Do markets have morals? When I read Mr Rajeev Mantri’s article “The morality of markets” (Link) in the Livemint, I asked this simple question to myself.
Various things came to my mind – i. financial meltdown(s) there are numerous examples of past; namesake recent one in 2008 ii. real estate bubble (again namesake – Mumbai, I have read of similar bubble in China) iii. stock market speculations (working on scrips – I think in India markets traders call it scrip चलाना) iv. crony capitalism*. All these thought made me think the title of the article itself is an oxymoron.
I am not against free market economy, I am neither a leftist or socialist. When it comes to economics (and politics) I prefer to take the middle path. Just to give you a perspective on why I am not completely agreeing to the point of view of Mr Mantri, watch the following video (reference – my Oct 2013 blog – The Price of Inequality) –
Capitalism has its own’s problems, and morality is questioned more often in those economies – be it environmental damages, besides few points I raised above. I believe we should not assume development that happened in the US/Europe as the only way to grow and to prosperity. In fact, we have written records of prosperous India even before anyone knew of USA. We have history of Utopia – Ram rajya. How was it achieved? Do not you think we should try to study that as well? There are more ways than the Left and Right approach we take.
Coming back to the article of Mr Mantri – he concludes with India having billions of dreams. I do not doubt but here my difference with our own culture comes as a stumbling block. I do not appreciate the Caste divide and therefore disagree with Mr Mantri there – there seems not to be many diverse dreams. For ages we stifled dreams by asking kids to follow a craft or business of his family caste system of old days. These things are bringing me to some circular logic – where I suggest to study old Indian economics and refute social Caste system. What is circular logic? Listen to this song you would understand – (apologies those who dont understand Hindi, it is in Hindi) –
paisa kamane ke liye fir paisa chahiye.
Paisa kamane ke liye fir paisa chahiye – Golmaal hai bhai sab golmaal hai…
An English translation of this song in some future blog.
Note – * Crony Capitalism – “Gas wars” a recent book in controversies is in my reading list.