A friend of mine in Karachi, whose son is just 14 years old and loves to cook, or is learning to love to cook rather, asked me about the economy of Pakistan. I tried explaining everything to him as simply as I can but I failed to attract his understanding completely until I gave an example of creating a dish that all of those who eat, would love. But few would be interested in knowing the recipe. Because none of them are interested in cooking it for themselves, they are interested in eating and paying the bill. Because a country is like a restaurant and the people who pay taxes are the diners who just want a tasteful meal in return for paying the bill (taxes) that the restaurant is demanding.
Neither they are interested in what the recipes are, how the temperature of the oven is kept, what should be the degree of heat at which a steak should be cooked to keep it medium rare nor do they care to know how many people are working behind the scenes to keep a kitchen going. The suppliers, the farmers, the cattle herder, the driver who delivers the groceries, the spice factory that collects the herbs from the farmers and turns them into cooking ready stage, the dishwasher, the table arranger, the launderer that keeps the table cloths or the napkins clean nothing is the concern of the diner. If the food is bad, the diner calls the waiter, the waiter approaches the manager and the manager informs the Chef, and at any decent restaurant around the world, the Chef steps out of the kitchen to listen to the complaining customer. The bill payer.
Well, the Chef in the economy is The Finance Minister. And the Chef is also the head of the kitchen (economy). Thus it is the Chef, like it or not, where the buck stops at. If the Chef is feeding you unhygienic meat like some restaurants did way back in Lahore-no pun intended-by hiding it in the garb of taste and aesthetics-like developmental schemes and roads-then it is the Chef who is to be held responsible. Period. Nobody else. And if the restaurant is not Chef owned, like a country is not owned by the finance minister, then the owner of the restaurant or in the case of an economy, the elected PM of the country, has to fire the Chef, immediately. But if the owner of the restaurant and the Chef are both in bed together, then the restaurant needs to be shut down. Or in other words, the entire government needs to be replaced.
The customer is king. As we say in the marketing world. In this case, the voter is the King. Economy and restaurant operations, if we draw a parallel, have many factors that are absolutely interrelated. From the farmer who grows the produce all the way to the kitchen staff that cooks it under the Chef’s supervision. An economy is the same. Nothing different here either. Undo the entire cooking process from the farm to the kitchen, and all the people and the processes involved in between, you will understand the entire cycle very comfortably. The department that produces vegetables, let’s call it to export.
The department that trains the new Chefs or upgrades their knowledge can be called, skill enhancement department. The department that prices the dishes at the restaurant can be named, The State Bank with its monetary policy. The cloth manufacturer and the cutlery producer along with the truck manufacturer that delivers everything to the restaurant can be called the industry. To keep the serving staff at the restaurant vaccinated and healthy can be called the health ministry. I am sure you get the point by now.
Everything is absolutely interrelated. Hands down. You can continue to draw further inferences as intricately as you like. And you should draw a parallel comparison to understand everything more clearly. So the next time a Chef comes out of the kitchen after you have complained about the dish and tells you that the previous Chef messed up the kitchen, then you should tell him that he should shut down the restaurant (leave the government) or do not run the kitchen and invite customers until it is fixed. Why? Because the customer is King. But the customer can never be treated as king when the customer himself has such low self-esteem that he thinks, whatever the Chef is serving me, the chef is doing me a favor. Well, he is not doing any favor unless he is giving you the food for free.
He is giving you a bill at the end, (taxes), and if you are to pay the bill, you have the right to demand quality throughout the entire process. Quality of service and quality of politeness of the Chef while dealing with your concerns. We have a great restaurant (Pakistan). We have great farmers. Great waiters. Great delivery personnel. Great table manufacturers. Great napkin makers. Great valet staff outside the restaurant. Great security staff outside the restaurant. All we need is an honest and competent Chef, a sincere restaurant owner, and also good customers (citizens) who will not dirty up the restaurant while eating.
Economy and restaurant operations, if we draw a parallel, have many factors that are absolutely interrelated. From the farmer who grows the produce all the way to the kitchen staff that cooks it under the Chef’s supervision. An economy is the same. Nothing different here either.