A Discourse on Economic Expectations
The manufacturing industry has been seeing a slump for quite some time now, but that’s not news anymore. I have simply lost count of the number of articles and explainers I’ve read on how important this industry is for an economy to thrive. The potential of the manufacturing sector is enormous and rightfully so. It generates employment and keeps the engines alive. Even the service sector is somewhere reliant on how good the secondary sector is doing, being independent only to a certain point. But the reader already knows this, and the purpose of this discourse is not to list down the benefits of the said industry.
Let me get to my point by trying to boil it all down. The pandemic saw a shift in people’s attitude in how we all bought only the “essentials”, at least for a considerable while. I’ll call it a short-term “boo” to consumerism, and as a result of which we saw a further recession to the already sulking manufacturing sector. There was hullabaloo everywhere! How economies are crumbling down, how this and the next zillion financial quarters will show sluggish (or no) growth, how employment is taking a huge hit…
Employment. Why do we need to generate more of it, again? Because unemployment exists, of course. Why does it exist? Because people willing to do a job exceeds the people needed for it, and because there is a general failure to put resources into optimal use. Why do we need optimal usage? Because they are limited. So? So, the increasing population needs to be taken care of, using these very resources.
Right, we’ve managed to reach the word “population”. I believe that’s where it all began. With an attempt to accommodate the burgeoning sapiens day-by-day and year-after-year and decade-by-decade and century-by-century, we have extracted whatever/however we could from everything filling our utilitarian needs. This is where I sometimes see the fallacies of winning over our biological instincts. We have made such a drastic departure from them that, despite all achievements our kind has witnessed, we have failed to see the bigger picture. That telescopic vision of ours, which can go deep but not wide, has led us to be abysmally paralysed at determining the equilibrium with which this Earth needs to sustain itself.
There is absolutely nothing moral about being indifferent to the misbalance we’ve spread around. No organism is “moral” or “kind”, at least in the most rudimentary sense. But most succumb to the “genes” and “instincts” that drive them, and that forces them to remain collaborative with the ecosystem. It is unbelievable how a desert and sea in two corners of the world aid in each other’s sustenance. Meanwhile, we have lost that sight and are indiscriminately bringing about the destruction of everything and everyone around us. I have come to believe its causal factor as the ever-increasing population which has led to a heightened need and want of economic standards. What our perception of a ‘good GDP’ is today, has a marked difference from what was, say, before the 90s. I would instate, my attempt here is not to criticize an appreciable GDP figure, but rather to put forth an epistemological viewpoint.
While I hold a strong recommendation to re-imagine the way Capitalism functions and get a grip over those elements who are able to take advantage of the supposedly free-of-cost environment in the pretext of free markets, my proposition is much rather this: curb the population. The reader has heard this a lot of times, but perhaps create a mechanism on an individual level for this? As it is, it is nothing less than a sin to give birth to your progeny in a crumbling world such as ours. What will you have added, apart from another resource-consuming parasite who will only get to see a result of our mess and aid in nothing but create a further mess? What use is the progression of your gene if it is only to go down a girth of hopeless recovery?
What’s the real solution then? Perhaps, we can work towards building resourceful humans out of those who are already here but somehow abandoned by their parents. How about working towards ourselves on being an aware Earthizen first? The macro-level climate crisis we see today can find its resolution in a micro-level union with nature again. A seemingly far-fetched proposition from my side is to also gauge economic performance not just in its solitude, but how it fits with the entire ecosystem surrounding us. Let us see ourselves as a part of the wonderful life that this planet sustains, rather than as ones standing over it.