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My next podcast: Stop wasting time on economic reforms, first learn about the principles of governance

After writing this post I decided to explain it verbally.

My next podcast:

Various Indian “intellectuals” spout a lot of puerile nonsense regarding “economic reforms”. Yes, India needs economic reforms but most critical are governance reforms, without which India will remain a lame duck Third World country. We need to learn from Chanakya and we need to learn from Singapore, China, Australia, UK and other countries. The principles of accountability are totally missing in Indian governance. Without accountability we will remain a banana republic. 

 

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Why “intellectuals” like TN Ninan are entirely useless for India’s future – they SIMPLY DON’T UNDERSTAND GOVERNANCE

Someone shared this with me:

MY COMMENTS

I’m afraid Ninan’s understanding is pretty shallow – he says that China undertook “reform”. That’s not true at all. Economic policy reform was a very small part of China’s miracle. Their governance reform and incentives in the bureaucracy have been far more powerful. They have followed the lead of Singapore in terms of accountability. Their bureaucracy is amazingly efficient.

These people, – all of them – are dramatically superficial. He talks about “we don’t have judges”, we have failed in “education” etc. But there is no evidence he understands the BASICS of how a good justice or education system works.

Such people have no clue how the details of government work, and remain pretty shallow in their anlaysis.

Unless someone spends at least half his book on understanding and elaborating on the bureaucracy, we should ignore them. They will not understand what we (SBP) are saying.

We are NOT talking about economic reforms as the key driver of India’s future. India has already had around 50 per cent of the necessary economic reforms. We are talking about governance reforms, about which I’ve not come across anyone in India who can talk sensibly.

We need people who understand why James Tooley was arrested in India, we need those who understand why there is not even the most basic governance and rule of law. An understanding of how this is delivered is unfortunately totally foreign to the Indian mind.

FOLLOW UP COMMENT

We need people who understand: HOW people are hired, fired and promoted. When we ask these questions we will know at once why countries like India perform so badly and countries like Singapore do so well.
Economic policy plays a very small part in overall national performance: Governance design explains most of it.

Chanakya understood this basic point. Please try to understand Arthashatra.

In my view, “economists” or “intellectuals” who can’t apply economics to governance are novices. We should ignore them.

The government’s innards must be examined closely: it is not a black box.

ADDENDUM

I don’t work Thursdays so I took advantage of a stream of thought that started early morning today to record a podcast to support my blog post and the email I’ve sent out to you

This podcast is 30 minutes long, and I consider it to be essential listening for all Indians. Without understanding the basics about governance systems, you, dear Indian, will continue to remain dissatisfied with your life (cf. India ranks close to the bottom of the world in satisfaction with life).

My podcast on governance systems is available here: https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode?id=146161

The talk at a glance:
Various Indian “intellectuals” spout a lot of puerile nonsense regarding “economic reforms”. Yes, India needs economic reforms but most critical are governance reforms, without which India will remain a lame duck Third World country. We need to learn from Chanakya and we need to learn from Singapore, China, Australia, UK and other countries. The principles of accountability are totally missing in Indian governance. Without accountability we will remain a banana republic.

Do share this email and podcast around. It is distressing to see India ignore governance so badly. Seventy years have gone by. When will we start paying attention to detail?

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India is at least 500 years mentally behind the West, so its journey to rationality and prosperity is going to be really slow

On FB, I asked earlier today: Does India have a death wish? What else explains its fascination with socialism?

I think the death wish is explained by the almost total lack of rational thinking in India.

With every passing day it becomes clearer that every assumption I made about India’s potential to succeed was wrong.

Yes, India can – but almost its entire population is severely irrational, hard-wired with belief systems that block any ray of knowledge from entering the people’s minds. There is massive resistance to rational discourse; it is impossible to discuss and debate issues in a manner that is common practice in the West.

Consider the economic way of thinking, which is a subset of the scientific way of thinking. Economic thinking is far more counter-intuitive than physical science, but its underlying dynamic – of investigation – is the same. But Indians are fatally immune to scientific thinking and the economic way of thinking.

Things that are blatantly obvious (“visible” like gravity to the most novice of thinkers) are opaque for Indians to grasp, no matter how many times one explains.

The difference between the West and India is essentially a difference in the level of rationality in the society.

The proportion of the irrational in the West is now around 80 per cent, compared with India’s 99.999999 per cent. (Actually, one can count the rational people of India on one’s finger tips).

The journey of the West to rationality started around 500 years ago. It only takes 3-5 per cent rationality to completely transform a nation. The West achieved that around 250 years ago.

In India the journey to rationality has not even started. It may take it well over 500 years to achieve the state that the West achieved 250 years ago.

The scientific method needs to be taught very young, for it becomes impossible later in life for people to change their beliefs. For India to succeed, its children will need to be first hard wired for rationality. This will include inculcating the economic way of thinking.

I think the project to transform India is going to take a lot more work than I had initially thought.

At the moment, it is clear that Indians’ beliefs are hard wired for failure and therefore nothing much can be done as their cycle of failure repeats endlessly. Totally blocked minds.

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