Get Mad! Country Going Down, Part 6



 

 


 

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I grew up in Pakistan. My dad was professor of Geography in a government college. In early 70s Bhutto government did a revolutionary upgrade on government employees pay scales. That placed college and university professors at the highest pay scales on government payrolls. Don’t even think that made us rich. We were still barely middle class, by Pakistan’s standards and poor, by American standards. Long story short, one of my fathers old college buddies got transferred to Mirpurkhas, city we used to live in, as an income tax officer. Naturally, my dad went to see this old buddy. He welcomed my dad at the door of his office saying. “my highest regards and respects to professor Zafar”. While going to meet an old buddy from college, this is not what my dad was expecting. He was expecting sort of swearing or something. He was shocked. “what is this bull crepe?”, he asked. “I am saying this because you are one of the highest tax payers in whole district”. Friend replied. This just added to my dad’s shock. “Are you kidding me? In this city where we have industrialists, very successful business persons, really big landlords, How can this poor professor be one the highest tax payers?”, he asked, barely trying to recover from this totally unexpected situation. “Because nobody pays taxes, except for the salaried employees, who get taxes deducted from their paychecks. That places you among the highest tax payers in the whole district. As a matter of fact in the whole country.” the answer he got.

Bhutto also passed and enforced some serious labor laws for the first time in the history of country. Ha was also a huge supporter of labor unions. Unions gained unprecedented power during his government. These laws, of course, are never enforced by successive governments. Unions have been becoming weaker and weaker since then, due to the fact that most later government are mostly run by feudal lords, industrialists, corporate executives and / or military generals.

I went Pakistan in 2008, after fourteen years, when my kids visited the country, their dad was born in, for the first time and my wife met my family for the first time. While I found most people in big cities have what they never had before like, multiple cars in family, all kind of electronics, cellular phones, bigger and better houses, most other critical indicators, conditions and situations were worse.

Now, if you believe in Republican ideals, then, you should be thinking that with businesses practically paying almost no taxes and with no regulations enforced on them,Pakistan must have the strongest economy in the world and Pakistani businesses must be the most successful around the globe.  But, surprise! Pakistan has one of the weakest economies in the world and most Pakistani businesses are one of the worst performing. Just in case, you are still wondering why?

These are the reasons, why? First, with practically no labor laws and regulations enforced and weak labor unions, most businesses do whatever they want to do and treat their employees the way they want. For all practical reasons, quality controls are practically non-existing. Most big and multi-national, Pakistan based corporations, literally have two divisions. One for domestic productions and other for “export quality”. Products and services coming out of these two different divisions have absolutely no match and quality differs a lot. “Export quality” is very likely to match international standards, while the products and services aimed at domestic markets could be most pathetic and of lowest quality. Businesses are short staffed and hardly ever provide necessary training and orientations. Even hired people are mostly under paid with almost no benefits provided to them. Result? Employees have absolutely no reason for dedication, hard work, creativity and innovation. Most of them are just killing time at work and their only interest is in collecting paychecks. Sounds familiar? This situation getting increasingly common in our society, too. As our corporations are getting more and more used to with cutting the corners and focusing more on providing very high compensation and benefits to executives, while increasing profit margins to unprecedented levels.

Second important reason is that with no one, specially businesses, and big and multi-national corporations, practically paying no taxes, government is very poor and lake essential resources. The result is that the infra structure and public services are pathetic and in worst conditions. Most roads, highways and bridges are broken with practically no maintenance. In big cities like Karachi, it is getting hard to even breath, due to unbelievable pollution. Allergies, breathing, cardio-vascular, and mental and psychiatric problems are getting increasingly common. Morbidity and mortality rates are on rise. Life expectancy is decreasing. Schools are extremely short staffed, with serious lake of necessary training for staff. There is serious shortage of educational equipment and instruments and one that is available is seriously outdated. Extremely under paid law enforcement and courts are only interested in collecting bribes, since this is the only way for them to survive in extremely corrupt society and high inflation economy.

This is the Republican dream my dear friends. This what they are working very hard for and this is where they want to take us. As a matter of fact, I believe that Mr. Boehner and his gang was born and is living in a wrong country. I have no clue what they are doing in a country where there are so many regulations imposed on businesses and where they have to pay so many taxes. I think it is still not too late for them. They can still take all their investment out from U.S.businesses and stock markets and invest it into Pakistani businesses, which mostly do not pay any taxes and which do not have to follow any regulations. What an ideal situations? Wouldn’t you agree?

Trust me there is no lake of opportunities for them. Because, Pakistanis is just one example among most third world, under developed and developing countries. In most of these countries the conditions are ideal for Republicans.

 
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