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‘A World of Three Zeros’ by Dr Muhammad Yunus and the World Economic Trend

Muhammad Ali Bukhari, Toronto

Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus has introduced his latest book, ‘A World of Three Zeros’, focusing on zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero net carbon emissions in last September. These were the enlightened focal point of his address and open Q&A session held at the jammed packed Innis Town Hall of University of Toronto under auspices of School of Public Policy and Governance on February 3 afternoon, which was presented by Professor Peter Loewen.
In his stated book, Dr Yunus declares it is time to admit that the capitalist engine is broken—that in its current form it inevitably leads to rampant inequality, massive unemployment, and environmental destruction. To save humankind and the planet, we need a new economic system based on a more realistic vision of human nature—one that recognizes altruism and generosity as driving forces that are just as fundamental and powerful as self-interest. In fact, inequality is growing markedly across the world, requiring a rethinking of the tenets of not only free-market capitalism, but also the marketplace. Thus, a re-envisioned economics will recognize that humans are naturally entrepreneurs, best served not by jobs but by opportunities to make their own ventures in the marketplace. Also, he believes developing nations are better positioned to adapt than many advanced economies, precisely because they are more of a blank slate. Surely, these are enlightened thoughts and ideas to save the humankind. But, none of the economies in the world can ensure a full employment, because of seasonal and conflicting unemployment as well as under-employment problem. Such scenario takes us to the vital essence of the book ‘What is Subjectivity’ by French Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, where he defined all society builds on 80% poor and 20% fortunate in which 1% takes control of everything. That reflects capitalism. As a result, we have witnessed ‘We are the 99%’ movement in 2011 in New York, which later spread all over the world. Besides, currently President Donald Trump’s walking out from the Paris Climate Accord is a grave blow to ensure the carbon emission in many industrialized nations. Moreover, continued refugee and migration crisis around the world is a great concern to think about. I had the opportunity to raise these questions to Dr Muhammad Yunus in that event. He candidly replied, ‘we are talking about creating entrepreneurs, not employments’, but in question to Donald Trump, he courageously said, ‘crazy people do crazy things’. That caused a great laugh among the audience. However, I still wonder, when the Keynesian system of economy could not overcome the economic depression, and problems like unemployment, higher wage and fulfilling every life in society; thenenvisioning the zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero net carbon emissions is definitely an igniting hope. Possibly that is the hope of ‘sending the poverty to museum by 2050’ alike.


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