As the caption headline in today’s Huffington Post showed “Unsustainable Wealth Gap Undermining the US” it is clear that the renewed vigor with which the US economy is growing does not reflect in an increase in real wages of the working Americans.
According to this study of 2000 Harvard University Alumni, it illustrates the importance of an improvement in real wages of the workers in an economy, for an economy to be truly successful.
I took this example from the US to remind the reader that other economies also suffer from disequilibrium, and we must do our utmost to ensure that our growth prospects actually share the newly created wealth far more equitably than at present.
It is clear when one talks to the people of the Country, the huge gains of the past few years have made billionaires out of a few donkeys, who seem to have some political connection, but that has not made a person who earns Rs50K a month feel any richer, and instead is struggling to survive.
The explosion in the price of property now on course to hitting Rs 10M a perch even when converted to US dollars makes Colombo 7 land more expensive than Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
The average Executive who works in Colombo, who earns Rs 100,000 and gets a car thrown in on top for his package, can now only buy some land to build on at least 30km away from his workplace in the heart of Colombo, and that amounts to a commute of a minimum of three hours a day both ways.
That is clearly unsustainable, and results in extremely low productivity, let alone a low quality of life for that family. No wonder then that he takes flight to Doha with is family as he is on a US$4000 a month package there, but which both allows him more productive work, and also the chance to save some money in the process, though still a low wage there. Worse still is if he gets a chance to migrate to Canada or Australia, never to return! Sri Lanka is the loser, and Australia the gainer of a Au$ 1M + asset gratis from SL!
It is possible to retain these people if their package is double that at present, and this can be achieved by the robber barons, sharing some of their tax free gains!