Mind the economy, Sir

Uploaded on September 4, 2020

In Brief

Mind the economy, Sir

Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam

American presidential debates are always a great spectacle and lesson to learn from. One remembers the fantastic debate between President Jimmy Carter and Challenger Ronald Reagan in 1980.

President Carter, being a better educated and a more sobre person was rather circumspect and more concerned about general policies and, possibly less charming to the huge TV audience than the less educated former actor and governor Ronal Reagan with all his theatrics and film-star persona.  

President Carter was already losing the debate when Reagan shot, “But where is the beef?” (American usage for where is the substance of what you say?) Naturally, Carter was thrown off balance.

Then the actor asserted, “It is still the economy, stupid.” Well, we all know what economy can do and how important it is for all of us. We know who won the election.

Now that the first quarter data of GDP growth in India has been released, we have got a 23.9 per cent decline in GDP growth, the deepest fall in independent India and deeper than any other in G-20.

In his second term inaugural Mr. Modi had promised a $5 trillion economy by 2024. Now that goal has receded amid a hundred troubles – self-created social divisions, nature’s scourge, Covid-19 and Chinese incursion.

Such drastic fall in GDP can deepen poverty, push back again large sections of middle-class that had come out of poverty in the last two decades, trigger massive job looses (nearly 120 million already lost), dramatically increase crime and aggravate social tensions.

Mind the economy sir. Economy before everything.


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