
The Pakistani mind does not work with facts as much as it works with the emotions and opinions. The spate of recent happenings in the macro-framework is working with emotions and not with the bare facts. The institutions of the government have also been affected. The police reforms are not police deforms and the way they are going about it is disastrous. The FIR of the Police Station, a document that is the first information on a criminal activity is now recorded with malicious intent and is now a cock and bull story and does not represent the facts, but a twisted version of the occurrence. Intention plays such a huge role in the working of a nation. Take any action and see the unintended consequences of that action. These unintended consequences are much more serious than the objective-intended actions. The best way to examine this is to see the consequences of any policy and there will be examples of massive nature that affect the working and the culture of a nation. It victimises the many to the benefit of the few.
A forgetful memory is essential if new ideas are to emerge and so when someone says that they are suffering from memory loss, one should accept that as the way, the memory works. So if we were to relearn, the inessential elements need to be forgotten, the essentials replace the lost memory. Under such circumstances, the memory that is most affected is by rote learning-as it debilitates the mind in as much as preference is given to learning by heart.
The mind is an irrational organ of the personality and works more by intuition and not by strict logic. The mind sets up analogies and work patterns based on intuition. There is no basis for explaining how intuition works. All science, even Physics, has been held to be an imperfect one. There, then by definition, there is a lot of space to work with. As a result of this intuitive basis, the mind indulges in short cuts. We see this in so many actions that the government takes. The short cuts are based on trying to get at the correct actions. These may go against the current procedure. The public may like to state that that is corrupt and an unholy alliance working to the detriment of the economy. That is never the case for the decision-maker.
The luxury of time is with none. Procedure has been seen to make life more expensive and inflation-ridden. The rules propagated by the public procedures increase this tendency and the cost increases. These fallacies and seemingly illogical procedures may be seen as unnecessary by those that have targets set for them. One way out of this dilemma is to have a peer review, where foreign individuals come and check and recheck these fallacies. In any case, the arbitrary nature of actions can be removed by giving reasons for the actions.
Every now and then, we have these people seemingly working the same kind of obsession, obsession to getting things done quickly. These are temporary obsessions and if the deemed outcome is for the many, as against the few, then these obsessions are worthwhile. Also known as the pet project of the powerful, we see that in the government, there is an obsession with this kind of hurried activity. This seemingly disastrous storm comes and goes and there is nothing to worry about this kind of obsession. The matter has to be handled carefully and in keeping with the intentional impact. For the lashings can be quite significant what with the media and its unfettered freedom. The mind needs structures to hold on when thinking, learning, acting and remembering. There is a complicated language in use and that is to ensure that the world is organised according to that language. The frequent changes that come about are essential, if the government has to stay ahead of the economic situation. Laxity can only make it worse.
All minds are explorers and want to experiment and some of them see a larger canvas for a larger picture. This is against the regimentation that is taught to us in schools and colleges. Rote-learning takes away a substantial portion of one's intuition and the ability to think and act. Minds at school need to experiment, explore and try and determine for themselves what is best for the student. One does not have to be spoon-fed, even in a class room. The subjects studied are disconnected and the set basis for education is considered a norm. The resultant human output emerges as a non-thinking individual. The mind has a tendency to jump from topic to topic and from one aspect of life to another. The study of the same thing, day after day, is not helpful to the creative side of the individual. Are we not poly-psychic people? That means that the brain has different parts loosely co-ordinated and capable of self-criticism. This self-criticism has to be taken seriously as it develops creative leaders. We need these kinds of people desperately.
Given these aspects of management how many are really exercising their abilities? How many people will really take the world apart by their thinking? Some part of the economy will do well, while other parts will not. The logic of failure is part of the new kind of thinking that I have been talking about. The electronic media reads in to it, as if the heavens will fall as a result of the presumed wrongdoing by the government. Nothing of that sort happens. The idea of a free society really means that all of us, singly and jointly, work towards the betterment of society in an equitable and harmonious way. With all this shouting, what has happened is that rules and procedures have been added on, without really understanding that these rules help the restrictions even more and create uncertainty; something that the speculator loves to see. Take the case of the money lenders but that is another story. Procedures are not dogma and not doctrinaire either. These are tools that will help develop a more serene understanding of the scene that is the economy of Pakistan.
One has always maintained and explains and emphasises that the entrepreneur has no future unless he has knowledge as his forte. The increase of personal power, over an opponent, through increased power, helps the working team to power games, played by creating more procedures. The process is lost in the creation of increased activity in this area, activity that is totally unwarranted. Keep it simple and not available to multiple assertions.
So the scenario changes with the passage of time to one in which the self-reliant action is to be played against a given source of action and activity. Why should any donor be interested in this country becoming a potential competitor? That means that the citizen has to be empowered to handle his own action. There are no holy cows in the system of managing the economy through increased mental and mind-led actions.