Cultural Change for Economics – Newspaper

The topic of Pakistan's never-ending economic quagmire elicits many propositions, some good, some rehashed and some repetitive. Rarely, if ever, is there a discussion of cultural aspects influencing economic outcomes.

I argue that cultural change is as important as factors such as investment, savings, fiscal policy, etc. for the economic transformation of a country. Importantly, the argument does not focus solely on government and governance – these are the usual targets, and for good reason. – but also on society. The following is a brief description of where and in which aspects change is required.

Let's start with the important topic of religion. When we talk about the economic performance we want to emulate, one inevitable conclusion is that religion takes a back seat in the affairs of government and society and has a moderate, minor influence. However, Pakistan represents the case of a country and society where faith and extreme attitudes are deeply woven into the fabric of society, as shown in a recent excellent survey by Dr. Ture-e-Nyaib and his team (PIDE Baseline Study).

This leads to many consequences. Take the example of an insurance company, one of the most effective tools designed to reduce the risks around our lives. Pakistan's insurance penetration rate is 0.91 percent, which is low even among regional peers (in contrast, 90% of households in Japan are covered by life insurance), mainly because the majority consider it against their religious beliefs. This leads to extra economic spillovers. For example, the search for physical and financial security in the face of risks often leads individuals into the hands of extractive actors, who use them to carry out their illegal activities.

Pakistani society and our governments must abandon the 'kill the rich' mentality.

Paradoxically, it is a form of slavery that religion prohibits, but the same beliefs are cited as a barrier to accepting instruments such as insurance or savings accounts. This mindset needs to change.

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The second aspect in which a cultural change must take root is the acceptance of differing viewpoints. Modern economic development does not come from merely building cement structures. Indeed, it was a long, protracted battle of ideas from which the theories and practices of modern development emerged. That change was underscored by intellectual humility and tolerance of others' opinions.

Such humility, unfortunately, is largely absent in Pakistan. Across the country, one usually encounters a 'my way or the highway' approach. People often make opinions as if they know it all, and are repulsed by even the slightest thought that they might be wrong about something.

Unfortunately, this attitude also extends to Pakistan's economic community (generally speaking), whose ignorant grandeur is based on a limited reading and understanding of historical circumstances, while responding to their own passive biases.

Third, Pakistani society and our governments must abandon the 'kill the rich' mentality. There is a need to realize that every person in Pakistan is not the one who made his/her wealth scoundrel. This attitude is inimical to wealth creation. There are enough examples of individuals becoming rich through their hard work, dedication and hard work.

Yes, there are plenty of scams and leeches who have amassed wealth through dubious means. But often, we find that the basis of their accumulation is the support of administrative structures (subsidies, fat contracts, lax application of laws that enable them to escape, etc.), impunity, theft and corruption.

So let's realize that creating wealth and wealth in real ways is something to be celebrated rather than scoffed at.

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Fourth, people need to recognize that there is no substitute for hard work (physical and mental). shortcuts (Jugar) can only take you so far, and may not be a good strategy for long-term success and credibility. There are many examples of 'professors' to 'double shah' type characters who achieved their position through plagiarized papers, but recently one will do.

Last year, Amazon Suspended Thousands of accounts from Pakistan for fraudulent business practices. It never occurred to the perpetrators that their behavior would not only drive them out of the huge online market, but also severely reduce the chances of other honest entrepreneurs/entrepreneurs in Pakistan trying to establish themselves there. Nor did the government attempt to prosecute them for tarnishing the country's already poor reputation.

In another way, try Jugar Our access to one of the world's largest companies could have been severely affected (Amazon's market cap is $1.77 trillion). This kind of Jugars Across the country, in every walk of life, rip-offs are common and are essentially a reflection of the lack of ethical and moral standing on which a healthy, faith-enhancing society is built.

No wonder it is the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) or Adam Smith (the author). Theory of Moral Sentiments Before his great work, Wealth of Nations), one finds more stress on fair, just and ethical transactions in matters of trade and economics.

Last, but not the least, Pakistan cannot hope for a transformed economy without women being an active part of the workforce. Its female labor force participation rates are low even among regional peers. Participation rates in KP and Balochistan are not even 12 per cent, with widespread culture being a large block. High fertility rates are one consequence of this low participation.

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There are many points and issues to think about, but I conclude by suggesting that society and government should realize that economic growth and transformation is not limited to endless amounts of cement, steel, bricks and mortar.

Increasing public sector development programs does not ensure economic prosperity (an issue taken up later). Breaking the cycle of economic backwardness must be complemented by ethics, morality and a cultural shift that frees the mind from the clutches of obscurity and mediocrity.

The writer is an economist and currently a research associate at PIDE. The article forms his personal opinion.

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X: Shahid Mohammad79

Posted on February 16, 2024 at dawn

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