"The construct of bottom of the pyramid economics arrived in 1998 via a seminal study on sustainable development by management guru C K Prahalad. In contrast, the idea of bottom of the pyramid politics arrived in 1932 in a radio address, The Forgotten Man, by Franklin D Roosevelt, as he promoted the New Deal.
Allegiance followed articulation and bottom of pyramid politics put down its roots in India early. Jawaharlal Nehru promoted the idea of reallocation of land to the landless; Indira Gandhi ramped up taxes chanting the slogan ‘Garibi Hatao’; the V P Singh regime propped up by the BJP and the Left declared that the “coffers are empty” and pushed a loan waiver; Manmohan Singh’s ‘New Deal’ legislated the right to employment, a massive loan waiver and the National Food Security Act....
Beyond the divide of ideology and the debate on moral hazards, there is no disputing the fact that millions live in abject poverty and need help. The question is essentially about the approach—the solution can often become the problem. In the trenches of the political economy the worry is what it would cost to hire a person who gets money sitting at home. The fund flow will impact MGNREGS rates, the minimum wage, the availability of farm labour and agri output. The costs are meant to be shared by the Centre and states. Already under stress, will states fund repair of the broken state of education, health care, water supply and install the infrastructure necessary for agricultural growth and urbanisation?"
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