7th March 2009
India need not live with poverty
By Sanjeev Sabhlok* (written in 2000; possibly published in Agenda for Change by Bibek Debroy while at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute – he said he'd published it, but I don't have a copy)
This paper can't be converted into this blog because of its tables, etc. Hence the link: Click http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/Notes/NIT-paper.PDF.
Also related to this, a proposed pilot project to implement the NIT idea
Elimination of Poverty in Mylliem Block: Project Outline
available at http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/Notes/NIT-project.doc
In brief, as I mention in detail in Breaking Free of Nehru, (BFN) the concept of Negative Income Tax derives from idea of a level playing field (reasonable equality of opportunity). It is radically different from socialist concepts (including welfare socialist concepts) of equality of outcomes. It is unrelated to economic equality at any level.
BFN explains this at length, – some material is in the 'Online Notes'. My second book, The Discovery of Freedom clarifies why this is compatible with reasonable equality of opportunity (equal freedom) and different from Rawlsian welfare socialism. The level of NIT is only the 'top-up' needed to achieve a FRUGAL level of existence, sufficient to allow a fully functioning body and mind. Much more important in terms of equalising opportunity for all is high quality school education for all children and emergency health care for all.
More later as I find time. This should do for now.