Sunday, 27 October 2019

Any measures for freeloading?

Economists develop methods and measures to quantify economic variables. But very few people talk about or measure 'freeloading'. Governments around the world spend millions on providing subsidies and benefits to their citizens in one form or the other. For generations many families and societies have received benefits and prospered. People are so used to these freebies by now and politicians are scared to withdraw them for electoral reasons. In countries where there is a scramble between subsidies and development the impact of freeloading is all the more exacerbated. Surprisingly, there are no measures for freeloading.

Why do people need freebies after surpassing a certain income/wealth level ? After all, there are people standing in the line who do not receive any benefits ? 

With the currently available technology and computing power, it is possible to assign a unique identification number to every citizen of the country. Every child that is born can be assigned a unique number at birth and you can track the progress from nutrition, school, profession, employment, family up until the death bed. It is possible to monitor the income/ wealth levels of every citizen of the economy. It is possible to have a flexible benefits system, where the benefits kick in and kick out with income levels. In fact, you can tweak the entire policy systems (make it more dynamic) based on the feedback that you receive from these economic and demographic data and information systems.

The first step is to assess the quantum of freeloading and express it as a percent of GDP to understand the magnitude of its impact. 

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