Changing values and changing morality
Not too long ago there was this brilliant businessman with an equally brilliant idea to profit from his trading business. Oh, they don’t called businessmen brilliant then, but astute. Today they will probably tagged them as super talents if they can come up with devious schemes to max profits, even if it means fleecing their customers. What the businessman did was to simply corner the rice market, a monopoly or a cartel, and then control the demand and supply of rice. He could then determine whatever price he wanted. Nothing spectacular, and no need a Ph D to come up with such a scheme. But making huge indecent profits at the expense of the customers was not an acceptable thing to do, then. The govt immediately swung into action. It needed to protect the interest of the people. That was the morality and value of the day. A govt importing agency was set up to counter this move. The businessman was outsmarted and lost, his scheme was not allowed to become a reality. And the people’s interest was safe guarded. Morality and values have changed. Today, anyone with any idea or scheme to fleece their customers and max profits for the organization will be treated like a hero. They will ascend the ladder to super talent status. Take the staple rice as an example again. This time round, if someone is to come out with an idea on how to profit from this item, I think he would be patted on the back and say ‘Good work’. The idea could be something like this. Ok, first the moral justification. This must be put right first, even if it is rubbish. But must still make it sounds right. Rice is a staple food, and a scarce resource. People should not waste rice. Importing rice is also a drain on our foreign exchange. With such reasons in place, now the brilliant scheme can be enforced. Because rice is so important and cannot be wasted, people must be encouraged to eat less rice and waste less rice. How to do it? Hit the people where it hurts, their pockets. The price of rice shall now be double. Profit immediately doubles. But this is not enough. Each household is rationed at 2 kg of rice per month. Household consuming more than 2 kg shall pay a surtax of 30%. What is this for? How to justify this? Elementary, this is to educate the people on the importance of rice and not to waste rice or eat too much rice. See, more profits coming in. Wow, with such a brilliant idea, I am even thinking betterer than the professors from the best universities in the USA. I think I shall award myself the title of Eminent Professor of Economics. And Wally will say, hehe : ) And Matilah will say don't talk cock, so and so has written this in his book in year 1955.