Saturday, 15 October 2016

Kumarappa should be compulsary reading.

Is 'Unto This Last' compulsory reading in all MBA courses ? 
"Primarily, which is very notable and curious, I observe that men of business rarely know the meaning of the word “rich.” At least, if they know, they do not in their reasonings allow for the fact, that it is a relative word, implying its opposite “poor” as positively as the word “north” implies its opposite “south.”

Men nearly always speak and write as if riches were absolute, and it were possible, by following certain scientific precepts, for everybody to be rich. Whereas riches are a power like that of electricity, acting only through inequalities or negations of itself. The force of the guinea you have in your pocket depends wholly on the default of a guinea in your neighbour’s pocket. If he did not want it, it would be of no use to you;

the degree of power it possesses depends accurately upon the need or desire he has for it, — and the art of making yourself rich, in the ordinary mercantile economist’s sense, is therefore equally and necessarily the art of keeping your neighbour poor."

Kannan Thandapani Ruskin definitely gives a crucial perspective on wealth. But we can do a MA Economics or MBA without ever hearing about Ruskin or Kumarappa.

A Gandhian friend once asked a bright young MA Economics student, from Delhi, who was interested in development economics, if he knew about Kumarappa.
The student, predictably, said, 'No.'

My friend asked, with no trace of sarcasm, "Have you heard about Karl Marx?" I still remember the incredulous expression on the student's face when he heard that question.

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