Imagine, if you would, a world in which people lived in perfect harmony with nature, in which the air was clean and the water pure, in which there were no threat of rising ocean levels or man-made climate change, in which there were no weapons of mass destruction, in which multinational mega corporations were not devastating the natural world seeking profit. A world in which thousands of animal species were not driven to extinction every year through human action.
Imagine the kind of world that John Lennon sang about in his appropriately titled popular song “Imagine”, much beloved of the hippy generation. Imagine no countries … nothing to kill or die for … imagine all the people living life in peace … imagine no possessions. An idyllic world of peace and prosperity. Continue reading “Imagine”
In a recent comment, Anirudh wrote: “I notice that the RISC model is in contrast to the development of SEZs( Special Economic Zones), where the focus is on developing certain areas, and giving them special privileges like tax cuts, etc… What do you think about SEZs, which were originally conceived as engines of economic growth? Should we have more of them?”
The RISC model is indeed distinct from “Special Economic Zones”. The RISC model is immersed in the prevailing economic rules. RISC is about what can be done under prevailing rules. SEZs are special, by definition. They have special rules.
I keep insisting that outcomes are a result of rules which govern economic activities — what’s allowed, what’s mandated, what’s prohibited. As I wrote in a recent post, “People as individuals are fairly indistinguishable across the world, save for their history, their culture, the geographies and so on. But as groups, their destinies are astonishingly diverse. I believe that this divergence is due to different set of rules. Rules and norms matter enormously.” Continue reading “SEZ”
I am persuaded that what distinguished various groups (communities and nations) is the set of rules that they choose to impose on themselves and follow. People as individuals are fairly indistinguishable across the world, save for their history, their culture, the geographies and so on. But as groups, their destinies are astonishingly diverse. I believe that this divergence is due to different set of rules. Rules and norms matter enormously.
Historical accident bears that out. The fortunes of East and West Germany diverged post the 2nd World War, even though both had inherited the same culture, history, climate, language, and so on. The different outcomes were the result of different set of rules imposed by the US and its allies on West Germany, and by the Soviet Union on East Germany. One prospered and the other did not. A similar story can be told about North and South Korea. Continue reading “Riksdag”
Time to revisit RISC — the development model that I proposed over 20 years ago. It was about helping the rural population develop so that they become urbanized. The solution to rural development is urbanization. The first step to urbanization is the development of rural people. That means providing them with services that help them increase their productivity.
Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) was the 16th president of the United States, serving from March 1861 to April 1865. He was a complex character. Many have argued that he was the greatest US president. I greatly respect and admire him, though I don’t agree with a couple of his major decisions.
He was a physical giant: 6 foot 4 inches tall. (Remember, at that time the average American male was probably 5 foot 7 inches.) And he was a mental giant. I was deeply moved by his Gettysburg Address.
The Gettysburg Address is a speech that U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered during the American Civil War at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery … in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on the afternoon of November 19, 1863, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated Confederate forces in the Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War’s deadliest battle. It remains one of the best known speeches in American history
Gandhi matters enormously and he is rightly considered the “Father of the Nation.” That of course means that Gandhi is to a very large degree responsible for what India became (or failed to become) after India’s independence from the British raj.
I haven’t always been a critic of Gandhi. Like the overwhelmingly large percentage of Indians, I uncritically accepted the idea that he was a “a great soul”, a mahatma. Mind you, Mahatma became his de facto first name, not the middle name. I was taught in school that he gave freedom to India, and I believed that to be true. Indians owed their freedom to him, and therefore he should be venerated, if not worshiped by all, and not just Indians. Continue reading “Gandhi Matters – 1”