Toils of turmoil – Minute Mirror

The apocalyptic scenario is being built; the famous “economic defect” of the State appears through the windows. Most of us are now preparing for our doors to be kicked down, and there are still many who laugh it off, calling the peeping monster a kid next door prank. They wouldn’t have been stupid if they could have built a paradise to live in. Instead, they built themselves a hell and considered the same as heaven. That’s why they are fools. Recognizing the indicators in the air, like hyperinflation and political instability, we can try to navigate through turbulent times. In my view, by doing so, we can find answers to key questions in determining our mode of survival. The most important thing is to make an assessment of the seriousness of the situation. Then how can it affect us, how can we protect ourselves, and how can we gracefully endure the upheaval that such a situation is sure to bring. Let us blow our minds.

First, how bad it can get; it can go very wrong. Yes, why am I saying this? It’s not rocket science. It is purely based on the relationship between demand and supply. An increase in demand can inflate the price of a product, and conversely, it can cause prices to fall. Inflation may slowly tend to result in a hyper-cycle of imports and production. Excessive inflation; hyperinflation can also create critical bottlenecks in supply and availability. For indebted economies like ours, the scenario is bleaker. Basic commodities and the necessities of life seem to be disappearing from the market, either hoarded by the market to gain more profits, or even seized by governments in an excessive effort to regulate inflation. The currency depreciates, ultimately leaving little in the government’s kitty to run the country. The fuel, energy and food sectors are hard hit.

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Now how can this affect us as individuals. Wages struggle to make ends meet, businesses suffer losses leading to closures. Unemployment is skyrocketing and the brain drain is setting in. Savings go up in smoke. Such a situation politically destabilizes a country, which can make governments ineffective. The rule of law is its first victim. People go into loot mode to survive and the crime rate increases. Both public and private property become easy targets as the government’s ability to enforce the law diminishes and street justice becomes more prevalent. This loss of hope for nations takes some time to make sense of what to resort to next.

Pakistan is not the only country placed on the list of countries likely to default; there are many others as well. There are lessons to be learned from those who failed earlier. One such model is Brazil, whose hyperinflation in 1989 soared to 1,700% after a dismal government effort to freeze prices and wages. In 1990, a new elected leadership promising to reduce inflation ended up resorting to another freeze, this time not on prices or wages but on popular savings. Stating that the government borrowed money from those for eighteen months, whose bank deposits amounted to more than 1250 USD. On the contrary, common sense says that such a massive level of financial mismanagement cannot last. On the contrary, he did. People again fell in love with politicians and their promises. As a result, the government was deposed. Nevertheless, a cautious plan was put in place by introducing the “Unit of Real Value (URV), which was a fictitious arrangement allowing Brazilians to gradually trust the new monetary unit. It worked somehow, but it was the 12th currency reset in 122 years of Brazilian history to control inflation. The Brazilian economy, however, has rebounded, the full dynamics of which are beyond the scope of this article, but it was certainly mentioned to bring a silver lining to the same.

Some recommendations for survival at the individual level are; learn to be happy. Our great religion, Islam, emphasizes the exercise of moderation in all aspects of life. Follow it in a real spirit. Get out of hyperinflation or default denial mode to plan an effective exit. Pay bills and taxes regularly; they are a source of revenue for the government. Prioritize personal debts and reschedule them, if necessary. Make lump sum payments if your finances allow you to get out of a debt cycle. Reduce your workforce by getting rid of extra physical baggage by selling. Grow your own food if you have land. Pool family income to survive. Reduce your energy and fuel consumption. Carpool to work if possible.

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On a collective level, beware of short-sighted policy measures taken by the government, think of them as financial fast food, as they will remain nutrient-poor and temporary filler to muster votes in the future. People have to be careful of economic jargon. Research basic economic terms and their implications to get a basic idea of ​​economic rudder. Don’t think of them as mere terms spat out in annual budgets. They somehow indicate something scary. Terms such as “tax hikes”, “freezes”, “import duties” and “increasing discount rates” are more or less warning signals that hyperinflation is setting in. Stand united as the ruling elite are well aware of the power of division. Empathy for others is a virtue that remains relevant in good times and bad. Whenever possible, promote and adopt for the blessings of the joint family system. Developing a local barter system can also help through some sort of regulatory mechanism. Community Neighborhood Watch can help control crime. Last but not least, respect the law of the land, come what may. May the Almighty preserve us from the pains of the storm.


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