“Dangling a carrot in front of a donkey—or anyone else for that matter—is not nice, and not fair, unless you eventually plan to give it up to them.” ― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
I remember a few years back one of my friends decided to rent an apartment in downtown Manhattan and he prided himself for his ability to afford a swanky one bed room apartment paying a rent of 4K per month. Good for Him but soon my friend had cause for complaints as he soon discovered that similar apartments in his building were allotted to families from lower income groups for Five Hundred dollars per month. He had to swallow the bitter pill and watch in silence as the lower income group families were subletting the allotted apartments at their market price. Welcome to Manhattan my Friend. Economic Populism in display in the Jewel of Crown of Capitalistic America.Economic Populism in America had its roots in the Presidencies’ of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson who partly espoused the populist agenda by championing such causes as Minimum Wage, Social Security and War on Poverty. Populism which had its beginnings with such utopian intentions has now become a tool for politicians all over the world to further their careers instigating a Penguin Effect among the Have Not’s and unleashing a Frankenstein’s Monster trapping them into a vicious cycle of dependence on government handouts perpetuating the everlasting myth of the welfare queen.
Populist politician’s utter disdain for the theories of Economics was reflected in their thoughts and they had their iconic moment when a revered politician of Iran uttered the famous words “Economics is for donkeys”. Such has been the pull of the Economic Populism that politician’s all over the world have pandered to the masses promising them free trips to the moon in exchange for a reliable vote bank and a guaranteed road to power. The Arvind Kejriwals and Mamata Banerjees who adorn the Indian political landscape live and die for the cause of populism ensuring their continued lionization amongst their followers. All the populist politicians want to retain their vote banks and perpetuate the politics of economic appeasement against the growth politics espoused by their detractors and continue to dangle the carrots of assistance and allowances. Much contrary to the saying ” There Is No Free Lunch” these politicians have made it fashionable to say “Free Lunch is my Birth Right”. This mimics the happenings in the wild when many lesser animals not known for their hunting skills come out in numbers to share the big cat’s hard hunted prey. Some laws of nature remain the same no matter what and it holds true in our human society too.