Thoughts on economics and liberty

Let’s not waste time discussing inequality. Poverty removal is the goal.

Apparently an Indian journalist named P.Sainath has given a talk on "the impact of corporate globalization on Indian society and how Neoliberal policies have increased inequalities and devastating farmers in India" (AAryan, on Facebook). Apparently, "He argues that neoliberal policies have increased inequality and have had devastating affects on the poor, including farmers. His lecture, entitled "Slumdogs vs Millionaires: India in the Age of Inequality", was delivered at York University." [Source]

I really don't read the opinions of Indian journalists; haven't read any of them since the late 1980s. I read Indian academics like Deepak Lal and others (see this list), I read the world's best thinkers on freedom. But no, I don't read Indian journalists since they are over-whelmingly socialists, and confused. My recent experience with Shekhar Gupta wasn't very positive either.

I therefore refuse to listen to Sainath's talk  (linked above). Because I simply don't have time for those who focus on inequality.

(a) I don't care a damn about inequality. I care ONLY about poverty elimination;

(b) We don't have "neoliberal" policies in India; we have a strong underpinning of socialism and corruption – which leads to corrupt business practices and hence vast unethical inequality; and

(c) Whatever little liberalism was displayed in the last 20 years has dramatically reduced poverty. We need more of that. 

Let's not waste time on people who make a big deal about inequality. ONLY socialists care about inequality – but only socialists create  UNETHICAL inequality through corruption. Meritorious inequality is a different matter altogetherThe people of India (like anywhere else) don't care about inequality that is earned meritoriously (e.g. Infosys). They care about poverty removal 100 times more. 

Some of my writings about equality (or inequality)

I've written a lot on this subject and I provide below a few links to these writings, so that the issue of inequality can be given a FINAL burial. We don't need unnecessary distractions in our main goals: removal of poverty, greater freedom, removal of corruption, creation of wealth, etc.

For a detailed discussion of the theory of freedom (and how it is COMPLETELY at odds with the concept of equality), please read chapters 2 and 3 of DOF.

The dangerous idea of equality

Beware the delusions of equality

Eliminating poverty – a liberal solution

Poverty – the natural consequence of socialism

The nonsense of ‘social justice’

Reservations are incompatible with freedom and justice

Injustice of the “Justice of Yesterday” and Social Justice

These articles show why we ought to NEVER consider the concept of equality or inequality. That is totally irrelevant. We are only interested in the levels of freedom – and consequential equal opportunity and removal of poverty.

In brief, I have no intention of reading up or listening to the views of our socialist journalists, particularly if they make a song and dance about "inequality". These fat cats have prospered (just like the corrupt business houses have) in the corrupt socialist governance model of India. Of course they'll talk about inequality, for it suits their political masters, and keeps them in a job – by confusing the "educated" readers of India.

Addendum

http://reason.com/archives/2011/11/01/dont-mind-the-gap

 

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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4 thoughts on “Let’s not waste time discussing inequality. Poverty removal is the goal.
  1. ATUL

    For past weeks I am banging my head on the facts of mobility in various capitalist nations. I do understand that inequality is the natural/logical result of a system based on incentives and as long as safety nets are built into the system there is no moral objection to an unequal society. In fact it is preferable to have an unequal society to keep people motivated for constant uplifting (expanding the size of the pie as we call it) of the society as a whole.
    But a free society where equality of opportunity is guaranteed, we should see a very dynamic mobility in various income classes. European countries definitely are more welfare oriented than US has been in past 100 years but still why do I see the data suggesting that mobility in US is low compared to these societies. About 62 percent of Americans (male and female) raised in the top fifth of incomes stay in the top two-fifths, according to research by the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Similarly, 65 percent born in the bottom fifth stay in the bottom two-fifths. That is considerably higher than UK and Germany and even Canada. I do not have data for the middle ages but I think that , before industrial revolutions these percentage must have been even worse.
    What are your views about equality of opportunity , the true American Dream in US. I am hopeful that there is no systemic issues here with lessaize faire and it could be induced by other mechanisms in the society but I was expecting that a more capitalist (free) society should have better class mobility. Also I was unable to find any studies or data which can put these numbers on a time scale so that I can observe any patterns of increase or decrease in it over the last 200 years.

     
  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    These studies are irrelevant to the principle argument re: equality of opportunity. You DEFINITELY can’t expect 100 per cent mobility each generation. That is a totally irrelevant side-issue and I don’t wish to waste time on it. The key is the opportunity to those who ARE TALENTED AND WORK HARD.

     
  3. ATUL

    I think its more like opportunity to everybody, off-course talented and hard working people will be able to use that opportunity to well affect compared to other people and hence reap better benefits.
    Why I found this data disturbing that most of the causal claims by liberals are actually correct, but this one is becoming more and more of a outlier. Nobody expects 100% mobility, but when claiming that a free liberal society provides an equality of opportunity, then there should be enough correlation between class mobility and degree of liberty. Off-course this hypothesis is hard to verify given there could be other things such as religion, culture, social belief system, racism each affecting social mobility. But that then applies both ways and Free enterprise will not have any evidence based causal relationship with Equality of opportunity.
    I found welfare economists arguing that this is an inherent problem with free enterprise. The people who gain capital (by meritocracy, or otherwise) will have advantage in two forms. First by political nexus they will find ways to hinder other people from getting it. Second their next generations will have accumulated advantage in terms of access to opportunity. For example people with more capital and their offspring will have access to better health-care, better education and better access to knowledge. This will have a direct consequence on equality of opportunity (manifested in the data by class mobility). Most of the Europeans countries have more welfare oriented governments and that is the reason class mobility is better than US.
    I am investing both of these arguments and have found some concrete material on this one finally (a recent book by Gregory Clark, The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility).

     
  4. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    You make wild assumptions here – that ANY society is a liberal/ capiatlist society. Then you jump to further wild conclusions.

    Please be very wary of your assumptions. 

     

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