For everything else, you must have the unique ID.

Quick question: In the near future, what is that one thing that the government of India will allow the people living within the borders of India to do without having the unique ID number? Think for a bit. I know it is hard to imagine an action you would be free to do without that number. You will need that number to get anything done at all. The government is working hard towards making it impossible for its citizens (and even non-citizens living in India) to move a finger without the express consent of the government. But I kid you not, there is one thing that you will be able to, as before, without having that unique ID. Continue reading

Eating the Seed Corn

One way to ensure impoverishment in the future is to recklessly eat the seed corn. Practically everything that is good about the US comes from its awesome higher education system. It is arguably the world’s best. One indicator is the number of Nobel prizes it gets each year. Just this year, of the 12 people who shared the five (I am ignoring the peace prize joke) prizes, 10 are Americans. But how long will this last? Continue reading

A Digression on Corruption in Six Acts

ACT 1: A Course on Development

This summer for teaching an undergraduate course on economic development (Econ171) at Berkeley, I naturally considered the major factors that affect — and effect — economic growth and development of an economy. The major headings included growth models, energy, infrastructure, urbanization, education, agriculture, and one other topic which I will come to presently. It should come as no surprise that the government of India — being one that professes a sincere commitment to economic growth and development — actively intervenes in all of those areas. There are government departments and ministries at the central and state levels. Continue reading