The next point
in discussion is the relationship between GDP and economic and physical safety.
What do we
actually mean by safety? And safety always goes with security, and what do we
mean by security? Search for safety and security has always been the endless activity
man is engaged in. If we probe a little deep into the feelings and acts of any
individual to find out what he craves for, it will be for safety and security.
Safety, to put
it very simply, refers to a state of existence which is free, if not completely
free, at least relatively free from danger to oneís life. Danger can be
immediate like being caught in a flood or it can be in potential form, like an
electrician working on a live wire. Even a fall from a palm tree while
collecting some fruit may injure the person. All such situations point to the
fact that man must take precaution so that he remains safe under any
Safety to the
property is also very important. House
should be protected from any accidents of fire; jewels must be protected from
any theft and so on. Therefore, safety can be considered on two planes, to
begin with: physical safety of the individual and by extension, of his
relatives, his family, and so on. And on
another plane, his properties must be protected from damage or theft so that
they can be safe.
costs. A hut keeps one safe from sun and rain and a million dollar bungalow
also protects one from all kinds of harm of sun and rain. We can feel the
difference between the two. Here, the money comes as an important factor of
bringing and assuring safety. In a country of higher GDP, more people will have
more money to spend towards safety.
Next, there is
psychological safety. Being safe is one thing and feeling safe is another
thing. Feeling safe does not necessarily depend on external situations alone; a
poor man can feel safe while a wealthy man may not feel as safe as the other
one does. Psychological safety is a complex matter which actually falls outside
the scope of this paper except pointing out that there is one more aspect of
safety which is more psychological than physical.
One could have
heard often people always talking about safety and security. In fact, these two
words have become almost synonymous; they are inseparable. In a way, these two
words bring out the fundamental aspect of manís attitude to life. Let us just
see what these two words mean and how they naturally go together.
a state of being free from any possible threat or danger to oneís life and also
to oneís property. Life includes primarily intimate relations like husband,
wife, son, daughter so on. Property includes what one has acquired, namely, any
assets like houses, cars, shares and things that money can buy.
gives one a sense of security. Security means that what I have I must continue
to have. No unforeseen dangers must rob me of my objects of safety. So, you want all those things that protect
you from any harm to you which is safety and you want all of them continuously
which is security. If possible, let me
have more of my safety-objects and in case it is not possible to have more of
them, at least let me not lose what I already have. It is clear, how safety and
security always go together.
If you go a
little deeper into this demand of safety and security, you come across one of
the most ancient feelings man has suffered from despite his enormous efforts to
win it: Fear. Again, fear is a very big subject and we need not go into the
vast realm of fear and its impact on man. So fear, safety and security --- all
three are inseparable; in fact, fear can be considered the basic of the three.
Now, it is very
easy to see the fact that money can buy things of safety as well as guarantee
continuity of safety. The more money you have, the more you feel confident that
you are safe and secure. And, higher GDP means, in a country, or in a region of
higher GDP, more people will have a sense of safety and security since they
have access to money. One simple example
will make it clear how money reflects the status of an individual. We know people sell one of their kidneys to
those who can afford to buy them. Please go into this statement, you will
easily understand how money and social status are twins.