No Big Bills on the Sidewalk
This joke is an old one. A younger economist and an older economist were walking down the street when the younger one exclaimed, “Look! There's money lying on the sidewalk.” The weary, older, wiser economist didn't even bother to look. He replied, “No, can't be. If there was money there, someone would have already picked it up.” Of course, common sense tells us that there are no big bills lying on the sidewalk. There is no easy way to get rich quick. In rural Bangladesh though, you can't help but dream. You can't help but think there's some small mistake that's being made and once that little correction is made, incomes will rise almost as though by magic.
Let's not think about miraculous shortcuts. The gigantic fishing net in Majhipara, for example, does not make anybody rich overnight. But it does prevent some people from starving. But then, does this mean this model which can be 'replicated' elsewhere to see growth in other places? Would it be good for other surrounding villages? If so, why aren't they getting implemented? How sustainable is this kind of income generation? These answers are complicated. Money might not keep getting caught in your net all the time, but at least there is room for optimism.
From the Insight Desk
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