Page 13 - Himalaya Labs White Paper 3 June
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Prologue


            Human  beings  are  social  creatures.  From  times  immemorial,  we  have  tried  to  add
            meaning to life, by adding value to ourselves, and to each other. Economic freedom is
            one such universal goal for all. Everyone aims for a progressively better life, economic
            prosperity  being  a  key  goal.  High  quality  family  and  social  relationships  are  another
            goal. While technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in its mass permeation, that
            even  the  common  man  today  has  the  quality  of  experience  and  richness  that  a
            Rockefeller could not dream of, with all his fortune just a few decades ago, the same
            cannot be said of economic prosperity. Despite the pervasive technological progress, the
            economic disparity has only widened between the haves and have-nots. Not only has the
            gap widened due to capitalism, but also due to a variety of other market externalities.
            Even very talented and highly deserving and enterprising entrepreneurs are kept away
            from  progress  because  the  manna  for  progress  -  capital  -  is  closely  guarded  by  some
            institutions,  and  it  has  been  hard  to  break  these  barriers  social,  economical  and
            political.


            Economic Freedom

            The world today has plenty of resources, technology and talent that can feed the whole
            population on the planet and comfortably meet everyone‟s basic needs (Sen, 1999). But
            stories of starvation, misery and lack abound. There is abundance, yet civilisation has
            failed in granting basic needs for all. Greed trumps inclusiveness. Motivation of a few
            greedy  actors  trumps  principles  of  democratization.  It  is  time  to  change  this.  No
            institutions  cover  for  the  vulnerable  who  stray  to  find  themselves  on  the  peripheral
            edges of the human normal. While capitalists and economists are to be lauded for their
            stellar  achievements  in  the  past  few  decades  -  such as  globalisation,  liberalisation  of
            trade  etc,  this  has  done  little  to  lift  the  world  hunger  and  equality  indices.  It  is
            abominable that capitalism and the successive revolutions (the steam engine, industrial
            revolution, internet etc) have done little to ebb this polarisation of wealth. Atone end of
            the spectrum, the world‟s wealthiest 1% own 50% of the world‟s wealth, while at the
            other end of the spectrum, the world‟s 3.5 billion poorest adults each have assets of less
            than  $10,000.  Collectively  these  needy  people,  who  account  for  70%  of  the  world‟s
            working  age  population,  account  for  just  2.7%  of  global  wealth.  It  is  an  awkward
            denouement and a blot on our collective humanity that some destitute farmers regularly
            have to resort to suicides to bring home this stark truth, to those whose conscience is
            still  alive  anyway.  The  institutions  which  specialise  in  the  supply  of  capital  do  not
            actually cater to those who are really in need of capital, but to those they would profit
            the  most  from.  Sometimes,  perversely  to  those  that  are  least  skilled  in  putting  that
            capital  to  productive  use.  This  is  due  to  a  variety  of  reasons:  ineptitude,  agency
            problems of decision makers not being aligned with interests of the institutions they run,
            behavioural prejudices, analytical incompetence, and sometimes even reasons to keep
            certain sections of society excluded (World Inequality Report, 2018). Darwinistic theory
            of evolution does not offer the sole explanation to unbridled greed. Universal and fair
            access  to  capital  is  essential  not  only  for  the  progress  of  capital  seekers  but  for  the
            betterment  of  society  as  a  whole.  Imagine  a  rich  titan  or  an  aristocrat  living  amidst
            squalor  and  lack,  or surrounded by  a  populace  ill  equipped to either  appreciating  his
            refined  sensibilities  or  to  enriching  his  inner  life  which  will  scarcely  accrue  from
            resources he exclusively controls.

            http://dgcamp.io                   arifa@himalayalabs.com                               Page 13
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