In the USA, till a decade ago, before full impact of regulatory state kicked in, average salaries across all categories have been higher for private sector jobs than public sector jobs. In fact job in the USA meant a job in private sector, such were the fruits of free market economy. Of course after the Constitutional Revolution of 1937, in which the Judges of the US Supreme Courts were psyched into sustaining encroachments on the Private Property Rights and the Contract Clause, it has been a journey downhill for the economic freedom in the USA also, with the result that now the public sector jobs have caught up with the private sector jobs. Still, jobs of peons normally do not exist in the US, and if at all they do, holders of PhD degrees do not apply for them, and nor the graduates.
Our mediocre ruling elite of course fell for Socialism in 1947, so average Indian doesn’t even know what economic freedom means. Therefore Indian economy remains pre-industrial economy in which only steady jobs are in security forces and government offices. No wonder, in India, a job means a government job.
Socialism has made our ruling elite filthy rich. Our politicians and top bureaucrats live in bungalows, have fleets of vehicle, have retinue of servants; which would put to shame the top tycoons and the super rich in the developed world. But it has thoroughly impoverished and broken those outside the government. And therefore they have lost all initiative, entrepreneurship, and self-confidence; and spend their time either in trying to get into a government job, or in circumventing government behemoth of the giant Administrative State to do something to earn a living.
Early years after education of an Indian youth, in fact almost a decade after graduation, are spent in trying to secure a government job. From the coveted IAS to bank clerks, they appear for every post advertised by a government department anywhere in India. And now that peons and other group D posts are also being filled through competitive examinations, they apply for them also.
And why not? A government peon is likely to get a starting salary of Rs 35000 per month after the imminent 7th Pay Commission, whereas in private sector even an engineering graduate is lucky to land a job that pays Rs 20000 per month, and this figure may go as low as Rs 10000 per month. And of course the government peon has the job security for life, and if he is lucky, he may even be attached to a boss who may designate him as his bribe receivers, and therefore may make him entitled to a cut in the bribes.
Such is the state of our economy after unbridled socialism of 67 years. And neither the ruling elite nor the average Indian has learnt anything, as is evident from fierce opposition to any measure that seeks to open up the economy, that tries to make a dent in the Administrative State, that tries to restore Private Property Rights and sanctity of the contracts. Leftists have accomplished this by keeping education under their control, and so an average Indian graduate doesn’t even know the concepts of Private Property, sanctity of contracts, and economic freedom in general. No wonder the economic reforms remain a dirty word, the poison fruit of Indian politics. Any government that attempts them quickly loses power. Business tycoons in India are always spoken of as dacoits, not the job creators that they are, and to secure political fortunes, the surest way is to start attacking the top industrialists of the country. Average Indian firmly believes in the central Leftist fallacy: that the wealth is static, and the rich are those who have accumulated more than their fair share, thus impoverishing everybody else.
And therefore the news that 23 lakh persons, including PhDs and engineering graduates, have applied for 368 posts of peons should come as no surprise. But this news demonstrates the tragedy of 125 crore human beings who have been condemned to this wretched existence by a mediocre, thuggish, and venal ruling elite that refuses to review its economic worldview because present economic system of India personally benefits them handsomely.
All pillars of the ruling establishment are complicit in and responsible for this horrible state of affairs: the politicians for putting it in place and perpetuating it, bureaucrats for maintaining it, academicians and intellectuals for supporting it, and media for covering up it all for them. For the simple reason that they all benefit from it. The fact that they are destroying the lives of 125 crore human beings but that doesn’t tug at their conscience; shows how self centred, selfish, devoid of empathy, devoid of love for the people they are ruling, devoid of love for the country they are ruling; they are.
It is a stupendous task, to roll back socialism in India. Everything, not just political power, needs to be taken back from the present ruling elite: education, culture, media, and the narrative. The task is most difficult, because no ruling elite in the history of the world has ever parted with power just by persuasion or reason.
(To read earlier similar articles, click on the titles below: Ed.)