What Holds India Back

In August in a post, Is the Indian Government the Greatest Enemy of India’s Prosperity?, I had quoted a WSJ piece which read in part, “Because India’s entrepreneurs have succeeded amid dysfunctional government and financial institutions by developing a kind of independent and experimental ingenuity, it stands to reason that the enterprising class would prosper even more were India to reduce barriers to business and clean up corruption.” I commented on that and wrote: Continue reading

Harris, Hitchens and Gadkari

Two men I admire most are Harris and Hitchens. Awesome speakers and writers, they have the courage to say it like they see it. In an age where politically correct mealy mouthed prevarication oozes out of spineless leaders leaving a slimy track for the mindless to follow, Harris and Hitchens restore my faith in humanity and I am assured that this is just a temporary phenomenon because truth abides. Here’s a video, an editorial, and a news item. Continue reading

The Endurance of Indians

Reports of gross misdeeds by people in power leave as much of an impression on the Indian mind as does yesterday’s weather forecast. And they appear to be as helpless in the face of institutionalized corruption and criminal behavior as in altering the weather. They take both as a given, a fact of nature that is outside their control.
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The Biggest Puzzle

Are there no depths that the Congress party led UPA government will not plumb to protect the criminally corrupt? When exactly will the Indian public wake up to the realization that the pervasive corruption that hollows out the Indian state is the sole achievement of the Congress party over its decades of misrule — practically all of India’s existence as an independent country in modern times? If even the unspeakable misgovernance by Mr Manmohan Singh does not enrage the Indians, what on earth will it take — a thousand thermonuclear devices?
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Incentives for Better Policies

This year, 2009 CE, marks the 200th birth anniversary of Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882), and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859). Contrary to what one may suppose, the phrase “survival of the fittest” does not occur in that book. It was Herbert Spencer (1820 -1903), who coined it in his book Principles of Biology, (1864).[1]

Spencer warned that “the ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.” That observation holds with special force in the context of the misgovernment of India. If the policy makers (the bureaucrats and politicians) are shielded from the ill-effects of their policies, they have little incentive to act prudently. Eventually, as the stock of bad policies keep building up, the country ends up in ruin. We have to remember that in the main, the success or failure of an economy is solely determined by the quality of its public policies.
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Swaggering Imbeciles

Newly educated and semi-educated classes – social or intellectual – seek positions in government bureaucracies or social advocacy rather than in industry and commerce where competence is inarguably measured at the end of every business quarter. The growth of bureaucracies needed to absorb these swaggering imbeciles is precisely opposed to society’s growth and development both as direct philosophical enemy and as infinitely hungry sump to resources otherwise needed to support productive endeavors.

From “Uncle Al” in a post on the usenet years ago. I spent years on the usenet, the grand-daddy of the world wide web. I like the phrase “swaggering imbeciles” — it describes a certain ruling dynasty in a certain so-called emerging superpower.

Criminal Lawmakers?

According to a report in today’s Rediff on Karnataka’s new government, many of the members of the legislative assembly (or MLAs, those who make the laws of the state) are criminals. The report leads off with details of what the personal wealth of some of the MLAs are but later, almost as an afterthought, mentions that many have criminal charges pending against them:
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