Nepali leaders are on Welfare

This is a guest post written by Prasanna Dhungel.

Nepali Leaders on welfare

I was talking to some friends and family and was drawing an analogy between Nepali politicians/donors and people on welfare.

People on welfare in the United States and other countries have an incentive NOT to work. They earn $ for doing nothing. So they become lazy and are in a vicious cycle of doing nothing and getting $ from the government for free.
If they work, they will earn $ and may lose welfare. Then, they are on their own. They have to work, earn every day and become independent. You may ask what is wrong with this. Well, fearand uncertainty of the unknown pulls many back. They don’t know whether they can keep a job.They will now have to work versus sitting idle at home and doing nothing. This fear, laziness and inertia keep them on welfare. Many would rather beg and continue to live on welfare thanwork. This is easy money.

The same is the case in Nepal now. We elected leaders to our parliament to draft a new constitution. The government was created to facilitate the writing of the new constitution, andkeep law and order. The International agencies in Nepal were brought in to keep peace. Yet they have all done relatively nothing and will continue to do nothing. Yet they all continue to make $. Hence my analogy with welfare.

When the constitution is written, these parliamentarians, ministers and International Aid workers will be without a job. Their source of easy $ will stop. They will have to start working again.They will have to go back to the people to get re-elected. Many of the leaders in the currentparliament, including the PM Madhav Nepal, lost the last election. I won’t be surprised if theylose again for having done NOTHING so far. Many workers at Aid Agencies will be jobless or re-assigned to other parts of the world. So when change comes to Nepal, easy $ that all stakeholders are now earning will be gone.

Our parliamentarians fear losing the elections for having done such a terrible job. So, why write the constitution? Stay lazy, don’t go to parliament and continually fail to elect a new PM. Theynever get a deadline, as those that are supposed to set the deadline could lose their jobs in the next election. So this vicious cycle of doing NOTHING and getting easy welfare $ from us Nepalese continues.

In summary, our government, parliamentarians and INGOs responsible for bringing peace inNepal have an incentive NOT to do anything – NOT to vote, NOT to write the constitution – and continue to let things be as they are.

This system of easy $ has failed in welfare markets and will fail in Nepal. The only solution is a hard date and a budget limit to finish the new constitution and have fresh elections.

Comments

  1. @kehi:twitter – interesting idea, an incubator. I am sure it will naturally happen in time given the youth movements that are springing up all over. Lots of ingredients necessary – charisma, leadership, vision, balls of steel, sharp advisers, solid integrity, political astuteness and a nice pair of shoes. Shall we give Karl Rove a call?nnI guess though, it is so much more complicated than simply having politicians who deserve to be voted in – young guns can easily be sidelined or neutered by those in power who see them as a threat -u00a0 but it is a key place to start. I guess it would help to give the dead wood a shove out of the door too, as the retire the nettas campaign is doing.

  2. Convincing diagnosis. interesting analogy though the prescription is not equally convincing. Our option may be to locate or incubate better politicians, who deserve our votes. In today’s world, elections can be delayed but not avoided by even the welfare politicians.

  3. Fair point. But even a budget limit would not work. Budget ends – they throw up their hands and say, “No money, how can we work?”nnAs far as I understand (and I understand very little) this is simply like a project gone sour. It was great at the beginning,u00a0 but then through the middle it got complex and boring, and then towards the end, people (and I mean the majority) found that making a constitution to suit everybody in such a fractured nation is hard, nigh impossible…. and there the story ended. nnGoodnight.u00a0