Singing.

A friend sent this clip to me with much enthusiasm hoping that this advice will keep me amongst his gang for some more time,

I responded to him with “The problem is that I can’t sing anymore. I croak like a frog.”

In his inevitable style he came back with “24/7 News Channel Reports Breaking News. There are many formats of singing like Qawwwalis, Classical, Jazz, Pop etc. Mr. RR has now introduced Croak Singing which is getting to be very popular in Western India.”

Unemployed.

I received this image as a forward in WhatsApp from a friend who felt that I should get some printed like this for myself.

I did not think that this would serve any purpose for me but, on seeing it as a forward from me, another friend who has the necessary infrastructure of an office with staff suggested that he order for a hundred cards with my name and with some modifications.

I agreed and when it gets printed, I shall write another blog post on it.

In the meanwhile, the “Unemployed” description on the card took me to one of my favourite exchange of letters in The Economist between a reader and The Undercover Economist.

The Letter.

AUGUST 6, 2005

Dear Economist,

My son-in-law has been unemployed for a couple of months now. As far as I can make out, he’s enjoying a PlayStation lifestyle while being supported by the state and by my daughter, who has had to find a temporary job. What concerns me is that he’ll get used to this. Should I tell my daughter to apply pressure by quitting her job?

Yours sincerely,

Godfrey Pickens, via email

The Response.

Dear Mr. Pickens,

The issue here is whether your son-in-law’s preferences will change over time—will he “get used” to a life of leisure, and so be less likely to work?

There are two competing views here. One is that he will become hooked on leisure (the welfare trap hypothesis) and will work less in the future, even if his wife quits her job. The other, equally plausible in theory, is that he will become addicted to the extra income provided by his wife’s new job, and if she quits, he will go on to work harder than before.

Such competing hypotheses have been hard to test in the past. But economist John Kagel has succeeded in running a series of experiments that shed light on the matter.

Kagel first forces his subjects to work for their income. Then, for a while, he provides them a substantial unearned income—a kind of welfare, if you will. Unsurprisingly, they slack off at once. Later, he withdraws the welfare and observes whether they work more or less than before welfare had ever been paid. The answer: the interlude on welfare makes very little difference.

This implies that your daughter should keep working for a while and see what happens. No harm will result. The only question for you is whether Kagel’s findings apply to your son-in-law.

Kagel’s subjects were rats. Do you think the parallel with your
son-in-law is close enough?

Yours experimentally,

The Undercover Economist

Justice.

A few days ago, a friend posted the following joke in one the WhatsApp groups to which I belong.

“A 75 year old man was punished by an Indian court for teasing a girl.

While delivering the judgement, the Judge said “I can understand a 25 year old man teasing a girl but, a 75 year old man doing this is not acceptable.”

The old man said “I did this when I was 25, the case has taken so long to come to this stage of final hearing and verdict.”

The Guardian on Sunday 26, January had an article with the leader “Crime victims say they feel ‘let down’ by the courts and police as new data reveals rising numbers are failing to press charges.”

A few more jokes to cheer my readers up before I come to my take on the topic.

Indian courts are understaffed and over worked and so the justice system works too slow for most people with disputes. I have personal experience of such delays on more than a few occasions, one, very personal and the others to do with corporate matters during my working life.  The Cooperative Housing Society in which I live is currently involved in a long drawn litigation with one member who has broken all rules of the society but is unwilling to settle otherwise.  There are friends who have been in court for decades over property matters that do not seen to ever see conclusions.

Wikipedia has a long list of miscarriage of justice which, to say the least, is shocking.

“Time is the justice that examines all offenders.”

~ Shakespeare in “As You Like It”

This week’s topic for the Two On One Friday Blog Post has been suggested by me.  Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the matter.

Second Childhood!

I ordered for a book on our famous kumbhamela from a leading online merchant.

I received an odd looking parcel and I wondered if one of the children had ordered for something else. On opening however I found this inside.

I complained to the merchant who has promptly arranged for a refund after taking this back but, I got  a good deal of ribbing from my son and daughter in love for ordering for this book.

Since my grand nephew Finlay and grand niece Josephine love Peppa Pig, I dedicate this post to both of them.