About the Book
With increasing complexity, economic systems have become more and more vulnerable to being rigged, subverted and corrupted. As a result, most people on the planet are finding it difficult to satisfy even their basic needs – while a tiny minority of people consumes perhaps ten thousand times more per capita. If ever there was a time for thoughtful persons to come up with fresh thinking, then that time is NOW! Recent events around the world make it clear that anyone who cannot think clearly for himself or herself will be cheated and exploited by the greedy. Globally, the reality of exploitation and financial scams is shocking – and a crime against humanity. This book is an attempt at generating some fresh thinking, based on a few simple and basic truths of human life.
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About the Author
The author is a semi-retired academic living in a rural part of western India. His formal education has been in engineering – with which the present book has nothing in common!
At the time of the ‘global financial crisis’ of 2008-09, the author noticed one curious thing in the news. As the US President was signing a huge bailout bill, the few top financial officials standing behind the President looked extremely nervous and fidgety, the Treasury Secretary amongst them.
Now why in the world should they be so nervous and fidgety? Senior public officials should deal with crises confidently and objectively, should they not? After all, public crises come and go all the time. Something was definitely amiss in their body language on that occasion.
After a closer look into the events, the author finally ‘got it’ that the officials were deeply involved with the very practices which led to the huge crash – and even stood to benefit from the bailouts. Taxpayers were being ripped off by senior public officials who were hand-in-glove with some big banks.
Since then, the author has been trying assiduously to understand the effects of big finance, big business, big politics and big power on ordinary people everywhere in the world.
The present book Economics for YOU is an attempt to describe, in simple words and pictures, what he has understood.
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Qn 1: Can you tell us more about your book What is it about?
Economic exploitation is rampant all over the world, without any exception. Human greed is limitless, and when there are no restraints, exploitation becomes brazen, shameless and merciless. But perhaps it is also true to say that — at least in part — this happens because most ordinary people in the world are not even aware of the many ways in which they are being exploited, and even harmed.
Ordinary people probably just assume that ‘That is how things were meant to be’, ‘This is our fate’ — or some other such fatalistic excuse not to open their eyes and at least try to understand what is really going on. However, unless they open their eyes, things will only go from bad to worse.
Every human being strives for well-being, even conceding that among human beings the definition of ‘well-being’ varies widely from one person to another, or from one community to another. This is precisely why I have used the phrase ‘relative well-being’ in the first few paragraphs of the book. Indeed there is no universal norm for ‘well-being’!
But when this movement towards well-being is thwarted, a human being loses any reason to live. If my present condition is dire, and tomorrow is going to be worse than today, and I can see no possible end to my misery — then what is the meaning of life?
But if my understanding of phenomena can improve, perhaps I can see better in the light of that understanding. Then perhaps I can discern a tunnel leading out of my miserable cell — and a very faint light which guides me towards the other end of the tunnel.
It is not fashionable today to say that ‘understanding’ has the power to bring a person out of misery. Far more fashionable it is to click one’s tongue and express endlessly virtuous-sounding but shrill demands for ‘XYZ to do something for ABC’.
I have written this book with the belief that understanding one’s one condition is a sure and necessary first step to improving one’s condition. For whatever strange reason, in the so-called ‘modern’ world, ideology, fashion and style have pushed understanding out from our individual, economic and social lives. Therefore it is necessary today to view life once again in simple, basic terms.
Qn 2: Who do you think would be interested in this book, is it directed at any particular market?
Any intelligent person aware of the huge economic inequities, injustice and exploitation prevailing all over the world would be interested to learn what lies at its root. Of course there is no denying that limitless inhuman greed lies at its root, but the cunning mechanisms by which the greedy operate are NOT known to most ordinary people. The mechanisms are deliberately hidden from people.
The book is directed at any intelligent person who is aware of the dire economic situation — either locally or on a broader scale — and would like to dig a little deeper into the underlying human phenomena. Why? Because he or she can thereby negotiate better the treacherous economic landscape all around.
I do not see any geographical limitation in the market for this book.
Qn 3: Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors, which are your favourite and why?
Nowadays I spend a lot of time reading documented investigative reports about the treacherous ways of big money, big power, big politics and so on — either as they are in play today, or as they played out over the previous century. Here I refer to the two world wars, the Bolshevik revolution, the Bengal famine, JFK assassination, and so on.
Why? Because these phenomena throw light on what I have set out to describe in the book.
I am not reading any fiction whatsoever nowadays, because real life is far more exciting — even if the truth of it is extremely painful. But I do not wish to live like an ostrich, with head buried in the sand.
Gautam Buddha’s teaching help me deal LOGICALLY with difficult situations. What he taught about the impermanence of all phenomena is also expressed as: ‘This too shall pass!’
Qn 4: What guidance would you offer to someone new, or trying to enhance their writing?
READ! THINK FOR YURSELF!
READ! THINK FOR YURSELF!
READ! THINK FOR YURSELF!
Do not believe what the rich and powerful tell you.
Be sensitive to the suffering in society.
Develop an inner ability to tell truth from falsehood. Most people in public life simply throw out self-serving statements with high-sounding but empty verbiage. It is vitally important to be able to see through all such lies. But that discrimination does not come easily. It takes much time and effort.
I hope my book will help a little along the way!
Choose your authors wisely. My suggestion would be to avoid ‘trendy’ authors — simply because ‘trends’ are only formed by the lowest common denominator of understanding.
In matters of clarity and intellectual progress, the trend is NOT your friend. Stand apart and observe clearly what is going on — without letting emotions cloud your judgement. The trend may make you quick money, but your clarity of thought would have to be sacrificed.
Qn 5: Where can our readers find out more about you, do you have a website, or a way to be contacted?
Please see ‘About the author’ page on the book site: https://economics-for-you.club/about-the-author/
Readers are most welcome to send me a message using the form provided on that page; or they can also send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to hear from anyone — young or old, in any country! — who finds the subject matter of the book as interesting as I do!