Honor Killing in Denmark

The Dark Ages come to Denmark in broad daylight, as a Pakistani man murders his sister in a public street

Calmly and methodically, big brother stoops over his little sister while shooting one projectile after the other into her. Her spouse, affected by several shots to the abdomen, can only look on helplessly, while his wife is executed by her own family.

The Future of Energy

“Fossil fuel is dead,” declared CJ.

CJ likes to make those kinds of superficially profound statements. We were meeting after a long time. I was in Delhi for a conference and caught up with CJ at the Taj Mansingh Hotel coffee shop. We were discussing the spike in the gas prices.

“Dead or not, seventy dollars a barrel for crude was bad news for India considering that India imports about half of its energy needs. Will slow down the economy a bit, won’t it?” I said.
Continue reading “The Future of Energy”

The Communists are Pro-poor

Nothing new about the communists being pro-poor. They make people poor whereever they find a way. Today India is suffering the effects of commie policies. Today, 29th Sept, the commies have struck again in India crippling the transportation system. One day’s loss of production and productivity will add about a few million people to the ranks of the poor. How so you may ask? Simple, there are people at the margin. When the country grows poorer by a little amount, the people who were at the margin suffer the consequences of that shock most acutely.

Will those guys–the communist leaders–suffer? No way in hell. They will continue to live comfortable lives knowing that their policies have added to their vote banks. That is the irony of all. The commies create the conditions for their continued victory in the elections by improverishing the country.

May the commies all rot in hell for eternity.

Related Post: The Privatization of Public Sector Units.

Living Within Limits

Garrett Hardin’s 1968 Science paper The Tragedy of the Commons introduced many to the problem implicit in open access to common-pool resources. I believe that every thinking person must understand the tragedy of the commons because living in a world which is getting congested, we have to know the causes of our problems if we have to have a chance at solving them.

Here is Hardin within in his book Living within Limits:

… Professional publicists know there is always a good living to be made by catering to the public’s craving for optimistic reports. Such behaviour finds no justification in the attitude of the Buddha, expressed five centuries before Christ: “I teach only two things: the cause of human sorrow and the way to become free of it.” The present work, though written by a non-Buddhist, proceeds along the Buddhist path — first to reveal the causes of human sorrow in population matters and then to uncover promising ways to free ourselves of the sorrow.

Hearing the Buddha’s statement today many people think, “How depressing! Why accept such a pessimistic outlook on life?” But they are wrong: it is not a pessimistic view if we reword it in terms that are more familiar to our science-based society. Reworded: “Here is something that isn’t working right. I want to fix it, but before I can do that I have to know exactly why it doesn’t work right.” One who looks for causes before seeking remedies should not be condemned as a pessimist. In general, a great deal of looking for causes must precede the finding of remedies.

Reasoning Economically

Or What Economists Do

What the heck do economists do is a question that does not baffle many people because they “know” what economists do. I know it did not baffle me. I was not taught economics in high school, and had an entirely forgettable few lectures ostensibly on economics sometime during my undergraduate in engineering. Given this ignorance, I had a vague notion that economics had something to do with money. I think I conflated economists with finance people and accountants. But I was not baffled because I was too ignorant. Continue reading “Reasoning Economically”

How to study economics

A friend recently asked me for some advice on how to improve his understanding of economics. I asked my favorite advisor CJ to take a shot at it. Here is what he wrote, for the record:

Each of us has a unique learning style, of course. Here is mine.

Learning economics better requires reading. But here is the rub: one could read disjointed stuff on the web all day long and still not understand what it is all about. In fact, reading too much on the subject which is more in the “news” category is detrimental to understanding. Even reading the Economist will not help one understand economics any more than reading a lot of hospital news will teach one much about medicine. Continue reading “How to study economics”

The REGS Guarantees Poverty

The Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (REGS) has the word guarantee in it and whatever else it may or may not guarantee, it certainly guarantees greater overall poverty than would be the case without the REGS.

In brief, REGS does not increase the aggregate production of the economy, nor does it increase productive capacity; it merely redistributes incomes by giving money to those in the rural areas. The first order effect of this diversion of resources is that other projects which have the potential to increase production and increase productive capacity do not get done; that is, the opportunity cost of the REGS is very high. The second order effects are increased public corruption, making the population much more dependent, increasing population, etc. This means in the future, the economy will produce much less than it would have otherwise produced and thus more people would face poverty as a result of the REGS .The rest of this essay is an elaboration of this argument. Continue reading “The REGS Guarantees Poverty”

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