India! I dare you to be rich

Category: Public policy

The continuing disgraceful inhuman menace of the caste system in India. India Untouched, a documentary by Stalin Kurup.

A couple of years ago I had come across (and commented on) a snippet from the documentary India Untouched, by Stalin Kurup. I never got around to seeing most of the documentary.

Today a snippet from this documentary chanced my way on FB and I was reminded by a FB friend that it is from this documentary. 

Stalin has written a blog post about this. I understand extracts from this doco were broadcast on Satyamev Jayatate in 2012.

It is unfortunate that I had not got around to seeing the whole documentary in 2013. This is absolutely mandatory viewing by anyone with any interest in India's future.

Today, I saw the whole documentary – nearly two hours.

It can be clearly said that whatever the reasons caste was originally designed for, it is now playing the role of the biggest enemy of India, on par with socialism. 

If you never got around to watching this documentary, please do so. I'm linking all four parts below.

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Scandinavian countries are super-capitalist with the terrible baggage of a HUGE welfare state

This is my further comment on Kanishka Sinha’s FB post, that I referred to here.

In this I show Kanishka that the laws of economics are INVIOLABLE. They never change, no matter where you go or live. I will also, by the end of this post, more clearly distinguish socialism from capitalism.

ARE SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES SUCCESSFUL?

There is no doubt that on most economic benchmarks Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden) are highly successful. They are up there among the richest 20 nations in the world, their national debt is manageable (not like the Greek socialist state, for instance), and their people even claim to be happy. [True, there is some detail, e.g. huge private debt in Denmark, but I said “most” economic indicators, not “all”].

So what is going on here? Are these guys an example of successful socialist countries, or are the capitalist in some way, or do they follow some other, “third way”?

WHAT DO THE HIGH LEVEL FREEDOM INDICATORS TELL US?

Levels of freedom

Denmark

Norway

Sweden

India

Political rights, 2015, Freedom House

1

1

1

2

(higher numbers are worse)
Civil liberties, 2015, Freedom House

1

1

1

3

(higher numbers are worse)
Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage House/ Wall St Journal

11

27

20

120

global rank
Press freedom, Reporters Without Borders 

7

3

10

140

global rank
Property rights index 10 2 2 46 global rank

Without going into too much detail (there are plenty of other, similar, indicators), this list of indicators shows that unlike India (which is a HARDCORE SOCIALIST, UNFREE SOCIETY), the Scandinavian countries are FREE countries, with the world’s strongest property rights systems. They are fundamentally NOT socialist. Socialist countries DO NOT have economic (or other) freedoms. The whole idea of socialism is for the state to dictate who does what, and to manage the economy centrally.

PROOF THAT THESE ARE ROBUST MARKET ECONOMIES

Does the price system work in these countries? (e.g.do they use administered prices, like with socialist India?)

Denmark has a “thoroughly modern market economy” [Source]. “Denmark boasts a modern market economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system.” [Source]

Market restrictions?

There is no minimum wage in Denmark. [Source]

Labour market flexibilty: In Denmark, the employer’s right to hire and fire their employees whenever they find it necessary is recognised. [Source] This suggests labour market flexibillity at a level that is totally unheard of in any socialist (or even most capitalist) society.

Trade policy?

Denmark advocates free trade [Source]. “All Nordic countries have a commitment to free trade” [Source].  The Economist describes these as  “stout free-traders who resist the temptation to intervene even to protect iconic companies”  [Source]

HOW THE NORDIC COUNTRIES HAVE CHANGED – BECOME MORE MARKET ORIENTED

These countries had a period of greater state intervention in the society, but have become market oriented at a level not heard of in most parts of the West.

In the 1970s and 1980s the Nordics were indeed tax-and-spend countries. Sweden’s public spending reached 67% of GDP in 1993. Astrid Lindgren, the inventor of Pippi Longstocking, was forced to pay more than 100% of her income in taxes. But tax-and-spend did not work: Sweden fell from being the fourth-richest country in the world in 1970 to the 14th in 1993.

Since then the Nordics have changed course—mainly to the right. Government’s share of GDP in Sweden, which has dropped by around 18 percentage points, is lower than France’s and could soon be lower than Britain’s. Taxes have been cut: the corporate rate is 22%, far lower than America’s. The Nordics have focused on balancing the books. While Mr Obama and Congress dither over entitlement reform, Sweden has reformed its pension system (see Free exchange). Its budget deficit is 0.3% of GDP; America’s is 7%. [Source]

Private management of public hospitals and schools

An example of their private orientation is their operation of schools and hospitals.

Denmark and Norway allow private firms to run public hospitals. Sweden has a universal system of school vouchers, with private for-profit schools competing with public schools. Denmark also has vouchers—but ones that you can top up. When it comes to choice, Milton Friedman would be more at home in Stockholm than in Washington, DC. [Source]

BUT THEY DO HAVE AN EXCESSIVE WELFARE STATE

This doesn’t mean that these are free societies in every respect. They have a strong egalitarian focus, implemented through redistribution. This welfare system has led to some rather extreme negative consequences, as outlined in Manipulism and the Weapon of Guilt: Collectivism Exposed by Mikkel Clair Nissen. I’ve provided key extracts from this book here.

I won’t go into details of this, but it is clear that the welfare state is both unsustainable and harmful to human motivation and dignity. There is no doubt that these states will pull back on the excesses of their welfare state as people realise it is not going to work. There is no free lunch. The sooner these countries understand that, the better for them. While they may not go down the path of failed states like Greece, they will face increasing challenges in maintaining their standards of living if their most productive people start working less (or migrate to other, less taxing countries).

CONCLUSION

So what are we to make of this?

Well, to understand this, we need to go back to the two fundamental theorems of economics.

First you must recognise that free markets ALWAYS work best. That’s what the first theorem states. The market ALWAYS creates the most efficient allocation and thereby maximises wealth. Once that has been achieved, you can, if you so wish, transfer funds to meet your egalitarian objectives. You can redistribute “endowments” to create any pareto optimal outcome you wish, through the market. That’s the second theorem.

All economics graduates are taught these basic theorems early in their graduate year. These theorems take tens of pages of non-trivial formal proofs. Kanishka, you perhaps learnt these theorems, as well, didn’t you? (Or does ISB not teach theoretical economics?). 

But note clearly that reallocation as part of a welfare state is NOT socialism. It is redistribution within capitalism. Socialism involves denial of property rights, denial of the price system, denial of free trade. Clearly the Scandinavian countries are extreme-CAPITALIST societies on these indicators. These capitalist institutional features allow them to generate vast amounts of wealth; which they then redistribute.

The excesses of their welfare state have undoubtedly reduced their potential wealth by harming incentives at two levels: at the top, where high taxes reduce incentives to work; and at the bottom, where excessive welfare reduces incentives to work. The documentation of the adverse effects of welfare makes clear that the welfare system is NOT a good idea and should be curtailed.

However, it is fundamentally incorrect to talk of Scandinavian countries as being socialist.

Yes, in casual talk, even I refer to excesses of welfare state as socialism, but socialism is actually quite a different beast.

To identify socialism, look at India, Kanishka. Look at PROPERTY RIGHTS. Look at PRICES. Look at LABOUR MARKETS. Look at TRADE.

ADDENDUM

Debunking the Myth of Socialist “Success” in Scandinavia

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Population Reference Bureau, where I was trained for 2 weeks, works closely with mega-racist Planned Parenthood

Just for the record, that there is an "intellectual" face of Planned Parenthood. It is called Population Reference Bureau.

While undertaking my doctoral studies in economics from the USC, I was "successful" in obtaining a 2-week scholarship (in summer 1995, or was it 1996) to attend a communication training at PRB at their Washington head office. 

The PRB publishes highly exaggerated and problematic sob stories regarding the world's "population problem". The real problem, as I've repeatedly explained, is NOT the size of the human population, but the absence of freedom and good governance. If PRB spent 1/1000th of their time and energy in understanding economics, they would have something genuinely useful to contribute.

By working with PP, they are working with an extremely racist organisation. At a minimum, they must stop working with PP. 

During my training I went to the US Congress and saw how lobbyists engage in their promotion of ideas. I learnt a lot, but I never took back PRB's message AGAINST population.

FROM THEIR WEBSITE

The Population Council will lead Evidence, working with a consortium of partners including Management Sciences for Health (MSH), PATH, Population Reference Bureau (PRB), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and INDEPTH Network.

Screenshot for my record

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Nehru’s beloved Margaret Sanger wanted to EXTERMINATE the “Negro race”. And Indians, of course.

In 1921, Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, which in 1942 underwent a name change to become Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

A couple of years ago I had shown how Nehru was in the thrall of a range of eugenicists, such as Bernard Shaw and Margaret Sanger, e.g. Nehru worked on behalf of Western racists (who wanted to reduce India’s population) through the world’s first national population control programme​ 

Separately, for those not aware, the "great" Helen Keller was a hardcore supporter of cutting India's population, as well. She called our people a "curse".

Of course, most IAS officers, IITians and elite politicians from India are equally persuaded that India's population is a curse. These well-to-do people would, left to themselves (as Nehru's progeny Sanjay Gandhi attempted), would destroy most future births in India. When I as Commissioner in 2000 in Meghalaya, I attended a meeting at the Planning Commission in which a deranged lady IAS Additional Secretary told us about the National Population Policy and why it was important to curb India's population. 

Fortunately, the deep hatred – often racist – of people like Margaret Sanger, Nehru and Keller, is now being discovered by the whole world.

Not only was Margaret Sanger against Indians, she was dead against Black Americans, being an active supporter of KKK:

Ms. Sanger supported black eugenics, a racist attitude toward black and other minority babies; an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as ‘the feeble minded;’ speaking at rallies of Ku Klux Klan women….Also the notorious ‘Negro Project’ which sought to limit, if not eliminate, black births, was her brainchild. [Source]

That good thing is that a lot of secret records of these people are now coming out and the world is beginning to pay attention. Here is an extract from one of her letters of 1939. [Source]. A backup copy on my server.

ADDENDUM

Planned Parenthood is in the news recently because its officials are selling the aborted baby corpses. That's even worse than I had thought. These people are plain criminals.

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In my first change.org petition I ask India’s President to help abolish the IAS. Please read/sign/share.

Do you want good governance in India? One of the critical changes needed is the abolition of the IAS and its replacement with a contractual, accountable public service model.

Please review the following change.org petition I've started today (linked below) and if you agree with it, please sign it. 

 

https://www.change.org/p/president-of-india-replacement-of-the-ias-and-tenured-civil-services-with-well-paid-contractual-hence-accountable-public-servants

 
If you agree, please also share it. 
 
==THE TEXT OF THE PETITION==
Continuing with the British imperial services was a wise decision in 1947. However, these services are fundamentally incapable of innovation and efficient delivery of the limited functions that a government should perform.
 
The only effective alternative to tenured, unaccountable, inefficient (and being poorly paid, often corrupt) services is market-based recruitment by the head of a department, with all senior roles being on contract. This would allow rapid intake of competent people into the civil services (from across the world, in some cases), and termination without recourse should there be either inefficiency, lack of innovation or (worse) corruption.
 
In the past, India has struggled through extreme forms of socialism which distorted production incentives and productivity. These distortions have somewhat alleviated after the liberalisation of 1991, although there is much more to do.
 
However, India remains fundamentally ill-equipped to deliver any public policy outcome or service. The biggest drag on India is the IAS and all-India services, as well as associated tenured civil services at the central and state levels. No private organisation will ever survive if tenure were promised. Tenure destroys all incentives that are useful to society.
 
We the undersigned call upon you to ask the Parliament – in your next address to the members – to replace India's unaccountable imperial model of administration with a responsive and accountable bureaucracy. 
 
Indians are a wonderfully competent and innovative, but the Imperial system that we have chosen to impose on ourselves specialises in blocking innovation, competition and progress. Even those who are not corrupt in the IAS and tenured services mostly only care for self-aggrandisement, seeking a tenure in the World Bank or a sinecure as a Governor. 
 
You should ask, on behalf of the people of India: Are we to ever grow up and become a free, independent nation, or are we be forever enslaved by civil servants accountable to none? 
 
How is this change to be brought about? Details are provided in Sanjeev Sabhlok's book, Breaking Free of Nehru (http://bfn.sabhlokcity.com/) and in the Sone Ki Chidiya agenda (http://sonekichidiya.in/). 
 
Note: Sanjeev Sabhlok joined the IAS in 1982 and resigned in January 2001, convinced that continuing in the service is a sure way to participate in the ruin of India. His 18 years experience in the IAS (and more than 14 years in the public service in Victoria, Australia) has convinced him that India is extremely ill-advised to continue with tenured civil services. There are much better models available across the world. But the IAS will never tell you, Mr. President, about them! You have to ask these questions on your own.
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No, Satyarthi, just because are a Nobelist with good intentions, doesn’t mean you know how to eliminate child labour

I'm noting my FB comment on Satyarthi's ignorant ramblings.

====

Oh no! The fools continue to babble the first primitive thought that comes to their feeble, untutored minds.

No, No, No. NOT BANS BUT GOOD SENSE. First think through the logic.

ALL CHILDREN ACROSS THE WORLD WERE CHILD LABOURERS TILL THE FRUITS OF CAPITALISM ALLOWED THEIR PARENTS TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL.

These well meaning fools fail to realise that it is CAPITALISM that will liberate Indian children, NOT bans! What can be done to educate these dunce "Nobelists"??

 

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