Friday, November 26, 2010

Money! - Case I and Case II

Case I:
I read a news in the newspaper regarding electricity bill of Ambani House that was close to 70Lakhs. Many of you would have read that news and if not here is the link [Link]. It is assumed or calculated that it would have helped so many households of India to run their houses free of electricity charge for one month or so and that would have been proper 'utilization' of [Ambani's] money. Mukesh Ambani earns in thousand millions and his spending quality and needs may or may not be of the same level.

Even some of my acquaintances told me that it was pure wastage of money and it could have been utilized in a much much better way.

Case II
An X person earns 21 Thousand INR per month and he lives in a flat in a metropolitan city. He has a smart phone , he wears branded shoes and branded clothes. Half of his money is spent in paying the rents, bills and food. Rest of the money he 'choose' to spend to fulfill his wishes, which may be buying a Royal Enfield Thunderbird or a True Value Maruti Car or paying for the school fee of an underprivileged kid who he thinks 'must have' education , depending upon how much he earns and how much he intends to spend. So, he does according to his wishes and he knows what his duties are and how to make himself happy because that is the bottom line, everyone wants to be happy.

An auto rickshaw driver earns 10000 per month and whatever he saves or manages to save , he spends according to his choices, wishes and needs, as every one else would do.

A newspaper hawker will earn 5000 per month and he will spend it according to his needs, choices and wishes. It can be said in his case that his 'needs' will overcome his 'wishes' but you never know if his needs are actually stronger than his wishes.

Case I + Case II:
21k per month earning person wants to earn more or at least fulfill all his desires and these desires have been increasing with the increase in salary or money. Few years back [two years back] people were getting 16k per month for a job and now they get as much as 50k per month for the same job in the same company for the same work at the same position. However, there are desires unfulfilled, cars not bought, flats not owned, foreign land not seen and much more to it.

Ambani spends 70L for his house and some spend 5k for their flat rent. Some have their clothes washed by 'baai ji' [maid] and some people do not. Some have smartest phones in the world and some do not have a pair of shoes to cover themselves in winters.

And it is not hidden, it is right there in front of everyone, visible.

Amabni spending is a sin because its incomparable to 21k. However, 21k is also incomparable to 100 INR per day [NREGA], which depends on the availability of the work. If Ambani spending too much is a sin from someone's point of view, X's spending can also be a sin from someone else's point of view.

Point is not to decide for others but to decide for one's own self. 'We' live in a system of privileges, some are privileged and some are underprivileged and to spread the brotherhood and love, those who have higher or more privileges have to step up. And the last and best judge will always be the person, all for himself.

Are you privileged?
I 'indeed' am.

P.S: What if we are designed like this | What if inequality is a balancing force of our society.


vicious said...

very strong point pl@ced n proven ...
i AM priviledged

vicious said...

very strong point pl@ced n proven ...
i AM priviledged

JP said...

I earn 21k per month. But I don't live in a metropolitan city. :D
Though I try to buy the best brand that I can.

godisthere said...

nd i didn even buy branded clothes or expensive gadgets.. ;) i was spending all of it on smokes, drinks and dope xx

Smita said...

What you have described here is termed as "Relative Income Theory of Consumer Behavior" in Economics.

I also feel privileged because I a tleast have what I have.

Nishit said...

how a drop of ink keeps on spreading in a bucket of water similarly our desires remain unfulfilled...we always keep on comparing with others. This is not our mistake but we are taught like that since our childhood when our parents would say see u came second and ur friend came first. Just spend ur money wisely and before making any opinions abt anyone put yourself in their shoes and then think...u will find ur answer ;)

Ketan said...

You have said something quite sensible (might I add, quite expectedly), but I had also been aware of this relativity.

Perhaps, the 'next' step in your this line of thinking should (and would) be what is it that determines what we own (in ethical terms) and what is it that we deserve to own (in economics terms)?

A lot of that is 'owned' by people was not produced by them. E.g., one of the costliest commodities in today's world is land. Who owns land? How did they come to own it? If I live over a plot of land, who was the original 'owner' of that land? By what phenomenon did he/she come to own that piece of land?

If you try to answer this, your mind will be filled with much worse conundrum that must have presented before you started attempting to answer the questions you had yourself put for in the post. :)

Take care.

Tarun Goel said...

Did I not say that it is a system of privileges. The randomness/kismat or wahtever plays an important role and those who realize it and want to square it off must step up and take the lead.

Tarun Goel said...

Did I not say that it is a system of privileges. The randomness/kismat or wahtever plays an important role and those who realize it and want to square it off must step up and take the lead.

Silky said...

I think, if Income Tax was collected properly and CSR followed in deed, 'CASE-I' people would not attract the burden of 'ethics' hovering on their 'personal' expenses sheet.

Ajit Singh Taimur said...

dear friends
if you have something , you own it , that doesnt mean that its all yours and you can spend it as u wish ......even if u spend a drop of water or a grain ao any small thing , you are putting a strain on the resources , nature and the environment .......u dont have a right to waste any thing ... a drop of water .a unit of electricity , or a grain .ये कोई तर्क नहीं है की मेरे पास तो पैसे हैं ............. मैं चाहे जैसे खर्च करूँ .......चाहे जितना waste करूँ .....आप चाहें अरबपति ही क्यों न हों ....रेगिस्तान में पानी आपको बचाना ही चाहिए ..........अगर वहाँ कुछ लोग प्यासे मर रहे होंगे तो आप क्या वहाँ उनके सामने पानी waste करेंगे ??????? धन पशुओं को यह पशुवत व्यवहार छोड़ देना चाहिए ..........