April 14, 2010

Moral Question

Jakrtass, an expat blog from Jakarta usually posts some witty and satirical stuffs on Indonesia. Here is a snippet from a latest post which can be interpreted for many countries, including Bangladesh.

Moral paper Question:

1. Read the following passage and answer the question below:

There once was a country where everyone was a beggar. In the streets, the conventional panhandlers begged on bridges and sidewalks, buses and trains. At traffic lights they put their babies’ faces up at car windows and sang songs in the street. In the rush hour beggars stood in middle of intersections, directing traffic and asking for coins.

But these were just the visible beggars. The government stole from its own people and begged other countries for development aid. Whenever there was a natural disaster, and there were many in this benighted country, the local media, the television and newspapers, cried out for assistance from abroad. The regions begged for funds from the central government. Students begged foreign governments for scholarships, and local bureaucrats begged for grants to attend conferences abroad. When the economy collapsed in this nation of beggars, the government just looked at the IMF and stuck its hand out.

Following these examples, throughout the country, the young borrowed from their elders, who borrowed from their neighbours. The neighbours borrowed from their colleagues, who borrowed from their bosses, who ‘borrowed’ from the shareholders, and since no one ever repaid these loans they were all just beggars.

And then one day some one asked for his money back.

The government couldn’t pay. So it asked the regions to pay back their loans, and the regional governments asked the rich to pay taxes. So the rich, who were shareholders, asked the bosses to pay back the money they had borrowed, and the bosses asked the employees to pay off their debts. The neighbours went round to their neighbours and asked for their money back, until finally somebody couldn’t pay.

So they turned on the panhandlers in the streets and on the buses. Everyone needs someone to kick. (after Italo Calvino)

Which of these statements agrees with the opinion of the writer?

a. If you can’t steal, borrow. And if you can’t borrow, beg. It all boils down to the same thing anyway, and it’s better than working for a living.
b. There is absolutely no shame whatsoever in asking other people for money.
c. You can’t spend your whole life passing the hat around.


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