The biggest fallacy in Economics that has been gulped up by many a nidoers is this:
Poor people are lazy, dumb, and less productive. Hence they deserve to be poor and can only blame themselves for the situation they’re in. We, on the other hand, are smart, hardworking, efficient, and well educated. Hence we deserve to be rich.
We have all heard many a nidoers use this ridiculous line before. I have great English, I am very well educated, I am hardworking, and hence I deserve all the money that I get. In fact I probably deserve more money. Poor people on the other hand have pitiful English, most likely haven’t even finished school, they are goddamn lazy, they demand too much, and hence deserve zilch.
Let’s take this argument point by point, Mr. Nidoer. First education. Good old nido went to a private school, probably the best there is in the country. How did he get in? Well, Daddy’s money to be sure. He got the best teachers, the best facilities, and the best (American) text books there are. Heck, he even had a nice shiny Mercedes driven by his private chauffeur that drops him right at the front door. No spending was spared on the coolest and latest fashion attire, school bags, shoes, and pencil cases.
Good old nido gets the chance to take classes no other schools in Bahrain can offer. He can learn to play an instrument; heck he can even buy that instrument. Not that he’ll play it much, he’ll get bored after a month or two. He can even take a class in a third language (third being a very generous term here, considering the state of his arabic); French or something. It is doubtful that he’ll learn anything in French except watching a few softcore French nudity movies. Still, it’ll be handy on his CV when he applies to those illustrious jobs.
Even with all these endowments, good old Nido still barely averages a C, and when he gets a B- the world turns upside down. Parties and celebrations ensue, and mommy and daddy each get him a watch or a playstation to celebrate this historical moment.
That playstation unfortunately has some side effects. A nidoer’s grades fluctuate up and down. Hell he even might fail a year or even two. Mummy and Daddy have to pay for personal tuting at a whopping 20BD an hour for the best tutors, and still good old Nido struggles.
Finally nidoman graduates. It’s a glorious C- but who really cares. Nidoman had the time of his life in high school flirting with girls and playing videogames. A big bash ensues in order to celebrate his achievement. No graduation ceremonies, parties and feasts are spared. He is showered with gifts. Daddy gets him a Porsche, mommy a rolex. Cousins and friends chip in with ties, cufflinks, videogames, and good old money. What a glorious time.
Mr. Nido needs to go to university. That C- and failed years don’t look very good on his transcript. No worries. Daddy’s money comes to the rescue. For there are many a university that’ll push and shove in order to sign up Mr. Nido. No one can turn down good old Nido cash. The world is his oyster. There is the UK, the U.S, Australia, maybe even Canada. Heck, Mr. Nido will probably sample all of them. He’ll probably start in the U.K. He’ll fail his first year and need to go somewhere else. Well, why not Canada? You go there and spend a few more years bumming around, smoke dope, drink up, sleep around, and then you fail again. Well no worries, Daddy’s kitty is very deep. Let’s hop over the border to the U.S. Finally after seven years good old Nido gets a university degree. Sure, it’s filled with Ds, but who cares, he had the time of his life romping around in the good old West.
Good old nido comes Back to Bahrain. The first 6 months are boring as hell. He itches and longs for the good old decadence and pleasures of the West. No worries. Daddy’s money helps him settle in. He can spend those six months partying, getting stoned, drinking, and hanging around sushi bars just as he got used to abroad. In the mean time he hires someone to fix his CV up and puts daddy’s was6a maching into action. Every contact in every bank and company in Bahrain is tapped. I mean, his CV sounds pretty impressive. He’s educated abroad (the Fs and repeats are omitted of course, and the D’s are reworded into “pass/fail” marks). He even has French listed down. There are some made up societies on there just to make sure he gives the impression of a worldly and well rounded person. Finally after some arm twisting and ” you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” daddy is able to find a job for nido. Investment banking, accounting, consulting, IT, whatever it is. Nido’s main criteria is money, and tons of it. Whatever job facilitates that he’ll take up.
And you dare to call poor people dumb, lazy, and uneducated and therefore worthy of the misery and squalor they are in?
The poor didn’t have a chauffeur to drive them right up to the best school in the country. They have to go to the pathetic state school system we have in place. The poor did not have didn’t have daddy’s money to fly off to America for seven years of “education”. They had to fight to get a place in one of the local universities, and 90% of those can’t really be classified as universities but are simply money machines. This is of course if they can go to university. The poor didn’t have daddy’s connections that got them the best job with minimal effort. The poor could not afford to chill out for a few years just for the heck of it or while daddy sorts out the best job for me.
Of course, not all Nidoers and neither are all poor people are like this. Just like any other group of people, there is the hardworking, the smart, the not so-hard working and the not so smart. This is the point. You’re not rich because you’re smart, and they’re not poor because they are dumb. You’re not rich primarily because you had the best education and the best job. In fact it’s the opposite. The fact that you are rich made you have the best education, the best schools, the best universities, and the best jobs, which keeps you being rich! What a glorious circle of life……
Many nidoers hold the inverted and lopsided “lazy” fallacy mentioned above. And why not, for a nidoer can point to good old neoclassical economics to support this drivel. Let us venture a bit into this cult and misty world of neoclassical economics. These economists would tell you income is determined by two things: the amount of time you spend working, and your productivity. A person can either chose to work for long hours, gaining high wages, or he could choose to have high “leisure” (an economic euphimism for being lazy) and hence receive less wages. This is not the only determinant of wages, however. There is also “productivity” or “efficiency”. Some people are more productive or efficient than others, and hence receive higher wages. “Productivity” is usually determined or “signalled” by a person’s education. The higher the education the higher the productivity. Hence highly educated and productive people who work long hours are rich, and lazy, uneducated, unproductive people are poor. It’s that simple.
This vision, to say the least, is warped. It’s all good and well that highly educated people get paid more money, but where in this analysis is it considered that rich people and nidoers get a better education to start with, and hence end up being paid more? Nope, none of that in good old classical economics. The “assumption” (and boy do economists love their assumptions) is that everyone starts from the same position, that good old concept of a “representative agent”, where all people are the same and have the same background, money, tastes, and environment. From there they choose their education and how hard to work, which determines their income. Hence rich people are rich because they chose to work hard and got a good education; poor people chose to be lazy and uneducated. Tough luck for them.
This is the demented world of neo-classical economists, which are unfortunately nowadays 90% of economists out there. They have no conceptions of historical reasons, social conditions, and political factors for why a society developed in particular why or is in its current condition. Nope, economics has to be “pure”, devoid of these silly other social sciences. If something can’t be expressed in an equation, it isn’t worth considering. I’m telling you, never trust anything any of these new “economic scientists” say, because they know zilch about what they are talking about. They can integrate an equation or calculate a regression like no one else though.
Alright enough about the Economists rubbish, my ranting about that peculiar species will be left to another post. Lets get back to our Nidoers and their love to bash poor people. Many statements are used to justify their warped vision. “It’s an Arab or Bahraini thing, They are lazy.” “Poor people aren’t civilized and they just keep multiplying like rabbits and having kids that they can’t teach, can’t feed, can’t take care off and that litter the streets like rats.” We’ve heard all of these before.
“Bahrainis are by nature lazy.” I have always marvelled at this statement. This is in a country that only seventy years ago people had to work their socks off just to feed themselves. They had to go on a rickety wooden boat for months on end, not being able to see their family, dive into the sea until their ears pop, risk drowning and being bitten by a shark only to get some small pearl that he’ll not even see one drop off but instead will go to some nukhetha (ship financier back home) who’ll sell it for a nice profit. All of this to get a few measly rupees that are not enough to feed your family and in fact you end up being in perpetual debt for the rest of your life. To add to this, because of the laws of the country your son has to keep paying your debt after you die. Either this or you go toiling in the fields for hours on end under the scorching heat on a land that isn’t even owned by yourself. No 25 day annual leave, “business lunches”, or two day weekends here.
But no, Bahrainis are by nature lazy.
Then we have the ” they keep multiplying like rabbits. All quantity no quality” argument. Of course this is a familiar argument that rich people use all over the world. Zionists use it when describing Palestinians. “Those goddamn Palestinians. They keep muliplying like rabbits.” Many immigration-phobes use it in Europe, and the same mantras are repeated in pretty much every country by a good chunk of the rich.
I wonder have nidoers ever looked around to see how untrue their arguments are? Have they ever stopped to think about the expat labour toiling away in near-slavery? Where they work as builders in the scorching summer heat for 12 hours a day 7 days a week for 60 BD a month? Do nidoers really think they work harder than these guys? “Ahhh…” they say, “but they are not as smart or productive as us.” Really? Babu in our local convenient store speaks at least four languages (English, Arabic, Hindu, Urdu, and who knows what else) and he never went to a university. And by speak I actually mean he can speak it, not that he attended a few classes so that it shows up on his CV. In fact his Arabic is ten times better than most nidoers I know. You really think you’re smarter than him?
What about Raju sitting next to you in your bank or company, who actually ends up doing most of the work assigned while you browse facebook for double his pay? Do you really think you’re more productive or smarter than him?
Maybe, my nido friend, it is you who is lazy and who has become a burden on the economy and society. Maybe it is you who requires the highest quality sushi and American beef just to not kick away your food and call it tasteless. Maybe it is you who needs to guzzle 80 litres a day of benzine to power your $100,000 hummer. Maybe it is you that needs a kilometer squared of land just to be able to call your house a place worthy of living in. Maybe it is you who needs the state of the art TV, sound system, XBox 360 adn thousands of DVDS just to be able to have a bit of fun. Maybe it is you that needs to keep monopolies and agencies that give only you the control and the right to sell a good in order to keep feeding your expensive habits. Maybe it is you who needs a legion of servants to cook, clean after you, chaperon you around, and do your ironing. Maybe it is you that has turned into a grotesque fat creature that needs to consumer more and more of the the earths limited resources and have more manpower under your service just to satisfy your insatiable appetite for goods?
I can’t help but laugh when I hear these big Hamours on TV or newspapers complaining that “the new generation of Bahrainis are lazy and expect too much, unlike the older generation. That’s why my company (more like serfdom-factory) exclusively employs 5000 indians. They are hardworking, they don’t need a lot of money, and they don’t demand too much. The moral is Bahrainis have to suck it up, work hard, and not expect too much immediately. ” Well that’s all good and dandy Mr. big shot, but not everyone is so poor that he has to accept slavery conditions in order to make a pittance of an earning to support his family 5000 miles away. Why exactly should someone start toiling under the unforgiving Arabian sun for 14 hours, under miserable work conditions and for piss poor pay? Sure, you can always find someone somewhere around the world who is so destitute that he’ll accept these conditions and travel half around the world to do your bidding, but do you seriously expect most people to do that? Does that sound fine to you while your kids get to deck it out in the finest schools, the finest universities, and the finest jobs, simply because they were born rich? Is it fair that while your kids can afford to play video games, flirt in malls, smoke spliffs, drink up, live it up in Marbella or London, and just take it easy for a good chunk of their life these other kids have to start working by the age of 14? Knowing the most that life ever has to offer them is serving your kids in one way or another?
This rant is over.