Over the past few years, a lot has been said and done in the name of “protecting” industries, companies, and consumers. The individualist in me looks with interest at these words that should sound reassuring, but then the intellectual butts in and goes, “wait a minute!”
Look at Gnome 3 or Windows 8 and what jumps at you? Touch-friendliness? Not really. Because let’s face it, as soon as you go a little deeper into the system — admittedly, this is an area where few average users would venture on their PC — the touch-friendliness is gone. But my complaint is not about these systems not being touch-friendly enough; it is that they tried to do be that way at all!
If you enter a garden and see that half the apples in it have worms in them, do those worms become a part of the apple’s definition? Does apple’s meaning change from “a fruit with red, yellow, or green skin and sweet to tart whitish flesh” to being “a fruit with worms in it”? If not, then why has this change happened to businesses? Why has working for profit become synonymous with underhandedness? Why do organizations say slogans like “we’re not here to make profit” with an air of self righteousness as if their virtue comes from the fact that they don’t seek profits?
Two notions seem to have received much attention in the media over the past few years:
- If baby boomers give up their jobs, it will make it very easy for the Gen Y to get those vacant jobs and help the economy
- When baby boomers retire in hordes over this decade and the next, it will cause insurmountable burden on the economy to pay for their retirement and health care costs (http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/03/22/will-retiring-boomers-lead-to-too-many-open-jobs-by-2018/)
The inherent contradiction in these two notions should give you an idea that something is not quite right about this entire debate.
In fact, while people with no understanding of economic theory sway from one end of the pendulum to another, they forget the one cardinal truth of economy: jobs are to be created. They’re not a static quantity that can exist only in finite numbers and needs to be exchanged.
Please note that this is a reposting of an old rant with some edits and clarifications on the principles discussed in it.
The front-page story in an article on The Times of India read, “The cost of implementing the historic Right to Education (RTE) Act over the next five years by the Centre and states works out to a whopping Rs 1.78 lakh crore [INR 1.78 trillion as per the short scale]. The new law will come into force from the next academic year and since right to education is now a fundamental right, it is mandatory on the part of the government to provide what is demanded.”
So to make it simple, the implication here is that because we have a right to education, the Government is responsible to provide that education to us for free. Many people across the world, especially the Western countries would identify with this explanation of “rights” and think it’s the most logical one. But is it? By extension, does it mean that because I have a right to life, if it happens to be in danger from some disease, is it the Government’s job to fix it for me for free?