On Competition and Markets

From a broad philosophical perspective, competition is encoded in the basic DNA of the universe. At every level of analysis, competing forces seek domination. At the largest inanimate scales, gravitational and electromagnetic forces constantly compete in stars. At the smallest scales, inside an atom, nuclear and electromagnetic force compete. In the biological world, living things compete all the time. It’s a constant battle between and among botanical and zoological species. Humans, as part of the animal world, are past masters of the game. We, like all other living organisms, are all descendants of ancestors who were successful in that competition at least long enough to have survived to reproduce.
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Minimum Wages — Follow up

Markets work, in general. That’s like saying, people are healthy in general. But people do fall sick. Similarly, occasionally markets fail. That’s when you need intervention, not otherwise. But it cannot be any random intervention. The treatment has to fit the etiology of the disease. So also, market intervention has to be specific to the kind of failure the market suffers from. We must therefore first be sure why the market failed and only then try to fix it. If legislating a minimum wage is the solution, we need to ask what the market failure is.
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Understanding Economics

A while ago a non-economist friend who had read my book “Transforming India” said that as he did not understand economics would I write a book explaining some of the basic concepts of economics? It would be a “prequel” to the “Transforming India” book. That sounded like a good idea and over the last couple of months, I have spent some time on such a book. The working title is “Understanding Economics.” Not the most brilliant title but that will change to something more attractive by the time it is ready for publication.
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The distinction between Rights and Freedoms.

Now for the important matter of the distinction between rights and freedoms. Of late, there has been a proliferation of rights. There’s the right to information, right to employment, right to food, right to education, and so on. Somehow people start thinking that the expansion of rights enhances freedom but in fact it is the opposite: the expansion of rights actually reduces our freedom.
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