I normally don't do numbers. But in this post, I will have to refer to numbers because wealth and poverty have to be understood quantitatively too. So let's do the numbers. It is an amazing fact that extreme poverty has fallen both in absolute and relative terms. The world’s population living in extreme poverty has … Continue reading Economic Growth, Population and Poverty Numbers
Asking "Did Britain impoverish India?" is like asking "Is water wet?" Of course, Britain impoverished India during their rule as the colonial masters of India. To extract wealth from a colony and exploit its people is the primary motivation for colonization. Expecting the colonial masters to be a benign, self-sacrificing force is delusional. Colonization is not … Continue reading Did Britain Impoverish India?
We take it as a given, almost a fact of nature like the seasons or the geography of continents, that different parts of the world enjoy different levels of prosperity. But there's nothing "natural" about this since this is almost entirely within human control. The differences are stark, and at one end of the scale, … Continue reading On Technology, Prosperity and Dysfunctional Ideologies
One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, polymath, inventor, scientist, writer, diplomat, etc., etc., Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790) observed that “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” An analogous statement about nations could be that all nations are born poor but it requires hard work to … Continue reading A Misplaced Sense of Pride
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 … Continue reading What Holds India Back
Development inclusive of people in rural areas is not really distinct from development in general. Indeed it is not possible to have real development while excluding the majority of the people -- the majority of Indians are rural. Generally speaking, Indian rural populations and subsistence agriculture are almost exactly congruent notions. As long as that … Continue reading On Balanced Growth of India
Follow up to BJP’s Policy of “IT for All”. In the following, I will present the features of a rational “IT Policy” and argue why it makes sense. This is only an academic exercise as this is not likely to be followed by the policymakers of India. Color me cynical but if Indian policymakers were … Continue reading A Rational IT Policy: The Introductory Bits