The government is all set to present the federal budget in the parliament today, initiating a democratic process in which millions of common people will participate in the debate on how to spend wisely, making their opinions heard by yelling at newspapers, throwing things at their television screens, and sending abusive messages to their representatives on Twitter.

Leveraging the wisdom of the crowd, this scribe has compiled a list of the seven best suggestions for Pakistan to get rich quick.

1) Let Taliban briefly take over

The largest chunk of Pakistan’s spending goes to debt repayments, and if the country could somehow get rid of foreign loans, its financial situation could improve drastically. “Drastic situations need drastic measures,” said a retired military official who has has vast experience in defense and economic affairs.

He said direct military intervention had not yielded lasting results on several occasions in the past, and is becoming increasingly difficult because of international pressures and local resistance. He has therefore come up with a unique new idea. “We should secretly fund militant groups who could intervene on our behalf.” He said the militant groups could take over the country briefly, and decline to pay back foreign debts. “While this happens, we must continue to insist that the groups are operating on their own and not at our behest. If we are able to persuade the world that it was a genuine political movement, chances are that the loans will stand canceled. We could then take back the government with US support, and start afresh.”

2) Click on banner ads on government websites:

A young entrepreneur from the federal capital said the responsibility for Pakistan’s financial well being did not belong to the government alone. “The contribution of passionate young private entrepreneurs with innovative ideas who understand their responsibility towards the society is essential.” Thousands of Pakistani small businessmen who operate online are known worldwide for their creative new idea of clicking on the banner ads on their own websites as many times as possible. “This new business model requires hard work, but the returns on the efforts are theoretically very high.” He said the model could be broadened to a national level. “If millions of citizens could frequently click on banner ads placed on government websites, it could generate billions of dollars in revenue, making our country the richest in the region in a very short period of time.”

3) Start a pyramid scheme:

“Democracy is like a pyramid scheme,” according to a young college student majoring in economics. “It only works for those who are on or near the top.” He believes if the government could put this principle to practice, it could initiate an economic cycle that is driven by its own growth and expansion. “We don’t have to call it a pyramid scheme,” he elaborated. “We can call it multilevel marketing.”

4) Privatize Pakistan:

“It is not the government’s job to do business,” said a local political worker who has consistently supported the ruling N-League through good times and bad, since it came to power last year. “Pakistan is a great country with great potential,” he said, “rich in diverse human and natural resources.” He said the only thing lacking in the country was foreign investment. “If we could privatize the operations of the government and let a private party carry them out in a more transparent and honest way, it could earn us considerable revenue.”

5) Shut down the office of finance minister:

A young couple from Karachi said they were not interested in politics. “But that does not mean we are stupid,” the husband explained. “Having watched television regularly for the last two decades, we know that every time something goes wrong with the economy, most analysts and politicians agree that it is the finance minister’s fault.”

“Over a recent dinner conversation,” the wife said, “we figured that if there were no finance minister, there wouldn’t be any problems with the economy.”

6) Re-draw the poverty line

Pakistan’s major problem is poverty, said a left-leaning art student from Islamabad. “More than half of Pakistanis live below the poverty line,” she said. “The problem is so complicated that it needs out-of-the-box solutions,” said the rebellious artist, known for challenging the contemporary norms of art and painting. “The best solution in my opinion is to re-draw the poverty line slightly lower, so that at least half of those living below, end up above it.”

7) Ishaq Dar should call his parents

The first step towards solving a problem is to acknowledge that the problem exists, according to an unemployed young man from Lahore, who has been preparing for the civil services exam for three years. “There is no harm in admitting that things are not perfect, and asking friends and family for help.” He said he sympathized with Pakistan because he completely understood how it felt to owe so much money to so many friends. “I will advise Ishaq Dar to muster some courage and call his parents, and tell them the truth.”

The author has a degree in Poetics of Prophetic Discourse and works as a Senior Paradigm Officer.

Email:harris@nyu.edu

Tweets at:@cyborgasms