Government Proposals – In the land of Mahatma Gandhi
Manufacture for Defence
In 1970, I was introduced to a respected US Economist, in Philadelphia. She was an Advisor to the Government in Washington. The Viet Nam War was in its prime.
In a classroom of five students, this dignified lady threw a bombshell:
- The backbone of the US economy is manufacture for defence. It accounts for well over 50 % of the GDP
- The auto industry accounts for, at best, only 20 %.
The alarmed five, along with the Economics professor, sat around large table. She added:
- Manufacture for defence, also generates opportunities in the textile, leather goods, processed food, consumer goods sectors. These items are required for the GIs based in Viet Nam.
- There are a few more industries that also enjoy the ripple effect, largely ammunition.
- Engaging in a War helps create demand for outputs that are manufactured in defence and related factories
- Quality Management is practised in all defence factories.
- War keeps the population size in control
- The demand for admission to universities is consequently in control
- The demand for business jobs is also in control
- The US must always engage in a War for the economy to survive and succeed.
- War creates jobs,
The Viet Nam War ended. The US rushed into the Iran-Iraq War.
This thought process is very alien to the citizens from the land of Mahatma Gandhi.
The land of Lord Krishna, Lord Mahavira and Gautam Buddha has always respected Mother Earth. This is manifest in the universal values they preached:
- Clean Air
- Clean Water
- Clean Soil.
In current jargon, this means:
- Use regenerative resources (Sun)
- Do not use non-generative resources (Coal)
- Recycle water
- Eliminate toxic waste
- Measure carbon-footprints.
I am confused by the recent announcements of our Government.
I like the proposed focus on:
- Agriculture (Primary Sector) – This will help the bulk of the population with work, income and dignity
- Hospitality and Tourism (Tertiary Sector) – If extended to Healthcare Tourism will multiply job opportunities.
The proposed Secondary Sector thrust for defence manufacturing requires discussion. Benchmarking the US, Russia, and China, that weather every economic storm through manufacture for defence, is a cause for worry. They basically manufacture for offence.
We are in the land of Mahatma Gandhi.
We need Advisors to our Government with the sterling qualities of E Sreedharan, and Azim Premji; as well as the late Verghese Kurien,
- Why is Education inadequately focussed in the Government Proposals?
- How can manufacture for Offence be justified?
- Will Public Private Partnerships be cemented based on the capabilities of the private partner?
- Will all this lead to elimination of hunger?
- Will the problems of migrant workers be mitigated?
- Why has Coronavirus brought Economic Proposals centre stage?
- Will the Government Proposals breed greed?
- Why have we forgotten the Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi?