Turning job-seekers into job-givers
Daily Mirror Editorial
Dec 10, 2011

With the globalised system of crony capitalism crumbling in the United States, Western Europe and other countries, Sri Lanka needs to urgently restructure its economic policies if its dream of becoming the miracle hub of Asia is to come anywhere near reality.

The crisis-ridden 27-Nation European Union began a do or die summit in Brussels yesterday for what independent world economic analysts see as possibly the last chance to save the Euro and the Euro Zone. The leaders of Germany and France are insisting there should be not only monetary union but also fiscal union with strict discipline and austerity measures to prevent governments or transnational companies from indulging in selfish extravagance while millions of people are languishing on or below the poverty line.

United States President Barack Obama on Wednesday virtually declared an economic war on Wall Street’s crony capitalists who comprise about one per cent of the population but are known to control more than 70 per cent of the nation’s wealth while doling out crumbs as taxes. World-renown radical analyst Michael Moore said that for three years, President Obama had tried to have a dialogue with the Wall Street giants if not monsters to gently persuade them to bring about a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources. But running into an iron curtain of selfishness and greed, the President has now demonized the crony capitalists and warned that if they did not do justice to the people by fair means, he would force them to do so. Backing President Obama was the enlightened and widely respected Archbishop of Canterbury Rt. Rev. Rowan Williams who said he believed that if Jesus Christ was physically present today he would join those who are demonstrating near St. Paul’s Cathedral in solidarity with the Wall Street social revolution with similar public uprisings taking place in Russia also.

It was against this backdrop that Sri Lanka yesterday had the honour of personally seeing and listening to Bangladesh’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning laureate Muhammad Yunus, who spoke on the theme of social business whereby the corporate sector and non governmental agencies could play a more effective role in alleviating poverty and restoring the dignity of the poor. ‘Be the change, you have the power to create a world free of poverty’ was the thrust of Professor Yunus’ inspiring and visionary talk at a one-day seminar organised by the South Asia Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI), brainchild of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. Professor Yunus the father of the world-famous Grameen Bank scheme spoke of his recent initiative and his concept of ‘social business’ based on identifying the essential needs of the poor and helping to address them through non-governmental agencies and the corporate sector.

According to Prof. Yunus, more than 95 per cent of the recipients of about US$1.5 billion in interest-free micro-credit are illiterate women. They are shareholders in the social business companies and they in turn use their income to educate their children up to university level. The children in turn are encouraged and given incentives to launch their own enterprises so that eventually they become job-givers instead of wandering as job-seekers.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka