“In all countries where democracy is in vogue today, people have been deceived into believing that there is no better system than political democracy. Political democracy has no doubt granted voting rights, but it has snatched away the right of economic equality. Consequently, there is gross economic disparity between the rich and the poor, immense inequality in people’s purchasing capacity, unemployment, chronic food shortages, poverty and insecurity in society.” – PR Sarkar
The government is to serve the people in continuous improvement in ready availability of their minimum requirements in life. Thus such economy we could all the People’s Economy or Economic Democracy. It would be dealing with the needs or subsistence problems of the people. It would have to take precedence over other parts of the economy. The government in essence is to guarantee the progressive welfare and happiness of the people.
Principles of Economic Democracy:
– Eradication of mass poverty
– Development of rural economy
– Socialization of land in hands of those who work
– Employment for all with training programmes and work placements
– Cheap power and water supply
– Local sustainable planning starting with 100.000 population area upward
– Outflow of local capital must be stopped
– Increasing purchasing capacity must be guaranteed to all
– Increasing the purchasing capacity is the controlling factor in a healthy economy
– First maximum production of essential commodities – there must be parity between production and consumption
– The greater the purchasing power of the people the higher the standard of living
– Minimum requirements can be guaranteed through purchasing capacity
– Fundamental or cardinal human right should be established in the constitution giving citizens legal power if their minimum requirements are not met
– Country’s wealth or advancement to be measured in the increase of people’s purchasing capacity
– Maximum utilization and rational distribution (by guaranteeing increase of purchasing capacity) of all resources
– Guaranteed minimum requirements are food, clothing, housing, medical assistance and education, transportation, energy and irrigation water
– Surplus wealth to be made available for use by meritorious people with special skills
– Quantum of minimum requirements will be progressively increasing to raise the standard of living
– Fixed minimum and maximum wages
Private Industries must be limited in size. Home cottage industries are encouraged with no middle men.
Cooperative Industries are large in size. They are the best means of independently organizing people so they take collective responsibility for their livelihood. Cooperative land ownership with total profit distributed amonst members and workers according to their individual capital investment and individual labour. Those who are engaged in management of the cooperative will also be entitled to draw salaries on the basis of their service.
There can be agricultural or farmer’s cooperatives, producers’s coops – agro, agrico and non-agricultural coops and consumer coops.
Success of the cooperatives will depend first of morality or the intent of progressive benefit to all instead of greed of individual acquisition. Next there will have to be a strong administration and the system to be wholeheartedly accepted by the local people. This is the heart of the people’s economy based on mutual trust and human values and culture. The cooperatives support the local infrastructure of health, education, recreation and culture.
Large scale industries can be operated by the central government on no loss no gain basis.
Signs of a Balanced Economy
– There is adjustment among agriculture, industry and commerce.
– 30 to 40% of people depend directly on agriculture
– 20% depend on agro-industries
– 20% depend on agrico-industires
– 10% depend on general trade and commerce
– 10% depend on intellectual or white colour jobs
These above principles are from PROUT – the Progressive Utilization Theory of P. R. Sarkar