So there’s a new political party in the making — the Jago Party. A very hopeful sign. We need more and more people to enter the political arena. The consequence of good people not engaging in politics, as the wise counsel, is that you get ruled by your inferiors. The more choices one has in terms of political parties, the more likely it will be that a reasonable outcome may obtain.
The Jago party lists eight people on their About Us page. All of them appear to have a technical and business background. What I find missing is any indication that they have any economics training. Consequently, while their motive and mission is laudable, they do need to do their homework with regards to economics.
Good intentions are not enough. One has to be able to reason through the problems — which are definitely informed by economics as we are talking about an economy — to figure out a solution. Not knowing some basic economics is a needless handicap. One needs to know the fundamental principles of economics just as much as one needs to be basically literate and numerate. It is easy to believe that whatever economics one needs to know one can grasp intuitively. But for most of us, many of the basics of economics are somewhat counter-intuitive and people systematically misunderstand them. There is really no substitute for a knowledge of economics. It is really dangerous to substitute knowledge of economics with good intentions and a passion for reform.
One of the lessons of economics is that you don’t have the luxury of setting prices. We have to take what we get. Meddling around with prices is a sure-fire means of creating grief. Jago needs to wake up to that. They write in their mission statement (among other things) :
24 hours electricity supply for all towns & villages at just Rs. 2.00 per unit ( without any subsidy ). Electrical departments, railway and all government owned business will be privatized. Government has no business to do business . Their main product is corruption .
How do they know that the right price is Rs 2 and not Re 1 or Rs 3? Who decides and on what authority? It is not a minor quibble. It takes some degree of understanding why and how markets work to fully appreciate that setting prices is silly.
Reservation for none. Job for every one through job oriented education .
Reservation will be provided only on economic ground . . .
I agree with no reservations. But how do they justify reservation “on economic ground”? To reserve seats in education because one is poor is to bark up the wrong tree. If one is poor, and yet is capable and desires an education, the solution is to give financial relief (in terms of grants or loans), not reservations.
There are lots of things that the team at Jago need to work out a little more rationally. I hope they succeed in whatever they are trying to do and I wish them all the best.