The Four Pillars of Gross National Happiness

The wikipedia states that “Gross National Happiness (also known by the acronym: GNH) is a philosophy that guides the government of Bhutan. It includes an index which is used to measure the collective happiness and well-being of a population. Gross National Happiness is instituted as the goal of the government of Bhutan in the Constitution of Bhutan, enacted on 18 July 2008.”

Here I note, for the record, the four pillars of Gross National Happiness:

  1. Extreme silliness. Happiness cannot be aggregated like beans. It’s a subjective experience that cannot be measured nor interpersonal comparisons made.
  2. Extreme stupidity. The stupidity of trying to ape a measure created to estimate aggregate production of an economy in a year — Gross National Product or Gross Domestic Product. Sure, GDP is useful. But coming up with a measure of say, Gross National Sweet Taste, is stupid.
  3. Extreme idiocy. It is idiotic to believe that coming up with a silly measure helps you figure out what to do to increase whatever that is supposed to measure.
  4. Extreme ignorance. It is ignorant to believe that measuring something automatically increases your understanding of what’s measured. Inability to distinguish between the name of an object and the object usually leads to ignorance of this sort.

On Misunderestimating Kejriwal and Shills like Medha Patkar

The Merriam-Webster says about the word shill that its origins are unknown and the first known usage was in 1914. That makes it one hundred years old. I have usually encountered it in US political commentary. I like the sound of the word and it always brings up the almost similar word shrill to mind. The wikipedia describes the word well —

A shill, also called a plant or a stooge, is a person who publicly helps a person or organization without disclosing that they have a close relationship with the person or organization.

“Shill” typically refers to someone who purposely gives onlookers the impression that they are an enthusiastic independent customer of a seller (or marketer of ideas) for whom they are secretly working. . . .

What brought the word to mind was Medha Patkar. She was on a TV talk show with Arnab Goswami (the same fellow who had that little tête-à-tête with the super-genius, apple of Diggy’s eye, the Italian-Indian shehzada, the pride of the Maino family, etc etc, Raul Vinci aka Rahul Gandhi.) The matter being discussed was Arvind Kejriwal’s hypocrisy.

Kejriwal insists that he will not do something and then goes ahead and does it. He’s gained himself quite a reputation as “Mr U-Turn”. In the current example of a “Kejriwal-turn”, he vehemently, vociferously, publicly insisted that he will not live in a huge government-provided accommodations, but privately he demanded that two huge properties be allocated to him — around 12,000 sqft of living space and 18,000 sqft of lawns.

Among the talking heads was Medha Patkar. She was the sanctimonious shill. Wiki again:

Shill can also be used pejoratively to describe a critic who appears either all-too-eager to heap glowing praise upon mediocre offerings, or who acts as an apologist for glaring flaws. In this sense, the critic would be an implicit shill for the industry at large, possibly because his income is tied to its prosperity.

As an apologist for the lying Arvind Kejriwal, she gave a command performance. She epitomized sanctimonious shill-dom. I tweeted:



From time to time, I get inspired to tweet about Kejriwal. In November last year, I had called him several names. That was before he became the CM of Delhi. Most people did not realize what a sleazy scumbag he was. Last night I tweeted my view of Kejriwal and attached a screen capture of my November tweet:


I am sure that I misunderestimate (thanks GW Bush) Kejriwal’s devious genius. He is communal to the core and could probably teach the insufferable Digvijaya Singh a few tricks. Here’s what I noted the other day:


So there we are watching the train-wreck that is the Delhi government run by #Dramebaaz #U-turnBaba Kejriwal and apologists like Ms Medha Patkar. Don’t these people have any sense or shame? Don’t they realize that they will be reviled by the millions once their nautanki is over?

Anyway, I reserve my severest criticism for the cretins, the brainless dolts, who supported AAP. Their stupidity will impoverish an already poor country.

India: A Case of Bad Governance

In today’s Business Standard, Pranab Bardhan in his article “India — A case of bad governance“, makes a number of very important points.
Continue reading “India: A Case of Bad Governance”

Don’t vote UPA — reason #410

In a few days, Indians will vote in a general election. The result of the elections will determine who gets to make the policies for India. The Congress-led UPA performed dismally over the last five years. No surprise there. The UPA has as good a shot at winning this time around as does the NDA or the Third Front. I wouldn’t vote for the Congress for an enormous number of reasons. Here’s one reason that M J Akbar spelled out in August 2008. The original is from the Khaleej Times Online, dated 4th Aug, 2008: “Band Aid for Cancer.” I reproduce the entire article below the fold for the record. Continue reading “Don’t vote UPA — reason #410”

Stopping terrorism by securing WiFi

Well, now we can be assured of our security and safety from Islamic terrorism. TRAI — the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India — is taking steps to combat terrorism by securing WiFi networks.

With terrorists using unsecured wireless fidelity (WiFi) networks to shoot off emails every time they carry out bomb blasts, TRAI is examining a series of measures to have security processes in place to protect such networks. [Source]

Continue reading “Stopping terrorism by securing WiFi”

The Transantiago Story

This story comes from the other end of the world but has lessons for any part of the world. It is “a parable about the combustible combination of optimism and ignorance.” Go read “Planning Order, Causing Chaos: Transantiago” by Michael Munger in the Library of Economics and Liberty.

Below the fold I have quoted the last part of the essay. If you wish to skip the article, do read the last bit.
Continue reading “The Transantiago Story”

The Fuel Subsidy Cess

Finance minister P Chidambaram and petroleum minister Murli Deora are considering an additional tax to pay for the government subsidy of petrol and diesel, according to the Financial Express of 27th May. “Each percentage rise in the income and corporate tax rates would yield around Rs 3,500 crore, so a 3-5% cess would yield anywhere between Rs 10,500 crore and Rs 17,500 crore.”

The Acorn recommends “that taxpayers line up in large numbers and vote against the simians making economic policy.” I concur. I have always maintained that India is ruled by monkeys.
Continue reading “The Fuel Subsidy Cess”


Law of Supply and Demand

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the law of supply and demand is a bitch. Stripped of all details it basically states that the price of something is determined by the interaction of the quantities supplied and demanded. Therefore (1) an increase of the quantity demanded, holding the supply constant, will increase the price; (2) an increase in the quantity supplied, holding the demand constant, will decrease the price; (3) a decrease in the quantity demanded, holding the supply constant, will decrease the price; and (4) a decrease in the quantity supplied, holding the demand constant, will increase the price.

Sing pretty songs, if you please, or dance nimbly invoking the gods, or pass sincere legislation to suspend the effects of that law. You would have as much success doing that as you would have in suspending the law of gravity and legislate against it effects. The law of supply and demand is not quantum mechanics and can be taught to the average 6 year-old with ease. Ignorance of the law should be a matter of shame, and willful disregard of the law by policymakers should be punished through public floggings.
Continue reading “LOSADS!”

Banning Child Labor

From time to time I wonder whether some people are merely stupid or whether they are inherently evil. Or maybe they are actually stupid evil bastards. Just yesterday a report on the NPR show Marketplace got me wondering. It reported that India has recently passed a law outlawing child labor in households and in restaurants. It noted that employing children in factories was already banned.
Continue reading “Banning Child Labor”

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