When Car Loans are cheaper than Education Loans….

No no, I have not gone wonky…

I am still the same, slightly silly, slightly off the track, slightly philosophical and slightly…well….may be wonky. What to do, I am what I am…

Enough about me, read on…

There is an old saying….it goes something like this…

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime

Let me paraphrase it for the benefit of this article and to make my point….

Give a man some easy money and he will enjoy it till money lasts, teach a man how to make money and he will enjoy a lifetime….

I am sure, my dear readers, you will agree that the shortest, cleanest and best path to make a man self-sufficient, financially and otherwise, is to get him solid education.

Now, let’s face it, in the modern world education costs money, especially tertiary education which enables a person to develop skills and knowledge which enables him to make money and earn a decent living.

Let’s also face it that, in countries like India, there is so much poverty (still) and “good” tertiary education is so expensive that a lower middle and poor class (still the majority of India) cannot afford to send their kids for good quality Tertiary education. The uncontrolled growth of private educational institutions has made the situation worst.

So, what do you do if either your child is brilliant or you want to get them higher education so that he/she can lead the family out of the circle of poverty….

Unfortunately, there is only one major option….take a loan.

Have you ever tried doing that or have you known any person who tried doing that….

The number of criteria, the number of requirements, the number of documents, and the number of securities that one has to produce is like nobody’s business. And then on top of it, even if the bank agrees to give you a loan, the interest rates/EMI are killing.

Now, compare the education loan to getting a car loan, low-interest rate, very low or close to zero down payment, few years income tax records, an earning statement (of a much lower value) and voila….you have the loan….

Imagine, knowingly, we are feeding fish to men and not making our best efforts to teach him how to fish…

And all the above is happening in the know of the Government and RBI.

Sad isn’t it…

So, one day I decided to talk to my banker friends to understand why? I got a unanimous answer…

The default rate in Education Loans is high. Not because the student runs away but more so because many of them don’t get jobs which enable them to pay the EMI and over and above allows them to live a comfortable life.

Valid Financial Logic.

However, this, in my opinion, is not just a financial issue. This is a social and developmental issue.

Our Govt. comes up with zillions of welfare schemes, they subsidize agriculture, cooking gas, they make cheap housing (and the list goes on), they even write-off loans but all these are nothing more than giving fish to the hungry.

Education, on the other hand, teaches people how to fish but, for some reason, Govts. don’t care….

They will not make banks subsidise, give low-interest benefits, write off loans why? Because it is not a vote catcher.

The bane of democracy is that everything is about the next elections….

Also, I guess the other reason is that the fear politicians have that if most of the population gets educated they will start asking questions and demanding their rights…something no politician wants to be on the receiving end of.

In short, giving fish helps in the next elections, teaching how to catch doesn’t…

Sad……but true….

Till a time comes when the situation is reversed, we have to reconcile ourselves to the fact that…

The Car Loans will be cheaper than Education Loans….

As always, please do give your thoughts and comments and if you like this article, please do like, share and subscribe to my blog…

Until next time, stay safe…

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The Third World War has begun — Naicha Dominates! Rest of the Hearth struggling…

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction and any resemblance with any reality is purely coincidental. Any resemblance to any person, country, or incident is purely a matter of chance. The writer is not responsible for it.

Bored Stiff, you should be, I am for sure. Sitting at home, twiddling our thumbs. After all for how long can we watch TV, work our laptops, sleep, wake up, and eat. Beyond a point, life is beginning to become a blur.

To pass your time, let me tell you a story (as stories go, this is a flight of imagination), it will help you pass your time and also give you some food for thought…..So, wear your wing of imagination….here goes….

· Year: 2518

· Location: A planet located in a galaxy near the Andromeda galaxy.

· Planet Characteristics: Mostly water, rest fertile land, inhabited by millions of species. Dominated by one species called Sapiens. They have an organ called the brain. Brain depending upon how it is used can do a lot of good or come up with most devious of schemes.

Niacha, is looking for any means to dominate the planet. It comes up with an amazing plan and strategy. It starts what can be called the Third World War. Third, because Sapiens have already fought 2 of them earlier.

The Third War, which started around December of 2517, seems to have started the same way the 2nd world war did. Like the country (Hermany) run by the evil dictator in World War 2, Naicha is making tremendous headways in the world. It has brought the entire world to its knees.

It’s recently developed; state of the art weapon called Novid 16 has effectively paralysed the world.

In particular, its arch enemies the allies (Dunite and Western part of Europa) is struggling to keep pace with the fighting. As per the latest information received the numbers of injured (sick) have crossed a million mark and killed in action (dead) more than 100,000.

By any standards of warfare, this is tremendous success within 5 months of the start of a war.

In fact, not even in the 2nd world war (the biggest war Sapines ever fought) these numbers of causalities had not happened in first 5–6 months of the war.

This weapon was first tested by Naicha in its city of Broohan. While most of the weapons of war do not succeed in their initial tests and require lots of improvements before they become battle-worthy, in this case, the weapon showed tremendous results in Broohan.

The test was conducted with such expertise that no other town in Naicha were impacted.

Truly with these tests, Naicheese Department of Warfare has shown that they have arrived.

Once these tests were successful, Naicheese war machine swung into action. Quietly Novid 16 was shipped to countries all over the world, primarily Western Europa and Dunited via people to people contact via tourists (you could call them human carrier pigeons)-brilliant use of a very old method of warfare except pigeon being replaced by Humans.

The beauty or deviousness of this weapon is that it starts very slowly and surreptitiously, makes it base in 1 then 2, 4, 8 and so on till one day the enemy realises that huge part of its population has been impacted.

Naicha, in spreading this weapon globally, also understood the dynamics of politics and politicians in Democratic countries.

They knew that before any drastic action is taken by any country; a lot of time will be wasted in debates, discussion, points, and counterpoints.

Wasted time, the most important parameter, to ensure maximum damage to the opponent.

Wasted that will enable Novid 16 to spread uncontrolled.

And what a brilliant strategy……within 5 months the whole world is reeling under the onslaught of a weapon of mass destruction. No one has any answer except social distancing and lockdown.

Some people still believe that the kill ratio of this virus is not higher than common flu hence why panic, sooner or later it will go away….

How naïve they are….

Finally, when most of the nations of planet Hearth woke up and realised the extent of damage the virus can cause, it was too late to stop its spread naturally. So, they came up with another plan. Plan which they thought is a very smart move but in reality, they were walking into a trap.

This was anticipated by the leaders of Naicha and they wanted it to happen. The people of Hearth were unleashing a weapon upon themselves….

Shutting down of their economy…

How do you ensure social distancing, don’t allow people to come out. And how does one do that? Shut down offices, factories and all other such areas. What do these areas do under normal circumstances, they keep the economy of a country going, they contribute to the GDP, they produce goods, they employ people, they pay salaries, and they make a country grow.

So what happens when you shut them down…….?? !! You are encouraging yourself to commit suicide….

And now, came the third and most hidden weapon of this war…..

Hearth was reeling under the virus and economic shutdown. Sapiens were suffering. They needed the basics for survival. Basics like Food and Medicine.

Naicha’s brain trust had already foreseen this. They were beautifully positioned to provide this to the citizens of Hearth.

In fact, they were one of the largest exporters of bulk drugs and drug intermediaries in the world. Countries above them were too busy fighting with the virus and managing the adversity of the economic impact. In fact, Naicha’s arch natural enemy Ndia imports close to 2/3rd of its drug intermediaries from Naicha, according to some estimates, even the pharma manufacturing units are operating at less than half their capacity due to large scale exodus of their labour.

In case all the above is confusing you a bit, let me summarise it for you:

· Naicha develops a virus which damages but does not kill (because if it kills all the impacted, there will be fear of retaliation from the majorly impacted countries).

· Tests it on its population, find it to meet the objectives

· Releases it on to the world specially countries which are its biggest foes via unsuspecting tourists etc.

· As expected the countries react by shutting down their economic engine to prevent human to human contact

· They now need more product and services to keep things going

· Naicha is the largest producers of medicine intermediaries, masks, food items.

· The same enemy countries come on its door asking for items required for their survival.

· Naicha establishes itself as the Supreme Power of the World.

The third world war is over….done and dusted…in less than a year….the world has changed, the power structures have changed….the leader to the free world has been toppled…..forever…

Some leaders of the Sapiens did not believe in it. They questioned this premise.

A meeting of all-powerful nations of the world is called. The topic being…Are there any options left for the western world? For the Free world? Is there a counter-strategy?

They come up with a counter-strategy….

· Once again, use the lesson from the 2nd World War — Retreat, Consolidate, re-strategize, prepare, then counterattack (remember D Day invasion) and then take the war back into the enemy territory. Let’s translate this to the current situation…

· Do whatever you have to do to last out this crisis. Beg, borrow and steal. Do lockdown, research on vaccines, control the pandemic

· When the country starts to come back on its feet to revive your economy, take the following drastic steps (all is fair in love and war):

o Make a law in your own country that no business registered in your country can have any manufacturing plant or facility in Naicha

o In source everything.

o Move all supply chains back into your own country

o The above will ensure the following:

§ Unemployment will go down; people will have jobs, income. This will also fuel demand (the oxygen of any economy).

§ Naicha’s economy, largely dependent on exports will suffer badly. Their internal demand is not enough to sustain the size of their economy.

§ In other words, ostracise Naicha economically (after all today’s wars are fought more economically than by conventional means).

· Does this mean the end of globalization? Not really.

· Earlier there used to be blocks of countries which had similar ideologies, aligned political interests and they used to work together to achieve the common objectives. Do cross border globalization within those symmetrical political blocks. At least, hopefully, no one will play games. They gave these trade blocks a name…. “Common Globalised Block (CGB)”.

Gradually, Hearth is limping back to normal. The Hearth Order has been restored. Free World has won. Naicha has been left licking their wounds.

Hope you liked this story….hope you were able to pass sometime…..even if I could keep you entertained for 5–7 minutes, I am happy.

If you like this, please hit the fan/like button, give comments and please please share as much as you can….

Till then, Ta Ta….

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental

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