Is “Freebies” Good Politics But Bad Economics? –

by | Aug 19, 2022 | Financial

Women in a Delhi bus display their pink tickets. | PTIFreebies vs. WelfareFreebies are goods and services given free without any charge to the users. It is alleged that some state governments in India have confusion between ‘freebies and welfare. There is only a thin line between the two. Those who are against ‘freebies’ are generally against ‘welfare’ provisions too.The ‘freebies’ question has finally reached the Supreme Court of India through a Public Interest Litigation filed by a prominent politician. The intervention plea filed asked the Central government and the Election Commission of India to take steps to regulate political party poll manifestos and hold parties accountable for the promises made in such manifestos.The supporters of this argument say states need to invest in necessary infrastructure that will be beneficial for citizens and stay away from wasteful freebies which will empty out their coffers.Politics of labelingThe worst way to politically demolish something (or someone) standing on the way, is to label it (them) with an undesirable name and then unleash a campaign highlighting all the negative aspects of it (them). Unfortunately, this strategy is being used time and again to defame policies and programs such as reservations, affirmative action, and various welfare measures aimed at uplifting the marginalized and the oppressed poor.Contextualizing the current ‘freebies debate’?Those who attack social welfare often quote a Chinese proverb that says, “Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, an …

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