Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Standard Of Living (Part III)

When politicians make the statement that they will improve the standard of living of the rural areas to that of the cities, the emphasis is on the word "improve". So, it will be a progressive process of efforts over many years to try to improve the livelihood, and that can go on forever as the cities also progress.

Equality is an ideal concept which we all try to pursue for society but which in practice is very difficult. No two persons can really be equal, as equal as they may be as twins. But it is possible to have equality at major points that those points can be established beforehand.

In the rural-urban divide, the key points will be livelihood (or opportunities for), public services (such as education, healthcare, water, electricity, roads), connectivity (such as airports, seaports, telecommunications), others such as public housing and public transport. It is doubtful whether the rural areas will get highrise buildings where land is plentiful and the people unused to unnatural heights. Nor do you get heavily regulated roads as in the inner cities.

It is in taking into consideration the whole situation together that one can make any sense of how to compare the rural with the urban or the islands with the mainland. It is a political ploy to pick one or two factors for emphasis as an expression of dissatisfaction or incompleteness.

I suppose at the end of the day, the ultimate objective must be to ensure that every member of our society, if we are to be proud of the society in which we live, enjoys a decent standard of living, no matter how poor. The key elements must be general cleanliness, health and education so that the individual is able to make the most for himself or herself instead of being a burden on the rest of society. This is where we must look back at the simpler and more rudimentary lives of our youth or of the past to appreciate that prosperity does not necessarily consist of an endless accumulation of material junk at home or elsewhere. It can just be a life simply lived in peace and quiet.

But we cannot stop human beings from being themselves, as they try to obtain assurances and reassurances from themselves or others that they will be alright in the future, that the future is going to be alright for them. If the society is small, there could be communal co-operation as in rural communities. In large urban settings where neighbours do not know each other, then all frustrations must be directed at useless public figures who can only make promises, whilst intelligent persons like the complainants themselves feel helpless. The level of comfort is different in the rural and urban areas. Some people call it stress, others call it drive.

1 comment:

walla said...

I think human development in the economic sense should focus not so much on who is measurably poor versus rich in the context of communal profiling but on the basic engines of enabling any individual to do better.

I think a good education is a must and must be given free so that a human being gets to go as far and as high as he or she can in a global context which will necessarily involve learning other languages and methods that can open minds to an ever widening pool of knowledge while disciplined by rational and critical thinking skills.

In addition, there must be wise counsel and motivation but neither should have to be founded on any religion or belief. They can be mechanically rationale failing which they must encompass the basic facets of all religions and beliefs and not be restricted to some restrictive anti-pluralistic mandate just because someone claims to higher wisdom actually born out of sheer fear.

Finally, i think people should be able to actualize their own ambitions through easier but responsible access to capital that can give them a start to do their own enterprise or pool with others to do something bigger than starting their own stalls.

Sure the poor and needy should be helped but only if they have been struck by the occasional bad luck. If the above things are in place as a matter of norm, then they should be able to get up soon enough on their own. If they don't when they can, it could be they have their reasons or limitations for not wanting to do so.

This afternoon two guys were putting in their rm650 br1m coupons to claim their cash. One was an old man but not so old you can miss his excitement. The other was a beefy young man who could easily be earning much on his own. Looking at them, one must recalibrate the mental image of what being poor entails. The perception was they could get by on their own and the cash dispensed was just additional free pocket money or windfall for the month. Not a line of worry or pain on their faces. You begin to wonder where the politics ends and the economics begins.

Just stay focused on two remits - enabling people to self-develop and maintaining the economic ecosystem of fertilizing such self-development so that each effort gets better and better a chance for success.