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The real economic challenge - 94% of Pakistani's unware of GDP

313ghazi

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I was reading this article in the Tribune, not sure the scale of the survey but I suspect the figures are accurate. The headlines;
  • As much as 94% respondents said that they did not know about the GDP growth rate.
  • According to 91% respondents, they were not aware of current account deficit - the gap between external receipts and payments.
  • About 97% respondents said that did not know about the fiscal deficit - the gap between government revenues and expenditures,
  • Also for 98% respondents, the per capita income was an alien terminology.
  • The government ministers often boast about booming stock exchange but 91% respondents do not know about it.
  • foreign exchange reserves. Around 97% respondents said they are unaware about it.


This is why the government must continue to focus on the sorts of governance where change can be seen and felt. For example, road resurfacing, gutters, painting buildings, and most importantly inflation, especially with food and energy.

The vast majority of the electorate is completely unaware of economic terms and their impact.
 

VCheng

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Yes exactly. If you can meet your basic needs and desires, you can tolerate a squeeze, but if you can't even make ends meet - then stuff like inflation is the only thing that matters.
The people know from experience that every government tries to highlight its economic successes, but they can only judge by whether they themselves are better off or not, no matter what the government says or claims.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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The people know from experience that every government tries to highlight its economic successes, but they can only judge by whether they themselves are better off or not, no matter what the government says or claims.
Or you can do the PPP way of bloating SOEs and the bureaucracy with constituents...health of the economy be damned...you know your core base is happy.
 

VCheng

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Or you can do the PPP way of bloating SOEs and the bureaucracy with constituents...health of the economy be damned...you know your core base is happy.
Some periods have been worse than others, but the skepticism of the people over government claims has a very long history. Blatant patronage of a particular base or the other only makes the situation worse with reactive changes in the next round.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Some periods have been worse than others, but the skepticism of the people over government claims has a very long history. Blatant patronage of a particular base or the other only makes the situation worse with reactive changes in the next round.
But that's how it worked in Pakistan (since the mid-1970s). The PPP used state-owned properties to feed its backers, and the PML used loans to subsidize its "businessmen's" imports (by artificially propping up the PKR so that those imported goods are competitively priced). As a result, we have debt and inefficient SOEs.
 

Trango Towers

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I was reading this article in the Tribune, not sure the scale of the survey but I suspect the figures are accurate. The headlines;
  • As much as 94% respondents said that they did not know about the GDP growth rate.
  • According to 91% respondents, they were not aware of current account deficit - the gap between external receipts and payments.
  • About 97% respondents said that did not know about the fiscal deficit - the gap between government revenues and expenditures,
  • Also for 98% respondents, the per capita income was an alien terminology.
  • The government ministers often boast about booming stock exchange but 91% respondents do not know about it.
  • foreign exchange reserves. Around 97% respondents said they are unaware about it.


This is why the government must continue to focus on the sorts of governance where change can be seen and felt. For example, road resurfacing, gutters, painting buildings, and most importantly inflation, especially with food and energy.

The vast majority of the electorate is completely unaware of economic terms and their impact.
Try the same survey in any country and results will be identical
 

VCheng

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But that's how it worked in Pakistan (since the mid-1970s). The PPP used state-owned properties to feed its backers, and the PML used loans to subsidize its "businessmen's" imports (by artificially propping up the PKR so that those imported goods are competitively priced). As a result, we have debt and inefficient SOEs.
And the "hun saadi vari hey!" syndrome to loot as much as possible while in power till the next government takes over and does the same things to benefit their own backers. Until the next change.
 

graphican

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I was reading this article in the Tribune, not sure the scale of the survey but I suspect the figures are accurate. The headlines;
  • As much as 94% respondents said that they did not know about the GDP growth rate.
  • According to 91% respondents, they were not aware of current account deficit - the gap between external receipts and payments.
  • About 97% respondents said that did not know about the fiscal deficit - the gap between government revenues and expenditures,
  • Also for 98% respondents, the per capita income was an alien terminology.
  • The government ministers often boast about booming stock exchange but 91% respondents do not know about it.
  • foreign exchange reserves. Around 97% respondents said they are unaware about it.


This is why the government must continue to focus on the sorts of governance where change can be seen and felt. For example, road resurfacing, gutters, painting buildings, and most importantly inflation, especially with food and energy.

The vast majority of the electorate is completely unaware of economic terms and their impact.
@313ghazi , lack of education is a national misery for us, and on top of that, statistics and economics are one of the least involving topics. It is not that these topics are not reported by the government or they are not discussed in the media, their dryness and lack of impact keeps people from watching them or even trying to comprehend when they do not make sense.

But does that mean people who are unaware of national GDP growth are not contributing to it? Will a greater awareness about GDP improve GDP or per capita income? Education, in general, would benefit everyone - true - but knowing what statistical and economic figures are running this month would not affect common people on the street.
 

313ghazi

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Try the same survey in any country and results will be identical
That's a really good point, i doubt the majority of people in the UK could explain what the terms mean, but I think many people will have heard or them and have some idea of what they are.

I think Imran Khan individually does a brilliant job of simplifying complex issues in his public addresses, but I think PTI as a party and as government are not doing good enough to highlight their successes. They seem to think winning trend wars on twitter and providing mu-tor-jawab on angry panel shows in the evening is enough.

I'll give you a perfect example. Sehat insaf card. Apparently all residents in AJK were going to get one. I read this in Dawn in August last year. Have they got it? How do you get one? What can you use it for? What can't you use it for? Where is it accepted?

This alone should be the sort of thing that would win an election, yet most people will automatically assume;
- i'll never get it, govt corruption kare gi, pesa golmol ho jai ga
- only PTI chamchay can get it, just like only PPP chamchay could get BISP

If I was in charge of publicity for this i'd do the following;

1. Run TV and newspaper ads
2. Create tiktok videos and whatsapp messages about how to get the card
3. Have party workers hand out leaflets outside masjid at jummah time, informing people about how to get it
4. Encourage/incentivise local workers to help people sign up for it
5. have workers go from mohalla to mohalla, village to village, helping people sign up
6. Setup QA sessions in bazaars, masjids, campuses of colleges/uni
7. Hire influencers to spread awareness of how to sign up for it on social media

You have to push it really hard, let everyone know all the benefits, don't get anyone be confused about it.

It could win an election by itself, it's that important, yet the common man is as unaware as they are of GDP.
@313ghazi , lack of education is a national misery for us, and on top of that, statistics and economics are one of the least involving topics. It is not that these topics are not reported by the government or they are not discussed in the media, their dryness and lack of impact keeps people from watching them or even trying to comprehend when they do not make sense.

But does that mean people who are unaware of national GDP growth are not contributing to it? Will a greater awareness about GDP improve GDP or per capita income? Education, in general, would benefit everyone - true - but knowing what statistical and economic figures are running this month would not affect common people on the street.
I agree, it won't change peoples lives, but i feel it would change perception. It's easy to sell doom and gloom and economic fake news amidst high inflation.
 
May 7, 2012
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As much as 94% respondents said that they did not know about the GDP growth rate.
In UK that figure could be even higher at 95%. In a ideal society you want people to be intoxified, sedated by other pursuits that takes all their energy and time leaving the countries destiny in the hands of a small plutocracy. And that is exactly what Britain has done. The vast number of public are into -

  • football
  • drinking
  • partying
  • mass culture like TV, music, food, holidays etc
 

graphican

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Jul 21, 2009
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That's a really good point, i doubt the majority of people in the UK could explain what the terms mean, but I think many people will have heard or them and have some idea of what they are.

I think Imran Khan individually does a brilliant job of simplifying complex issues in his public addresses, but I think PTI as a party and as government are not doing good enough to highlight their successes. They seem to think winning trend wars on twitter and providing mu-tor-jawab on angry panel shows in the evening is enough.

I'll give you a perfect example. Sehat insaf card. Apparently all residents in AJK were going to get one. I read this in Dawn in August last year. Have they got it? How do you get one? What can you use it for? What can't you use it for? Where is it accepted?

This alone should be the sort of thing that would win an election, yet most people will automatically assume;
- i'll never get it, govt corruption kare gi, pesa golmol ho jai ga
- only PTI chamchay can get it, just like only PPP chamchay could get BISP

If I was in charge of publicity for this i'd do the following;

1. Run TV and newspaper ads
2. Create tiktok videos and whatsapp messages about how to get the card
3. Have party workers hand out leaflets outside masjid at jummah time, informing people about how to get it
4. Encourage/incentivise local workers to help people sign up for it
5. have workers go from mohalla to mohalla, village to village, helping people sign up
6. Setup QA sessions in bazaars, masjids, campuses of colleges/uni
7. Hire influencers to spread awareness of how to sign up for it on social media

You have to push it really hard, let everyone know all the benefits, don't get anyone be confused about it.

It could win an election by itself, it's that important, yet the common man is as unaware as they are of GDP.


I agree, it won't change peoples lives, but i feel it would change perception. It's easy to sell doom and gloom and economic fake news amidst high inflation.
Will a better understanding of the economy improve people's perception of Government? Yes but we're speaking of small gains here - and the reason is a financial improvement is an expected service and does not impact the public directly. When economic benefits finally reach people, people usually do not give credit to Government.

The best way to improve National Image is to work on areas that are least expected. This is a finding after years of research in service design. The conclusion is if you want to improve people's perception about you, your organisation or government, give people tiny gains in the areas where they least expect. You need to create "surprises that delight".

Watch this little video, it will tell you how to win hearts and improve people's perceptions as a business, organisation or Government.

 
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