Equality is the biggest set back to growth and development. During slavery every slave was provided with similar housing and equal allotment of clothing and ration for the week. No reward was given for their labor so there was no need to work hard. It was this social setting that kept the slaves demotivated, not aspiring to want more for themselves.
On the other hand, a few house slaves were allowed to sell their labor and many skilled slaves were able to earn handsomely. Even ambitious field slaves used their off days to cultivate the land and sell their produce in the market.
The Indians who have been able to climb the social ladder did so by working hard, saving their meagre incomes, and investing in lands, livestock, and education for their children.
Equality is a killer. Countries such as India and Guyana have suffered under socialism. Believing that their policies are helping to provide secured incomes to the poor, these leaders stifled free trade. Instead, protectionism was implemented to safeguard failing state enterprises where the senior employees and managers were cronies of the ruling party.
Today India’s economy is growing all because of the removal of trade barriers, thus opening the economy to competition. Indian businesses have no inbuilt advantages but must compete with foreign goods and services.
Can the same be said for Guyana? How open is Guyana’s economy to foreign investors? Is there competitive bidding for the allotment of state contracts? The socialist rhetoric of Cheddi Jagan and the state sponsored co-operative socialism of Burnham that promoted state dependency must be vanquished. The pitfalls of Venezuela under Chavez and now Maduro should remind governments of the consequences when socialism is implemented.
The call for equal placement of children in secondary school and the scrapping of the SEA must be denounced by all right-thinking people. There is a price for a product! So also, if a family want their child to enter a particular school they must pay the cost- in this case get the marks.
Cooperation is good because it enhances competition. In the business world cooperation brings capital, skills, and experience together. Conglomerates are examples of cooperation. Investors are encouraged to buy stocks in the company thus sharing in the profits that the conglomerate generates.
Middle class families are successful because the members are provided with the skills and resources to compete in the wider world. Every member sacrifice for the welfare of the whole. However, the culture in the ghetto is ‘dog eat dog’ or each man on his own. There is no shared social responsibility. Individual rights and freedom reign supreme.
Generally, if the poor find themselves unduly challenged to compete in the wider world, it is mainly because their parents and grandparents failed to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills for the tasks.
So, the next time you see your neighbor paints his house, or his daughter is driving a BMW, don’t display envy but embrace it as a challenge for you to do better rather than being envious. Such a social environment must be encouraged for social and economic growth and development.
By Dool Hanoman Singh