Thoughts on economics and liberty

India has no choice but to move to the cities

For many years I have pointed out that India can only achieve its potential by moving to the cities. The time for millions of people to work with tiny hoes in villages, digging up one potato at a time from the ground, is long over. The industrial revolution, the services revolution – and information revolution – have changed this long ago.

The world is now moving into the next stage – of automation and robotics. In that stage, the productive powers of mankind will multiply even more – at an unprecedented rate. Virtually all production will be organised through computers – and robots. Most services with a repetitive component (airplane pilots, chauffeurs and taxi drivers, simple medical services, etc.) will become computerised. All of these technologies already exist and are being used, or further refined. The direction of change is irrevocable. That is why a sub-category of the services sector, called robotics, should now be created in economic analysis, and its growth rates chartered separately.

Humans in the West will, from around 2040 onwards, produce almost only high-end "human" services such as painting, music, opera, high-end cuisine, high quality inspirational lectures, child care, old age care, and so on -things that requires a deft human touch. Everything else will be ultimately transferred to machines. 

If you are one of those Indians who want people to "stay in their villages", then history is against you. The data below show how rapidly the share of population engaged in agriculture has fallen in USA, UK and Japan (Source: Maddison's Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD).

Of course, this concept of movement to the cities is not something to be done by force. It should be demand-driven, through free choice. With sufficient freedom (and that includes education) Indians will automatically move to the cities, thus relieving the undue pressure on land, and the severe poverty it entails through unproductive farming techniques. But note that only the Freedom Team of India has the capacity to steer India to this freedom, while ensuring that the quality of life in the cities is significantly enhanced.

 

Total
population
(000s)

Employment
(000s)

Total hours worked (million)

Average years of education per person employed

Land
area
(000 ha.)

Percent of employment in

Agriculture
forestry and
fishery

Industry

Services
USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1820

9,981

3,222

9,666

1.75

463,061

70.0

15.0

15.0

1870

40,241

14,720

43,630

3.92

934,646

50.0

24.4

25.6

1890

63,302

23,937

66,760

5.43

934,646

38.3

23.9

37.8

1913

97,606

38,821

101,129

7.86

937,289

27.5

29.7

42.8

1929

122,245

47,904

112,191

9.11

937,323

21.1

29.4

49.5

1938

130,476

44,906

92,597

9.93

937,323

17.9

31.2

50.9

1950

152,271

61,651

115,102

11.27

939,669

12.9

33.6

53.5

1973

211,909

86,838

149,101

14.58

939,669

4.1

31.2

64.7

1990

250,132

120,960

192,810

17.64

939,669

2.8

25.7

71.5

2003

290,343

139,236

216,638

20.77

939,669

2.0

20.0

78.0
UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1820

21,226

8,160

24,480

2.00

31,427

37.6

32.9

29.5

1870

31,393

13,157

39,260

4.44

31,427

22.7

42.3

35.0

1890

37,485

15,361

43,118

6.11

31,427

16.1

43.2

40.7

1913

45,649

19,884

52,176

8.82

31,427

11.7

44.1

44.2

1929

45,672

18,936

43,288

9.55

24,410

7.7

45.2

47.1

1938

47,494

20,818

47,194

9.99

24,410

5.9

44.0

50.1

1950

50,363

22,400

43,859

10.60

24,410

5.1

44.9

50.0

1973

56,223

25,076

42,328

11.66

24,410

2.9

40.3

56.8

1990

57,493

26,942

44,104

13.81

24,410

2.1

32.2

65.7

2003

60,095

28,716

41,724

15.99

24,410

1.2

23.5

75.3
Japan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1820

31,000

16,819

49,532

1.50

38,256
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.

1870

34,437

18,684

55,024

1.50

38,256

70.1
n.a.
n.a.

1890

40,077

20,305

56,245

2.71

38,256

69.0
n.a.
n.a.

1913

51,672

25,751

66,644

5.36

38,256

60.1

17.5

22.4

1929

63,244

29,332

69,341

6.74

38,256

50.3

20.9

28.8

1938

71,879

32,290

77,205

7.67

38,256

45.2

24.1

30.7

1950

83,805

35,683

77,289

9.11

36,848

48.3

22.6

29.1

1973

108,707

52,590

107,389

12.09

37,780

13.4

37.2

49.4

1990

123,537

62,490

121,293

14.31

37,780

7.2

34.1

58.7

2003

127,214

63,160

108,572

16.78

37,780

4.6

28.8

66.6

 

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