Thursday, July 30, 2009

On the New York Times' favorite Pakistani

I have posted two days ago about that half-White Pakistani who has been lauded in the New York Times. Adaner sent me this (I cite with his permission): "hope you're well -- i came across your post about NYT's favorite pakistani, Mr. Mueenuddin, and wanted to add--having spent the last twelve months in karachi--that the claim that $84/month represents three times "the going rate" for an enterprising farmhand is absurd. $84/month translates to 6,963 rupees a month. as decreed by our austere government in 2008, before the onset of massive food inflation, minimum wage in this country was set at 6,000 rupees. if you divide the wage that mr. mueenuddin pays his workers by three, it is barbaric (2,321 rupees), not a going rate. anyway, especially with his star shining so brightly and procurement prices going through the roof, i'm sure mr. mueenuddin could afford to pay his poor proletarians a greater share of his loot--especially given that this minimum wage, in real terms, is a pathetic measure of what they will need (because of inordinate commodity inflation, again).
incidentally, let us just make explicit that the position of "farm manager" means that you write bestsellers on mahogany desks while your coolies pick fruit outside your window. "