There are two kinds of black money.
1. Wealth that is hidden from the tax authorities by people who work hard but find the taxation too steep. Let's call this Gray money.
2. Wealth gained illegally by means of coercion, distortion of laws, supply of illegal services, inflation of bills etc. Let's call this Dark money.
While Gray money is accumulated by traders, dark money is hoarded by people who pose as traders but in reality are either crooks or politicians or the various kinds of political power brokers.
While the gray money is a rejection of the legal system, dark money is a rejection of the moral system of wealth.
While Gray money is used to sustain business and is therefore a driver of economy, dark money is often public money being siphoned off to feather a few nests and thus is lost from the economy.
The question arises: Are both monies equally evil? Do both deserve the same penalty?
As a common man would have, Yes!
However, the same common man cries against #taxation and the inflation which actually comes from the loss of wealth from the system, which is a result of dark money activity.
If you buy a packet of biscuits or soap or a few clothes and if the trader keeps it off the books, you are not at a loss, except that the tax that would theoretically build roads and power your home, is not being paid.
If, however, you pay bribes to officials and politicians or politicians and con businessmen run scams on public money, you are more directly in loss in many ways -
A. The money earmarked for your development is reduced
B. The development is recorded as done while it actually isn't. This means that it won't be done in the foreseeable future.
C. Ill-gotten wealth always need to be distributed among the cahoots and this ensures that officials get complacent and expect to be rewarded for every duty they perform, over and above their salary. I.e. #corruption increases.
D. Since the wealth which is siphoned off is not generated by magic, the businessman who has to generate this wealth, has to simply charge more for his produce. This is #inflation.
So ... Think again. Are both kinds of black money equally punishable? Can the punishment for a slap be the same as that of murder?
And yet, the politicians who run the govt hanker on about #BlackMoney and it's return and talk of cashless economy and increased taxes in the same breath.
Who stands to gain by a move like #demonetisation and exorbitant #GST? Is it the common man? Maybe. Is it the trader who simply now is forced to pay taxes? Maybe not. Is it the big corporate which stands to get a greater share of newfound services like digital economy? To an extent, yes. Or is it the politically connected class who gains by converting their already gained illegal wealth into legal money???
Do you see that by playing on the common man's rants about illegal wealth, the govt crushed the traders and small producers, while imposing a greater sense of duty, or let's say taxes, on the commoner and at the same time ensured that the loot of dark money became legal?
I can see a counterargument that our country is full of touts and thugs, and the only way to reign them in its to regularise them once and then block the ways in which they can flourish illegally.
It's like saying that the naughy students should be condoned for breaking the rules, this time, and warned never to repeat. Did that ever feel like justice to you? Unless of course you were the naughty guy.
This is the essence of #cronyism. The teacher shall take care of her pet students, regardless of their mischief.
I think that we should forever remember the 8th of November as #CronyismDay.
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