Sunday, March 29, 2015

Balanced Budgets
Vasu Reddy From Chicago

The most important and most offered advice to humans is to be wise in spending and save for the future.  Future refers to retirement and taking care of the needs of the children and family.  As long as life has been recorded, the opinion offered to save for the future exists.

Some societies religiously practice savings and foster the environment for savings, and families continue the practice to plan for future.  Some do exactly the opposite by simply spending whatever is available to them, cash, credit and whatever other form of resources that are available to them, and then spend rest of their life trying to make payments.

The philosophy of planned expenditure, saving for the future and spending within the constraints of available resources are all that are inseparable teachings to all of us. This refers to individuals and families and organizations and companies and governments and nations.  Looking at the world very few (you can count with fingers) nations have balanced budgets and excess budget savings.  As is true with individuals and families who have savings in excess of their needs.  It’s true that large corporations and small companies that are cash positive and sometime cash rich, but they are supposed to be profitable for their shareholders, and that the primary intent of the business.

But the governments of the world; countries and states typically are run with deficits, and each year these are added to the cost of managing.  In some cases the largest cost line in budgets are paying for the cost of borrowing; namely interest on borrowed money already spent.  In case of the United States and my state of Illinois the interest cost is so large, the people who will look at the future will have to simply worry about two things;  themselves first and the nation & state next.  How will they ever satisfy the cost of already borrowed money, and what will happen to me?

What is quite revealing in the day to day affairs is that individual states, and even city governments can press for balancing the budgets and how the people who live in these localities can both contribute and benefit from the balanced budgets.  In a recent visit to Pittsburgh we shopped a little, and there was no sales tax on clothes.  If you live around the Chicago area it is close to 10% of the purchase for the same.  There are probably other ways people get taxed in various states, but even a small drive from county to county will make a huge difference in how we get taxed.

In democratic societies, small countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong have somewhat flat tax rates for individuals and corporations and thus inviting investment into these countries.  There are a number of small countries where the tax code is simple with a flat rate or no tax, but the consumers will pay for one rate for consumption.  There is probably not one single plan that is custom designed for all countries that will eliminate the taxation issues, but there has to be a plan for everyone on earnings and spending and somewhere in there saving a little for future.

To ensure that we have a future, balancing the budgets and saving a little every day is essential.  The governments that are formed through elections cater to voter banks and make allowances beyond the available resources.  Also, there is abuse of power and money when large budgets are being handled, and a whole lot of waste that goes into big government.

While the public decries the spending cuts, they also should be forced to look at the cost of unplanned and unbudgeted spending.  One can’t simply say that you take care of me now and I am not worried about what will happen to tomorrow.  The decades long abuse of politics into budgeting and catering to voters has driven the states and countries to live off debt, and it’s time to buckle up and start cutting the fat and start saving for the future.

Mandating the balanced budgets might be politically suicidal for candidates, but elected governments can enforce these.  Once the public sees the benefit of balanced budgets and no interest payments they will appreciate the value of spending money on things that matter rather than pay interest.  Encourage more savings that will help foster a better plan for tomorrow.  Simplify the tax code that will be easy to apply and follow.  Move towards consumption and spending taxes rather than a very large tax code that no one appreciates or understands.

The governments can make sure that 100% of all spending is accounted for on all goods and services at the point of delivery and eliminate the loopholes in tax avoidance.  There are so many simple ways to improve the prospects of money management by simple changes to the behavior of the consumers, and mandating the balanced budgets.  The discussion on tactics to enforce 100% transparency and balanced budgets will be difficult to voter banks, but will be beneficial to the overall health of the population for generations to come.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Smart Cities

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Isolating a particular geographic location as smart is imaginary.  We have planned cities across the world, typically built around an industry or business.  Many of these cities or townships built are planned to suit the requirements of the particular location, and housing, schools, hospitals, roads and parks and sanitation, water management and shopping and all appropriate transportation and recreational facilities to meet the needs of the new population are all planned and developed, and can be called planned cities.  These exist all across India (for a matter of fact around the globe) and are simply referred to as colonies. They are quite well managed and well laid out to meet the needs of the population of the colony and the working adults, home makers and the children, and the people who work for the families including maintenance and support staff, and the vendors and shopkeepers all of them preserve the colonies intended and isolated cleanliness and organized way of life.

The organized and planned mapping of the small cities is not a new concept, and even a mid-sized city like Chandigarh, despite the population growth still retains the charm of a planned community.  The interesting aspect of planned communities also bring the planned families.  The children of the planned communities typically have good educational facilities through high school which help prepare children for college and planned educational future, and also typically help them learn multiple languages.  The colonies also bring together a multitude of people from all parts of the country, sometimes from different parts of the world, helping them to work with each other, live with each other and also appreciate the different cultures, languages, habits and life style, and more over help the families to appreciate their differences and live well together.  More than just work and life, the multi lingual and multi background of parents help children more than the adults in growing up appreciating the diversity of fellow men and women.  The planned communities, might have started with helping to keep the working men and women together and provide for their wellbeing, really help develop the next generation of children growing into adulthood with a sense of larger community and understanding of diversity of the people.

The new Indian government building smart cities is not a new concept.  Talk of building a 100% new smart cities of revamping the existing cities into smart cities is more political than an economic solution.  We really build smart cities with business and industry as the basis for new development.  You can take government, information technology, telecommunications, mining and shipping, tourism, education, airport, farming and warehousing, and any other business or industry and build the infrastructure that supports that particular enterprise and build the towns and cities that are fostered with employment and opportunity for the residents.  India despite its population and the last two decades of growth still can build smart cities quickly and intelligently to provide for its current and future population.

Indians are conscious of their nature and surroundings.  The new plastics and paper culture is really foreign to the nation where stainless steel plates and glasses are a standard in the kitchens, and limited waste created by the food or other habits of majority of Indians.  The latest fast food industry of paper and plastic can be easily avoided by simply following the basics of the last generations.  Saving the environment, using solar power, public transportation, building sanitation facilities, farming with care, above all respect for nature and preserving for the future are all well engrained in the Indian life and teachings and simply reinforcing them along with building sustainable living areas will make the country to continue to be more livable for generations to come.
Smart cities will simply require smart living and smart approaches to life by all citizens.  While it may not be immediately possible to make everyone comfortable with every aspect of life, taking steps to develop the infrastructure, continuously educate the population on sanitation and cleanliness, and providing for opportunity to work and live where they are, will make it a very smart country.  It is a great initiative to build smart cities, but it will be a greater initiative to build smart minds and smart lives along with smart cities.  We really need to strive for a smart country for all.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

My Mother and Her Gift of My Life

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

We are all born to a woman; the only one our mom. Without her we will never exist.  All of us living forms come alive because of our mother.  There is no question of the love, care, pain, suffering and every human emotion she shares with her off spring are emotions that are of such profound importance to life, and have been since the formation of human life.

The women in our life; mother, sister, wife, daughter, cousins, aunts, friends, grand mothers and teachers, nurses and doctors, and neighbors and colleagues and all of them surrounding us and making our life what it is are all women.  For men to believe anything else is plain wrong.

I saw the documentary “India’s Daughter” the BBC documentary on Nirbhaya’s case, and interviewing the rapist and the lawyers who are representing them.  These idiots all of them; the rapists and the lawyers.  Some of them are speaking English and educated but the idiots speak of women as foreign objects using words such as diamond and flowers are references to the women in our life.  The documentary is amateurish in asking idiotic questions to the rapist and the lawyers who represent the idiots, and airing their opinions on women of India.

The law is very clear in all democracies.  All population have a right to freedom of way of life, expression, movement and choosing what to do and how to do things – all within the rights to choice.  These idiots all of them who were given a choice to speak talk as if it is a crime to go out in the evening and be out in the open with opposite sex.  These SOB’s have come from a mother and have some form of female involvement with their life; with a wife, daughter, sister, friend or any other women in their life.  For sure if any one of them were subjected to the treatment met out to Nirbhaya they would not be speaking in such unflattering terms about women.

What is sad is that the airing of such idiotic opinions of individuals who are either simply ignorant of the time and place we are in.  Even in the dark ages males did not voice their opinions of their women in the terms described by these idiots in this documentary.  The courts should fast track these idiots and implement the law of the land on these rapists.  The law enforcement should strip these idiot lawyers of their licenses simply based on the opinion they have on women, and let them fend for themselves on the streets and not in the court room representing rapists and having opinions that are worse than the rapists.

The government is reacting and many people are reacting to the documentary, rather they should react to the comments made in the documentary.  There is shame in the way these idiots show the disregard they have for women.  There is shame in the way they express utter disregard for women.  There is shame in the way they show no remorse to the crime committed and there is shame in the way they justify their actions against women.  They should be prosecuted and punished not only for the acts they committed but for their open disgust for life.  Let the Indian system act and show the courage to take them to task and punish them under the law of the land, and then make the legal process and punishment public to make it an example for any other idiot who represent the same attitude towards women.

The politicians and law makers are wasting so much energy in rejecting the BBC documentary, rather than introspecting in the Indian society and taking the steps to eliminate the prejudice against women.  The legal system should quickly implement the law of the land to make rape extinct.  The public systems and publications, broadcast and other outlets should make people realize that society will prosper with responsibility and respect for all, and freedom of movement, expression, work and life.  My mother did not give me life to abuse her, rather she showed unconditional love and care for me to do the same with her, and every other woman.  My life as with every other man’s life is a gift from a mother, and its simple we treat her with love, respect and care.  She is really superior to us, not inferior or an object of despicable behavior.

Past Perfect

Vasu Reddy from Chicago It has already happened. Past is already on the books, recorded, and can’t be changed.   It ...