Reasons why the BJP Lost

I don’t follow elections even though their outcomes dictate economic policies, which in turn determine the fate of economies. Given my interest in economic development, I should care about elections but I don’t. I also don’t follow the post-elections dissections of analysts mainly because I have better things to do but partly because I feel — incorrectly perhaps — it’s all a matter of opinion and conjecture. It feels like a lot of post-hoc rationalization.
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Economic Policies Matter

A short century ago the US and Argentina were rivals. Both were riding the first wave of globalisation at the turn of the 20th century. Both were young, dynamic nations with fertile farmlands and confident exporters. Both brought the beef of the New World to the tables of their European colonial forebears. Before the Great Depression of the 1930s, Argentina was among the 10 richest economies in the world.

That’s from a fascinating article by Alan Beattie in the Financial Times of May 23rd titled “Argentina: The superpower that never was.” The article continues with —
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Solution to India’s Greatest Failure

In a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal titled “India’ Greatest Failure,” Paul Beckett writes about T.S.R. Subramanian who retired as India’s most senior civil servant in 1998. Beckett quotes from TSR’s book, “GovernMint in India” — “Since no part of the Establishment has an interest in punishing corruption, trying for a more sweeping solution quickly leads into the realm of blind hope.”
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Begging for a World Class University

Consider this scenario. Someone you know imprisons his grown up children and does not allow them to go out and do jobs that they are fully capable of doing. He also locks up his productive assets and prevents his children from using them. Then he goes around begging his neighbors for help with feeding his family as he does not have any income. The words that spring to mind upon considering this man’s behavior are words like contemptible, immoral, stupid, pathetic, pitiable, and sad.
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Whoring Aamir Khan Style

Whoring is an ancient human tradition and some primatologists even say that it is not restricted to human animals alone. Cynics definitely believe that everyone has a price and can be bought to assume any desired position. I am a cynic and Diogenes of Sinope is a hero of mine.

The Acorn reports that Aamir Khan has decided to carry the Olympic torch on its journey through India. He is paid by the Coca Cola company to do so. Whoring for the Chinese government indirectly through the commercial interests of a peddler of soft drinks is no shame. Aamir Khan is a past master of the game.
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India Spends $13,000,000,000 on Education Abroad

That’s what a report in the Hindustan Times claims: US $13 billion each year. Figures such as these are unbelievable but I suppose someone must have done the numbers. In any case, I had estimated that number to be around $10 billion a few years ago.

Let’s pause for a moment and figure. $13 billion every year. Or in the last 10 years, about $100 billion. Imagine what you could buy for that money. How about 100 colleges with first class infrastructure with housing, classrooms, labs? Each year India could have an additional capacity for 10,000 college students and in 10 years you could have 100,000 additional capacity. Imagine the multiplier effect of that spending — in construction, in salaries to teaching and non-teaching staff. Imagine the boost to the industry from creating human capital. The imagination boggles at the sheer waste.

Imagine how much infrastructure you could build for $100 billion.

One of the principal lessons one learns as one studies economic development is that success or failure depends largely on the set of economic policies that govern the economy. India, for instance, is poor and economically a failure because its economic policies are extremely brain-dead. Of course one can explain why these brain-dead economic policies exist. We will not visit that now. Here I would only mention that the policy on education is the most brain-dead and that educational policy is largely to blame for why India is poor today, and if the policy is not changed, then it will certainly doom India in the future.
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There Must be Violence Against Women

Despite such [Quranic] instructions, beating is considered a type of violence, according to human rights organizations, which urge women to complain to the police. I just wonder what kind of families our societies would have if Muslim women started doing this regarding their husbands.

Relationships between fathers and daughters or sisters and brothers also provoke argument from human rights organizations, which propose the suggested solutions for all relationships. Personally, I don’t think fathers or brothers would undertake such behavior unless there was a reason for it.

The above quote is from here.

There are always good reasons for violence against women. Take for example, the case of 16-year old Aqsa Parvez in Canada, strangled by her father last month because she refused to wear the hijab. Or the case of the Egyptian taxi-driver in Texas who shot and killed his two teenage daughters on Jan 1st because they were seeing non-Muslim guys.

Human rights? Oh come on, human rights have nothing to do with it as women are sub-humans anyway. OK, subhuman rights activists could get into it but human rights activists have no business in these matters.

Related to the above:

A 57-year-old Oak Forest man set a fire that killed his pregnant daughter, her husband and the couple’s 3-year-old son because he was angry that the son-in-law came from a “lower caste system” and had not asked for the daughter’s hand in marriage, prosecutors said Tuesday.

In a hearing at the Markham courthouse Tuesday morning, Subhash Chander was ordered held without bond by Cook County Judge Martin McDonough in connection with the arson and murder of Chander’s pregnant daughter Monika Rani, 22; her husband Rajesh Kumar, 30; and their son Vansh. [Source.]

The Age of Content-free Communications

One of the more irritating aspects of the change of calendar years is the increase in meaningless messages that land in one’s inbox. I love the internet and the world wide web, but that love is severely strained when I have to wade through gratuitous messages wishing “All” a happy new year. It’s a palpable sign of the Age of the Content-free Communications.
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Orkut — A social site

I was merely following a link that landed in my mailbox and ended up at someone’s Orkut page, someone called Preeti. She wrote a testimonial for someone thus:

ABHAY…..wat cn i spk bout diz person nw….hez a lil sensitive but very adventerous guy…hez got gr8 potential in him and alwayzz aimzz 4 d best(datz y he got me as a frnd )……hizz my super snr bt nevva made me feel so… …hiz soo gud n down 2 earth…n btw u al kn wat i call him wid many nick name lemme mention few o dem…hmmmmmB____ (he getzz on hiz nervezz weneva i cal him so )many more 2 mention…bt i hnk one iz sufficient 2 make him ngry hehehe…. nywz last bt nt least he getz ngry very soooooooon…i thnk even nw hiz ngry on me(n i thnk he knzz y)….. uff ders sooooo much to say abt him bt i’ll stop it here… finally mr.dynamic r u satisfied nw???? …

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Hell’s Angel

Teresa the Merciless
Teresa the Merciless

My distaste for poverty is only exceeded by my utter contempt for those who nurture that awful monster of poverty that chews up living human beings and spits them out like so much garbage. True evil to me is that impulse that disregards human suffering, and more often than not, that evil force emanates from ideology and dogma. Communism is one such evil; the other horror is organized religious dogma mostly represented by the monotheistic religions. The richer the organized religion, the more powerful it is, and has the will and the means to wreak havoc and cause misery. The Catholic Church is exhibit A. It has a shining history of centuries of wholesale murder and it has not deviated one bit from that unholy crusade to this day. Its most celebrated foot-soldier — nay, general — in its war against decency and humanity was Mother Teresa. Christopher Hitchens called her (among other things) the Ghoul of Calcutta. I call her Teresa, the Merciless.

Here’s Hitchens (from one of his live debates): Continue reading