Monday, August 31, 2009

Mainstream Economists Fads in a narrow groove!

Pranab Bardhan on Economics to blame?

  • “Economics has a thriving micro part, which while lacking the immediacy and stridency of business headlines, goes on studying how millions of individual decisions are made and what impact they have on the daily lives of people from America to Zambia; in recent years microeconomics, while not giving up any of its theoretical rigour, has turned more and more to empirical data and new ways of testing hypotheses. In macroeconomics, in the last quarter century or so there has been a healthy turn towards establishing micro-foundations of macroeconomics, basing it ultimately on decisions by individuals rather than on vaguely derived aggregates. But in taking this turn some economists resorted to a kind of hyper-rationality in individual decision-making and ignored informational traps and financial frictions. A whole host of other economists (particularly those specialising in the economics of imperfect information and behavioural finance—fields by now well-established in Economics, and recognised by their own Nobel prizes) have been convincingly criticising this trend, pointing to human frailties (systematic departures from rationality) as well as asymmetries of information among the market participants. In this kind of critique, as in the received theories, economic analysis has sometimes involved complex models that have required mathematical abstractions.”

"Our Constitution has not failed us; we have failed the Constitution."-we mean who?

Excerpts from a speech by West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, at the inauguration of a national seminar on 'Indian Parliamentary Democracy' at Gorky Sadan in Kolkata on July 25.

  • “In an election, it is the candidate's message of the manifesto that is supposed to win the vote. And so it does. But, smiling in its sleeve, so does money. This, of course, is a universal fact and not an Indian phenomenon.
  • One cannot fight an election on good wishes. Expenses have to be incurred; they always have. But the flow of currency in elections has grown from a small stream into a river in spate.
  • Most candidates in India's elections — all honour to them — have kept their heads above the din. But some have authored dictionaries of slang, the etymologies of which are best left unexplored.
  • To lodge a protest against a decision or a move is the right of every citizen or a group of people. It only shows that our society is 'alive' and not 'mechanical'. But the immobilising of an entire area or a state or citizen services by bandhs or blockades is unwisdom — of the lowest and most dangerous kind.

Dr. Y V Reddy model doomed!!

Ila Patnaik has a nice piece on how India fared in the current global financial crisis and shoots people who argues that India was saved from severe financial crisis because of the government and RBI role in controlling everything.

Thus, she concludes:

  • “It is important to recognise that India is a very poor country. We know very little about how to establish institutions or regulate markets that can support a sophisticated economy where a billion people can enjoy high productivity. Nobody in the world wants Indian-style monetary or financial policymaking. Our path ahead lies in learning how fiscal, financial and monetary institutions work in countries where per capita GDP is many times bigger than what we have in India. Our hope for making progress lies in learning these things with an open mind, and demanding a pace of change in India so that we can become more like an OECD country. A villager with no roads may foolishly boast of having no accidents, but he cannot teach people how to regulate traffic on busy intersections. It is important for policy-makers to remember that India has no lessons to offer to regulators operating in the sophisticated world of finance, and proposals suggesting that they should learn our style of regulation only make us look foolish.

Bharatiya Private Property!

As for as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is concerned there is very interesting trend if happening as we all know after the Jaswant Singh book release. The week just gone was filled with Mr. Singh’s book bites! I read a few long essays by Arun Shourie some are extremely important some are just published because there is unlimited space to publish!

The following are few important excerpts from Jaswant Singh interview and Arun Shourie’s essays.

From Jaswant Singh interview:

“Shekhar Gupta: Also interesting because the ban has come from somebody I am sure you and Mr Vajpayee has had a lot of discussion about. Intolerance has to reside some place and it’s the same whether it is to a religion, or an idea, or a book.

Jaswant Singh: I am saddened, you know this irony, that the book has been banned in Gujarat. Tell you the irony of it is there are four very prominent personalities who played a very great role in the freedom struggle and independence and the partition of the country. Three out of the four were from Gujarat. Two of them were katyavadi, the third was a gujarati.

Shekhar Gupta: Right

Jaswant Singh: They accommodated dissent, they disagreed, argued. You should read in this book the correspondents I have cited on the question of dominion status between Jawaharlal Nehru and Gandhi. And Gandhi is advocating, this is 1920s, it was a time when India could have got Dominion staus, independence in that day. Belford declared it. Gandhiji was all for dominion status because he had the experience of dominion status in south Africa. The entire organs, the instruments of governance, the courts of law, house of commons, al that were the dealings. Jawaharlal Nehru had just come back from a European tour, he was full of the fire of socialism, new found socialism. Madhulimay also writes about it

Shekhar Gupta: And sovereignty…full sovereignty

Jaswant Singh: Full sovereignty. Poorna Swaraj. There were only minor dissentions. But that series of letters is marvelous to read now. I wrote a letter and I am found fault with. Gandhi and Jinnah sat together for three weeks in Bombay. And yet, discussing throughout the day, in the evening they might exchange a note or a letter.”

Arun Shourie’s essay titled “A few extracts from the book”. In this essay he has raised some of important questions that the Indian liberal should always remember.

“To assess the anger that the Gujarat government has worked up, ask three questions:

Is it just this book alone that asserts that mistakes by Congress leaders contributed to the outcome? Was that fact not acknowledged by the Congress leaders themselves?

When the book speaks of the vacillations, mistakes and compromises of the Congress leaders does it mean, “the vacillations, mistakes and compromises of the Congress leaders - excluding Sardar Patel”?

Manifestly not. So, is the author guilty of insulting Sardar Patel or not? Should the Gujarat government not, therefore, ban the book? And so, the final question:

Whose book are we talking about?

The book is The Tragedy of Partition by one of the longest-serving and most revered pillars of the RSS, H.V. Seshadri. It is the standard text of the RSS on the Partition. It is sold at every RSS bookshop, and read, its message is internalised, by every RSS swayam sevak.

Now that the Gujarat government knows the name of the author, two further questions:

Is there one passage in Jaswant Singh’s book, even one passage that casts the Sardar’s role into graver doubt than Seshadri’s book?

Is the Sardar’s reputation, in the view of those prancing about to shield it, so fragile that such references as there are in Jaswant Singh’s book or Seshadri’s will undermine it?

Nor is Seshadri’s book alone in documenting the lapses of the Congress leaders. Professor R.C. Majumdar nailed the lapses extensively in lectures that the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan published. He nailed them in his three-volume study, History of the Freedom Movement in India. The lapses are nailed even more firmly in Struggle for Freedom, which forms Volume XI of the great series, The History and Culture of the People of India, ‘prepared under the direction of’, as the cover of each volume says, that other distinguished son of Gujarat, K.M. Munshi — one of the closest associates of the Sardar himself. And they are nailed — not as lapses, but as inexcusable blunders — in the work on the Partition of India of the greatest constitutional scholar we have had since Independence, H.M. Seervai.”

The most important essay is “The ban and the law” in which Arun Shourie discusses who the book is banned without specific reasons.

“The Indian Express (August 23, 2009) reported a senior official of the state’s home department as saying, “The legal department must have gone through the book. I have not read it.” “When contacted, state law secretary M.H. Shah also expressed ignorance about the reason for the ban,” the paper reported. But a ban nonetheless — The moving finger having writ…

But, lo and behold! In the notification banning the book, there is no reference to the Sardar at all! The notification declares, “the contents of the book are highly objectionable and against the national interest... the contents of the book are misleading to the public and are against the tranquility of the public and against the interests of the state” — hence the book is to be forfeited and its publication, display, sale and distribution “and any kind of its use” are prohibited.

The 669-page book was released in Delhi late in the evening on August 17. The ban was announced on the 18th by sojourners in Shimla. The notification by an undersecretary in Gandhinagar is dated August 19. Talk of speed-reading!

Apart from the fact that the ban was manifestly announced before the book was read, the question that arises is: Does a government in India have the right to ban a book because it finds its contents

“highly objectionable” — obviously in the present case in regard to facts, for no one is alleging that the contents are pornographic;

  • “against the national interest”;
  • “misleading to the public”;
  • “against the tranquility of the public”; and
  • “against the interests of the state.”

And can a government ban a book on these grounds without giving any particulars at all?

Most of the grounds that have been listed are so ridiculous that, even a moment’s consideration will show them up. The government of Gujarat thinks that the contents are ‘misleading to the public’? Were that to be a valid ground, the government of Gujarat would have had license to ban almost all newspapers since the post-Godhra riots as it has been deeply convinced that their contents have been grossly ‘misleading to the public’.

‘Against the interests of the state’? Consider a report that calls into question the claims on which a state government has attracted foreign investors. Were it to be circulated, investors would pack up and leave. The report, howsoever well researched, would be ‘against the interests of the state’, would it not? Hence, ban and prohibit and forfeit!

‘Against the national interest’? The lie to this is given by the fact that chief ministers of other states that are under the BJP itself have stated categorically that they are not going to ban the book. Are they oblivious of the national interest?

Gopal Vinayak Godse, the brother of Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, wrote a book. The theme of the book was that Gandhiji had been assassinated for his policy of appeasing the Muslims, which in turn had led to the Partition of India. The Delhi administration passed an order banning and forfeiting the book. The case came before the Bombay High Court. The judgement of the Court shows that it had no doubt at all about the import of the book: citing the book’s arguments and narrative, the Court noted that through these, the assassination had not just been explained, it had in a sense been ‘extolled’. Yet, the Court held in favour of Godse’s brother and, not only held the forfeiture to have been wholly unjustified, it decreed that the administration shall pay the costs of litigation to Godse.

These passages include Godse’s assertion to the effect that Pakistan had been given cash balances at Mahatma Gandhi’s instance, that men and women had been moved by Nathuram Godse’s deed, that they had offered great and spontaneous support to him and his relatives after the assassination, that Sardar Patel had opposed Gandhiji on the payment of cash balances and so on.

  • “Pyarelal’s book bears out the petitioner in a large measure and in any event no charge can be made against him that in regard to the events surrounding the fact history has been distorted by him. It is also necessary to remember that if the claim of an author that he is an historian is not fully borne out, one cannot infer from that alone that the author had an oblique intention in straying from the strict path of history. Much less can one infer that such an oblique intention was of the nature mentioned in Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code.”

It repeatedly dismisses the pleas of the prosecution regarding several passages by affirming that sentences and passages cannot be torn out of context to make a fanciful charge stick. As the Court puts it: “A passage here or a passage there, a sentence here or a sentence there, a word similarly, may, if strained and torn out of context, supply inflammatory matter to a willing mind. But such a process is impermissible. We must read the book as a whole, we must not ignore the context of a passage and we must try and see what, reasonably, would be the reaction of the common reader?”

Another well-known case, M/s Varsha Publication Pvt. Ltd. vs State of Maharashtra, provides an even more exact. What the Court said in this case has a direct bearing on a book such as that of Jaswant Singh, a book that advances a thesis that is at variance with much of what we have been brought up to believe. The Court held,

  • “We have already observed that the very purpose of writing the article is a sort of historical research and it is based on a number of reference books and other material. It is true that sometimes in a given case even a truthful account may come within the mischief of S. 153A. But this will be too broad a proposition. Different considerations will prevail when we are to consider a scholarly article on history and religion based upon research with the help of a number of reference books. It will be very difficult for the state to contend that a narration of history would promote violence, enmity or hatred. If such a convention is accepted, a day will come when that part of history which is unpalatable to a particular religion will have to be kept in cold storage on the pretext that the publication of such history would constitute an offence punishable under S. 153A of the IPC. We do not think that the scope of S. 153A can be enlarged to such an extent with a view to thwart history. For obvious reasons, history and historical events cannot be allowed to be looked upon as a secret on a specious plea that if the history is made known to a person who is interested to know the history, there is likelihood of someone else being hurt. Similarly, an article containing a historical research cannot be allowed to be thwarted on such a plea that the publication of such a material would be hit by S. 153A. Otherwise, the position will be very precarious. A nation will have to forget its own history and in due course the nation will have no history at all.”

Transpose these observations to Jaswant Singh’s book — the endnotes of which alone, listing sources and explanations for each observation and event, traverse sixty-seven pages. The Court continued,

  • “This result cannot be said to have been intended by the Legislature when S. 153A of the IPC and S. 95 of the Cr. P.C. were enacted [exactly the two sections invoked in the Gujarat government’s notification!]. If anybody intends to extinguish the history (by prohibiting its publication) of the nation on the pretext of taking action under the above Section his act will have to be treated as a mala fide one.”

The Customs confiscated them, and banned their distribution, etc. The Supreme Court came down heavily on the Customs and its notification. It observed,

  • “It would be seen immediately that the confiscation orders are totally bald and devoid of any findings in terms of Notification No. 77. The order does not say which of the books fall within the mischief of which clause of the notification. It is not as if the notification proscribes these books by name, i.e., by title. It only says that import of books containing matter of the nature mentioned therein is prohibited. The books imported are writings, speeches and works of Mao, besides the works of Marx, Engels and Lenin. If they were proposed to be confiscated, it was obligatory upon the authority to say which book contained words of the nature mentioned in the notification.”

How does the Gujarat government’s notification banning Jaswant Singh’s book stand against this requirement?

In Jaswant Singh’s case the notification banning the book has come without any inquiry, to say nothing of even the semblance of a show cause notice. In the case we are considering, a show cause had been issued. The Court came down on it for the same reason — it had nothing specific in it. The Supreme Court held,

The show-cause notices themselves are bald and drawn up in a casual manner. It must be remembered that the order of confiscation affects not only the fundamental right of the petitioner to carry on his occupation and business but also his fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression (including his freedom to propagate the thoughts and ideas which he thinks are in the best interest of this nation). In such a case, it was required of the officer to point out which book contains words, signs or visible representations which are likely to incite or encourage any person to resort to violence or sabotage for the purpose of overthrowing or undermining the Government established by law in India or in any State thereof or its authority in any area or that they attract any of the other clauses in Notification No. 77. Absence of such specification both in the show-cause notices and the final orders must be held to vitiate the action taken.”

And when, far from the show cause notice not recording any particulars, the notice itself has not been issued at all?

Nor was that all. What the Supreme Court went on to say has an even more direct bearing on what the Gujarat government has done. It held,

  • “Before parting with this case, we must express our unhappiness with attempts at thought control in a democratic society like ours. Human history is witness to the fact that all evolution and all progress is because of power of thought and that every attempt at thought control is doomed to failure. An idea can never be killed. Suppression can never be a successful permanent policy. Any surface serenity it creates is a false one. It will erupt one day. Our Constitution permits a free trade, if we can use the expression, in ideas and ideologies. It guarantees freedom of thought and expression - the only limitation being a law in terms of clause (2) of Article 19 of the Constitution. Thought control is alien to our constitutional scheme?”

The court declared, “It is our firm belief, nay, a conviction which constitutes one of the basic values of a free society to which we are wedded under our Constitution that there must be freedom not only for the thought that we cherish, but also for the thought that we hate.” And this is not to be an abstract commitment. The Court held that the danger which is alleged to be liable to follow the dissemination of an idea must not be remote, conjectural or far-fetched; it must be proximate and it must have a direct nexus with what is being said or exhibited. To warrant restriction by the state, “The expression of thought should be intrinsically dangerous to the public interests. In other words, the expression should be inseparably locked up with the action contemplated like the equivalent of a ‘spark in a powder keg.’”

The Court concluded its judgment with words which apply in particular to the sort of circumstances which we are considering. It said:

  • “Freedom of expression which is legitimate and constitutionally protected, cannot be held to ransom by an intolerant group of people. The fundamental freedom under Article 19(1)(a) can be reasonably restricted only for the purposes mentioned in Article 19(2) and the restriction must be justified on the anvil of necessity and not the quicksand of convenience or expediency. Open criticism of government policies and operations is not a ground for restricting expression. We must practice tolerance to the views of others. Intolerance is as much dangerous to democracy as to the person himself.”

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rani’s Secretes & Lies!

My time spend on last Sunday was probably memorable. I attended the Jaishree Misra’s new book release. It was a great learning and fun in meeting people like her. I never read her novel. She has written five novels including the new one Secretes & Lies. Among them one was biographic kind of story.

The moderator was another writer Ira Pande whose seems to be a liberal in thinking. She ran a quick conversation with Ms. Misra.

Her take on new book:

  • "The book is about four school friends - Anita, Zeba, Bubbles and Sam - whose friendship, forged in a posh Delhi girls' school, spans over 20 years. Intelligent, beautiful and secretive, the four come together for a school reunion to confront a terrible secret that has haunted them all their lives - friend Lily D'Souza's mysterious death on the night of the school prom," Jaishree said.
  • "I am very close to my school friends and try to stay in touch. I enjoyed writing this book. It brought my school days alive. But it is a shade dark - there are at least three deaths in the book which help carry the story forward," said a former BBC journalist, Jaishree.

Misra’s previous book “Rani” was banned in Uttar Pradesh in 2008 for “contained “very objectionable” references towards Laxmibai and must be banned forthwith.

But what did she said both when it was banned and on this book release was “I’m very happy with the ban; it has helped sales,”

Misra also mentioned during her conversation that Laxmibai’s husband was homosexual but history has not recorded it.

The other most interesting thing may be strange or true that’s different. But the fact is that the mobs support for a book ban is folly because everybody is not ready to read the book before supporting or accepting the ban.

Ira Pande also mentioned that this was the kind of response was developed by socialist and communist propagator in India after its political independence that eventually killed many new liberal writers, thinkers, ideas, she said.

This is what happening now with Jaswant Singh’s book "Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence".

The State is Against on Migration

Source: Businessworld

While writing in Business World on “The Flip Side Of NREGS” Anilesh S. Mahajan And Vishal Krishna says “The phenomenon is not limited to Bihar. Workers from states such as Karnataka, Kerala and Gujarat are also not migrating to other states. Reason: the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), which assures 100-day employment to the rural poor at minimum Rs 100 a day, has ensured that poor people have some income to bank on, eliminating the need to move out.”

In my view migration is a other kind of globalisation which is good for both the parties and there is no such thing as zero-ism game here. But The State assumes that there is a zero-ism game here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mr.Guha’s bites on Professor F. A .Hayek and how India would have progressed if C Rajagopalachari had been India’s first prime minister instead of Jaw

The later musing is of Indiauncut blogger Amit Verma! I indeed mused similarly for long back.

Mr Guha wrote in 2007 in the Telegraph that:

  • "Milton Friedman, and Friedrich Hayek before him, floated the fantastic theory that those who believe in a free market necessarily believe in freedom of political choice. I say “fantastic” because this theory has been violated by countless dictators from Antonio Salazar to Augusto Pinochet, the violations encouraged, at every step, by factory-owners seeking to safeguard the operations of their factories from prying reporters of self-organized workers. The Hayek-Friedman thesis is also decisively repudiated by the governments of their own countries, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. These have always found dictators easier to deal with, and especially to sign arms and other contracts with. Here, too, the denial of democracy has been silently — and sometimes not so silently — hailed by the capitalist class."

The other interesting musings is from Ashok V Desai article in the same newspaper in six months latter.

  • “Industry in pre-independence India was concentrated around Calcutta in the east, Bombay in the west and Madras in the south. Of the three, industry in Calcutta was largely owned by the British. The Bombay and Madras presidencies were the home of Indian business, and the nationalists amongst them knew Congressmen from their provinces best. Of the latter, Vallabhbhai Patel and C. Rajagopalachari were the most prominent. By comparison, the north and the east were poor in patriotic industrialists.
  • Patel and Nehru were the two leaders closest to Gandhiji, most likely to succeed him. Gandhiji chose Nehru for prime ministership when the Congress was asked to join an interim government in 1946, and asked Patel to take a backseat. Patel died in 1950. In 1951, Nehru’s government introduced industrial licensing, and later used it to create government monopolies in a series of industries, including heavy machinery, fertilizer, coal, shipping and aircraft, and prevent new private entry into industries such as steel. In protest, Rajaji left the Congress in 1959 and founded the Swatantra Party. The tide of nationalization lasted into the Seventies, when banks were taken over; it ended only with the defeat of Indira Gandhi in 1977.
  • Suppose that instead of Nehru, Gandhiji had chosen Patel as prime minister, and that Nehru had walked out of the Congress and started a socialist party in the Fifties: how would that have changed India’s fate?
  • It would be wrong to think that Patel’s government in the Fifties would have been a liberal government in the modern sense. Patel, Rajaji and Nehru shared a common experience of British rule and apprenticeship with Gandhiji. The Indian economy was very different then — it was much poorer and less industrialized, and government was less important — its revenue was just 5 per cent of the gross domestic product. The government faced certain immediate problems; a liberal government would have approached them more or less as Nehru did. For instance, it would have had to tackle the problem of resettling refugees from Pakistan. There were no liberal alternatives to housing, feeding and supporting them.

I really don’t understand the above few lines saying that “a liberal government would have approached them more or less as Nehru did.” The today’s generation will think otherwise. But people like Sauvik, Deepak Lal, etc can say there musings that will be more interesting!

  • It is likely that a Patel government would have taken recourse to PL-480, although it might have increased domestic agricultural production more by leaving agriculture freer to market incentives. India might, for instance, have produced more cotton — that would have helped the textile industry, which then was large and competitive.
  • But it is fair to assume that a Patel government would have dismantled the import controls inherited from the War, and would not have introduced industrial licensing. During the War, India supplied a large volume of goods and services to Britain, which ran up a huge debt in the form of sterling balances. These were inconvertible into dollars because Britain had bought even more from the US without paying for it. But India could have used them to import anything from the Commonwealth — for instance, wheat from Australia, and machinery from Britain. India ran up an export surplus during the Korean War; it had so much foreign currency in 1950 that almost everything was on Open General Licence — that is, almost everything could be imported without a licence. So if the government had not launched the forced industrialization programme of 1956, if it had not wasted the sterling balances on building steel and heavy engineering plants, it could have maintained an open import regime throughout.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On the street law today and in then

Bruno Leon was an Italian classical-liberal political philosopher and lawyer.


“In reality, the law is something which is not pre-fabricated in some specially-designated place, by some specially-designated producer and with some pre-established technique. In much the same way, no followers of the artificial languages such as Esperanto and Volapuk have yet succeeded in finding a substitute for the language that we speak every day, which also is not pre-fabricated. The law is in the last analysis something which everyone makes every day with his behavior, his spontaneous acceptance and observance of the rules that everyone helps to establish, and finally, even if it seems paradoxical, with the disagreements themselves which eventually arise among the various individuals on the observance of these rules.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Great Escape

Thomas Sowell on The Great Escape: Much harm results when we run from personal responsibility.

  • “Many of the issues of our times are hard to understand without understanding the vision of the world that they are part of. Whether the particular issue is education, economics, or medical care, the preferred explanation tends to be an external explanation — that is, something outside the control of the individuals directly involved.
  • Education is usually discussed in terms of the money spent on it, the teaching methods used, class sizes, or the way the whole system is organized. Students are discussed largely as passive recipients of good or bad education.
  • But education is not something that can be given to anybody. It is something that students either acquire or fail to acquire. Personal responsibility may be ignored or downplayed in this “non-judgmental” age, but it remains a major factor nevertheless.”

Wicked clime for global warming

Deepak Lal on “Spiking the road to Copenhagen

  • “The Western obsession with curbing carbon emissions is wicked and also economically foolish,
  • Three cheers for Jairam Ramesh! India at last has an environment minister who is willing and able to denounce the hypocrisy and immorality of the West in twisting the arms of India and China to curb their carbon emissions. He is right to make it clear that India has no intention of signing the new ‘climate change’ treaty in Copenhagen in December, which would put curbs on the carbon emissions of the Third World. If they do not comply they are being threatened by the draft bill going through the US Congress to levy carbon tariffs on their exports.
  • ……..until technological advances can allow alternative ‘green’ energy sources to compete with the fossil fuels, whose use is gradually eliminating poverty in the Third World as in the West’s own ascent from poverty, a call to put any curbs on carbon emissions is in fact to condemn their billions to continuing poverty. Whilst numerous Western economists and do-gooders shed crocodile tears about the Third World’s poor, they are willing at the same time to prevent them from taking the only feasible current route out from this abject state. Nothing is more hypocritical and immoral than rich Westerners driving their gas-guzzling SUVs emoting about the threat to Spaceship Earth from the millions of Indians who want to drive Nanos.
  • A study of the costs to the Indian poor of curbing carbon emissions has estimated that, over a 30-year time horizon, with a 10 per cent annual emission restriction the number of poor increases by 21 per cent, even in the short run, and by nearly 50 per cent for a 30 per cent annual emission reduction (Murthy, Panda, Parikh: ‘CO2 emission reduction strategies and economic development of India’, Margin, 2007). Those development economists and sundry celebrities, who on the one hand, want to see the end of world poverty and on the other, to curb Third World carbon emissions, should be ashamed of themselves for advocating the latter path which will make the former goal impossible to achieve.
  • This new and growing scientific evidence that human CO2 emissions have little to do with climate change makes the current Western political obsession to curb carbon emissions at a vast economic cost extremely foolish. For India it would mean not only reversing the current trends in poverty alleviation, but a vast increase in the numbers of the poor who would otherwise be pulled out of poverty. India should have nothing to do with Copenhagen. If this means there is no climate change treaty, it might also save the West from its current path to committing economic hara-kiri.

Indeed, Ayn Rand also argued in the 70s in her book The Anti-Industrial Revolution that the “technological advances can allow alternative …..sources to compete …..eliminating poverty in the Third World

Ramachandra Guha, F. A. Hayek and B. R. Shenoy

Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi

The following passages are from Guha’s article "The LSE and India" Published in The Hindu in 2003.

  • “The LSE's connection with State socialism is well known. Less well known, at least in India, is that for many years the School was also home to three of the greatest opponents of socialism. One was a home-grown Englishman, the conservative political theorist Michael Oakeshott. The other two were exiles from Eastern Europe, the economist Frederick Hayek and the philosopher Karl Popper. Both men had experienced at first-hand the horrors of totalitarian rule, which made them lifelong opponents of the nanny state. It was at the LSE that Hayek wrote his classic The Road to Serfdom, and it was also at the LSE that Popper wrote his two-volume magnum opus, The Open Society and its Enemies. Both works argued that the search for liberty and freedom would require us to rely less on government and more on private enterprise.
  • The LSE did indeed have a deep impact on the policies and politics of independent India. I forget who it is was who said, speaking of the 1950s, that "in every meeting of the Indian Cabinet there is a chair reserved for the ghost of Professor Harold Laski".
  • Without question, India's two most influential Prime Ministers have been Jawarharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. One graduated from Cambridge; the other studied in, but failed to graduate from, Oxford. However, the policies of Nehru and Mrs. Gandhi were profoundly shaped by ideas first articulated by the kind of progressive British intellectual once identified with the LSE. Notably, both father and daughter relied heavily on advisers who had studied at the School; V.K. Krishna Menon in the one case, P.N. Haskar and B.K. Nehru in the other.
  • Did the political economy of the Webb-Laski kind have, on the whole, a beneficial impact on India? Or should we have, from the first, followed the alternate Hayek-Popper model of economic development? These are open questions, to be answered by time or by those more qualified than myself. But I do wish now to bring to the reader's attention a man from the LSE whose work had an unambiguously positive impact on independent India. This is a Sardar Tarlok Singh, who studied economics at the LSE before joining the Indian Civil Service in the 1930s. He then developed a keen interest in rural development, and in 1945 published Poverty and Social Change, a book advocating an "economic reorganisation of rural society" on cooperative lines.

What is missed in this article is the Professor B. R. Shenoy who also studied in LSE and was great Indian liberal economist and academician.

Further reading:

The Results of Planning in India by B. R. Shenoy

Professor B.R. Shenoy (1905-78)

Prof Shenoy book some contents

B. R. Shenoy: Stature and Impact by Peter Bbauer

What To Do about the Planning Commission? by Vasant G. Gandhi

Of liberalism and liberalisation by S.V.Raju

Radical and visionary economist by S. Venkitaramanan

Planning for failure: The Tenth Five Year Plan has missed virtually all targets! Why has planning been a failure in India?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ramachandra Guha’s bad understanding about F A Hayek!

Mr Ramachandra Guha had written something on F A Hayek in his book “India After Gandhi” published in 2007. It has some nasty view on Professor F.A.Hayek!

In way I’m astonished to see such a comment on Professor F. A. Hayek who made many discoveries in Economics. I’m very sad to see the following paragraph from the book in page number 221:

  • “….there were dissenters. In the West there was Friedrich Hayek, who advocated a retreat of the state from economic activity. His ideas, however, were treated with benign –and sometimes not-so- benign –contempt. (He could not even get a position in the Department of Economics in the University of Chicago, being placed instead in the ‘Committee on Social Thought.’)”

Why one need to be a professor of university to make a debate? Why everybody need to be a professor of particular university?

Of course I can not compare with anyone but take for example:

Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Suman K. Bery never had a PhD degree nor taught any university! In fact Mr Bery has been exposing as a PhD holder for sometime. Don’t you think these people are not writing, debating on social and economic issues?

I have read many of Professor F A Hayek writings including the most important one

The younger generations choose ideas based on the well know teachers, writers, leaders, etc and most importantly people who have commented honestly and rightly.

How do you know he or she writes honestly?

If you read carefully and keep on observing any persons works defiantly one can figure out what he or she is talking about.

Way back in 2002 Anand Chandavarkar reviewed a book Friedrich Hayek (A Biography) by Alan Ebenstein in the EPW (19 January). Anand’s review is titled as “Did Hayek Deserve the Nobel Prize?”. From the title alone you can think what kind of review this guy going to give for readers certainly I’m not shocked in way because many in Indian academic community did not want to see some ideas at all.

When I heard first about this article I felt what nonsense. But certainly there was a another professor quite shockingly the Indian professor late P R Brahmananda wrote a short commentary (Hayek’s Nobel Prize) such a beautifully in the EPW on 9 February 2002 .

I will take you to some of interesting paras:

  • "I be permitted to point out a few of Hayek’s contributions, mostly in money and capital theory, which are deemed as sufficiently original to make him richly deserve the Nobel Prize in economics
  • There is no such thing as a general price level, since different sets of prices do not all move together at the same rate and in the same direction; he distinguished between the prices of consumption goods and the prices of capital goods and works in process; the process of excessive credit expansion leading to a lower rate of interest than otherwise would lead to a shift in the allocation of resources between consumption goods and capital goods.
  • The relative prices of the former will fall and the relative prices of the latter will go up. Similarly, when the credit flow becomes more scarce than otherwise, the rate of interest will become higher than otherwise and this will lead to a relative reduction in the prices of capital goods and a relative rise in the prices of consumption goods.
  • When the quantity of money increases or decreases due to excessive credit expansion or credit contraction, the time structure of production gets disturbed and changes towards processes involving a greater distance of time between primary inputs and consumption goods when the interest rate is artificially lowered and changes towards processes involving a shorter distance of time between primary inputs and consumption goods when the rate of interest is artificially raised.
  • The role of money when it is excessive or deficient is to tilt the rate of interest from its natural level and to cause elongation and shortenings of the time structure of production; hence, money’s neutrality towards the choice between production processes of different time lengths between inputs and consumption goods is disturbed.
  • Hayek was among the first to emphasise the saving in potential transaction costs to society emerging from decentralised decision-making. No central authority can have the knowledge and information available to myriad micro units in an economy. Hence, from an efficiency angle, central planning with a totalitarian approach can make errors in choices in production including in investments.
  • Hayek’s concept of competition as a process and not as an equilibrium is a very important contribution by itself.
  • May I also mention that Hayek’s name is associated with that of the distinguished psychologist Hebb in the matter of external impulses/stimuli/ shocks, etc, affecting the nerves in the brain which tend to store and use such information. Thus the link between external environment and the internal working of the nervous system in the brain is supposed to have been first perceived by Hayek and his name is prominent in the world of modern psychology."

Indian Institute of Catallactic!

Our great Indian liberal Economist Sauvik has good piece on Indian Austrian Economists and Economics!

Important excerpts

  • Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University has produced the chief ideologue of the Maoists running Nepal today. Parliament has recently passed The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act. Yet, I sincerely doubt the administrative capacity of this state to implement this evil agenda. There are already hundreds of thousands of "unrecognized" schools for poor children operating throughout India, as James Tooley’s studies have documented. Poor parents prefer to send their children to these unrecognized private schools because they see government schools as the pathway to failure in the great game of life.
  • India is a nation of over a billion people and the vast majority is young. They are witnessing the success of the market economy and they seek their future in it. Finding mainstream economics irrelevant, they turn to management institutes. But these teaching shops do not teach them any economics at all. They therefore come out "trained" as managers who cannot fathom how an economy really works. I say this from personal experience. Over the years, I have delivered lectures in many prominent management schools throughout India, and the ignorance on economics they cultivate has never ceased to astound me.

The Road to Poverty Reduction is ROAD, ROAD, ROAD, ROAD, ROAD, ROAD!!!!

P. Raghavan has a good piece on the Country Road will Take Them Home”.

Some excerpts:

  • “A World Bank study showed that rural road connectivity typically raises village income between 50-100%. That’s an income cushion for villages that didn’t exist before, when rains were patchy.
  • The most important effect in this category is the increase in farm land prices that follow road building. According to the World Bank, land prices go up by 60% to 80% on an average. This along with the greater access to organised sector credit from banks multiplies farmer’s ability to raise resources—a crucial weapon for a farmer looking to open up new revenue streams.
  • Basically, roads open up new opportunities to earn income from non-farm activities. The most rudimentary among them is the ability to travel to larger habitations close by and hire themselves out for higher wages. New roads, the Bank study shows, also open up new non-farm employment opportunities within habitations. The more resourceful rural households diversify and invest their resources in new activities like food processing, transport and marketing.
  • A study made in the Indian context during the late nineties showed that each investment of a million rupees (at constant 1993 prices) on roads helped 165 persons to cross the poverty line. At a macro level it estimated that Rs 100 billion of investments in roads would increase productivity growth by more than 3%. These are impressive numbers. And more such studies are required.”

Friday, August 21, 2009

Professor F. A. Hayek, Mr Jinnah and Kashmir!

In the middle of 2006 I went to Kashmir to present a research paper on ‘Indian Urban Issues’ at an International Conference on ‘Federalism at Work’ the principle organizer was ISS. But what I still remember from that visit is a former Finance Minister of Pakistan addressed a session where he answered a student question:

The question was: How nations become developed?

His answer was “the particular nation become developed when every individual in that country have freedom of life, liberty and property”. Moreover, he stressed by saying that every individual should have choice to act without violating others freedom. I was a bit confused in that time because I was not aware of most of Professor F A Hayek’s works and other Austrian School of Economics.

Now several issues are mounting on Mr. Jinnah after the release of new book by Mr Jaswant Singh

Today The Hindu has published its editorial of September 13, 1948 titled ‘Mr. Jinnah. This was published two days after the death of the founder of Pakistan.

  • Pakistan began with Iqbal as a poetic fancy. Rahmat Ali and his English allies at Cambridge provided it with ideology and dogma.
  • Two world wars within a generation, bringing in their train a vast proliferation of nation-States as well as the decay of established Imperialisms and the rise of the Totalitarian Idea, were as much responsible for the emergence of Pakistan as the aggressive communalism to which Mr. Jinnah gave point and direction.

Mr.T.C.A argues “one does wonder why hyphens were used in the title instead of the usual commas.” If you wanted to know more about the above line you should read the book called “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation” by Lynne Truss. I have just completed reading this book, its great learning and of course fun with words and punctuation. You will get answer for the following questions! The full stop is female or male? The comma is male or female? How did punctuation inserted into a language?

But one thing I’m sure there are ‘spontaneous order’ in the invention of punctuation development and the use in it even now. Too there is a war in use of particular punctuation.

So back to Professor F. A. Hayek why Hayek matter again and again because for certain ideas he is the underpinning giant of liberalism!

When asked about "What's the single most important thing to learn from an economics course today?" Economist Lawrence Summers said in an interview for "The Commanding Heights” "What I tried to leave my students with is the view that the invisible hand is more powerful than the hidden hand. Things will happen in well-organized efforts without direction, controls, plans. That's the consensus among economists. That's the Hayek legacy."

Mr Bruce Caldwell who is the author of “Hayek's Challenge An Intellectual Biography of F.A. Hayek” says many interesting insights about Professor Hayek’s ideas, the good, the ugly and the bad!

Mr. Bruce says;

  • “I think, of the unique blending of perspectives and viewpoints that would emerge in his own thought, a blending that resulted in a thoroughly modernist critique of the scientistic pretensions of his age and yet simultaneously pointed toward some surprising (some might even label them postmodern) new directions.

If we had listened to Rajaji and Masani!

As Sauvik has already commented on Jaithirth Rao’s article for demolishing Professor Amartya Sen’s latest book, however, the following paragraphs are quite noteworthy.

  • It was Rajagopalachari and Masani (not leftists, but thinkers genuinely concerned about “Nyaya” for the poor) who had pointed out that the fundamental right to property protects the poor more than the rich. The rich never had a problem with the leftist permit-licence “Niti”. The empiricist in Sen should be aware that some forty years ago the Dutt and Hazari Commissions established that moneyed business houses benefited most from the crony capitalism inherent in the policies that the Left would like to revive today. If we had listened to Rajaji and Masani and not to the Left, “property” would still be a fundamental right and the common law principle that the state cannot take from Peter to give to Paul would have prevailed. To attempt to take from a poor peasant to give to an Indonesian chemical firm or an Indian automobile firm would not have been permissible. But since “property” is not a fundamental right our executive branch need have no fears in pursuing reverse Robin Hood policies of taking from the poor and giving to the rich. Then and now it is Rajaji, Masani and their intellectual descendants who have been on the side of both right “Niti” and “Nyaya”.
  • Sen has noted that one of the positive fallouts of high economic growth is growth in government revenues which can then be deployed in imaginative anti-poverty programmes like the NREGA. One of the engines of high growth in the last decade and a half has been the computer software industry. Many of us have not forgotten that the Left parties bitterly opposed computers and delayed their introduction for years on end. One could argue that they set the whole growth process back for at least a generation. It is really ironical today to meet an old trade union veteran of the leftist persuasion who sheepishly admits that both his daughter and son-in-law are computer programmers. And that’s just what happened to me the other day!
  • Professor Sen: You have just written what could be the most important treatise in political philosophy of the first decade of this century. Please do us a favour and do yourself one. Do not praise the Left and confer on “adharmic anyayis” the respectability they do not deserve.

Test Your Classical Knowledge

Has your classical knowledge stood the test of time?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Teachings of Prof. S. Ambirajan: From statistics to truth

Excerpts from “From statistics to truth” By S. Ambirajan

  • “Indians are usually credited with possessing extraordinary capacity for dealing with numbers, and rightly so because from the early days of our civilisation, when the unknown Indian discovered zero, to our own times, which produced the genius of Ramanujan, we have had countless mathematicians and statisticians. In spite of all this, our official statistics have nothing much to celebrate about. It has caused much harm and not a little confusion. At least one of the reasons for the downfall of national economic planning in our country is the faulty data base with which our planners and bureaucrats had to work. In recent times, much confusion has arisen as a result of our inability to statistically demonstrate the impact of the reform programme in many areas. Quite contrary conclusions have been squeezed out to suit the particular preferences of the analysts. The unreliable statistics may prove a boon to academic economists/ statisticians to make prosperous careers out of correcting and interpreting the available data but official statistics are far too serious a business.
  • This was brought home when a semi-literate process worker told me, in reply to the usual defence of increased bus fares by comparing them to statistics from other States, ``Sir, the politicians can prove anything with numbers. Can we believe them?''
  • ``You academics take these figures at their face value. It is all fudged as always and I am trying to figure it out''. Perhaps this is nothing unusual as a judge admonished a young civil servant during the hey day of the British Raj when the latter referred to some official statistics: ``When you are a bit older, you will not quote Indian statistics with that assurance. The Governments are very keen on amassing statistics - they collect them, add them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams. But what you must never forget is that every one of these figures comes in the first instance from the village chowkydar who just puts down what he damn pleases.''
  • The fact that the Government has the power over all these stages of data gathering, gives it plenty of opportunities to use statistics to its own advantage. An extreme example of this was provided by the Director of the Chinese State Statistical Bureau, Chia Chi-Yun, during the Cultural Revolution: ``If statistical material does not express a clear political idea but merely reflects real conditions, then obviously it will be used by the enemy... Our statistical reports must reflect... the Party's general line... Statistical work must be something which when the party is using it does not cause embarrassment... Victory is nine fingers, defeat is only the tenth... This tenth is also part of the reality, but.. The question is from what standpoint this one finger is presented and to whom it is presented.'' even if our Governments during the last half a century have not been so blatantly partisan, they have used data to suit their convenience.
  • One very clear case of partisanship is withholding of publication due to what the Government considers `sensitive' or making access to it impossible for individual researchers. Apart from the problem of inadequate professional competence and individual idiosyncracies of statistical personnel from top to bottom, there is the question of political bias in the collection of information. Thus the decision not to collect statistics relating to caste during the population censuses since 1951 was essentially political.
  • All this means that the Indian statistical system is seriously flawed.

Keynes and Hayek

There is a very good lecture by Bruce Caldwell on Keynes and Hayek

Vajpayee -Mujhe itni oonchaie kabhi mat dena, gairon ko gale na lago sakon, itni rukhai kabhi mat dena!

Pratap Bhanu Mehta on Jaswant Singh book Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence

  • “The book’s big villains are the Congress party and Jawaharlal Nehru, both of whom are indicted as being driven by a combination of dogmatism, attraction for power, excessive centralisation and deep historical misjudgment. Yes, Sardar Patel has been thrown into the mix. But it is hard to think of Patel as anything but a Congressman. How the BJP managed to claim him is a mystery. The book also poses the question whether Islam has the room for separating religion and society. And if it does not, what is the prospect for secularism. This is a very BJP-compatible line of inquiry. And it rather cleverly insinuates the thought that the difference between Jinnah and the Congress was not that one believed the two-nation theory and the other did not. It is that the Congress also did not have room for the thought that our rights and obligations should be independent of religious affiliations. And, at its most subtle, it suggests that denying the two-nation theory does not do away with the thorny problem of how we conceptualise the relationship between Hindus and Muslims. The Congress wishes this question away rather than solving it.

“Lord Mountbatten: I tried every trick I could play... to shake Jinnah's resolve….Nothing would…move him from his consuming determination to realise the dream of Pakistan...The date I chose (for Independence) came out of the blue. I was determined to show I was master of the whole event.

Excerpts from Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence by Jaswant Singh:

  • "The basic and structural fault in Jinnah's notion remains a rejection of his origins; of being an Indian, having been shaped by the soil of India, tempered in the heat of Indian experience. Muslims in India were no doubt subscribers to a different faith but that is all; they were not any different stock or of alien origin."
  • "It is in this, a false 'minority syndrome' that the dry rot of partition first set in, and then unstoppably it afflicted the entire structure, the magnificent edifice of an united India. The answer (cure?), Jinnah asserted, lay only in parting, and Nehru and Patel and others of the Congress also finally agreed. Thus was born Pakistan".
  • "His opposition was not against the Hindus or Hinduism, it was the Congress that he considered as the true political rival of the Muslim League, and the League he considered as being just an 'extension of himself'. He, of course, made much of the Hindu-Muslim riots (1946; Bengal, Bihar, etc.) to 'prove the incapacity of Congress Governments to protect Muslims; and also expressed fear of "Hindu raj" to frighten Muslims into joining the League, but during innumerable conversations with him I can rarely recall him attacking Hindus or Hinduism as such. His opposition, which later developed into almost hatred, remained focused upon the Congress leadership' (M.R.A. Baig, Jinnah's secretary)."
  • "Religion in all this was entirely incidental; Pakistan alone gave him all that his personality and character demanded. If Mr. Jinnah was necessary for achieving Pakistan, Pakistan, too was necessary for the fulfilment of Mr. Jinnah."
  • "However, it has to be said, and with great sadness, that despite some early indications to the contrary, the leaders of the Indian National Congress, in the period between the outbreak of war in 1939 and the country's partition in 1947, showed in general, a sad lack of realism, of foresight, of purpose and of will."
  • "As (Maulana Azad) wrote in his memoirs, he had come to the conclusion that Indian federation should deal with just three subjects: defence, foreign affairs and communications; thus granting the maximum possible autonomy to the provinces. According to the Maulana, Gandhi accepted this suggestion, while Sardar Patel did not."
  • "For, along with several other there is one central difficult that India, Pakistan, Bangladesh face: our 'past' has, in reality never gone into the 'past', it continues to reinvent itself, constantly becoming our 'present', thus preventing us from escaping the imprisonment of memories. To this we have to find an answer, who else can or will?"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Low probability but high-impact

Niranjan Rajadhyaksha on “economic instability is more likely in nations with weak institutions. Democracy is one of them: Others have shown that democratic countries experience less economic volatility than dictatorships.

India's hamstrung visionary

First I came to know about Chacha Manmohan Singh as an economist through my Prof Dr. R. Arunachalam, Ph.D who was my adviser during Masters in Economics. He asked to read one of Mr Singh’s article on The Emerging New World Order. It was good read.

Recently The Economist’s Banyan carried a piece on Chacha Manmohan Singh some excerpts from that piece.

  • WHILE sipping syrupy tea and watching television in a Mumbai slum, Banyan was once cheered to see the kindly face of Manmohan Singh, the prime minister, appear on screen. What a gift to India he is: honest, accomplished, wise—a leader-sage. But not to everyone. “World Bank gangster!” one tea-drinker hissed.
  • Mr Singh may have blundered. His ambition to reopen former trade routes across a peaceful Indian subcontinent is laudable. But this, unlike his former visions, of a more market- and America-friendly India, is widely shared: all the country’s main parties want peace with Pakistan. The dialogue began, as Mr Singh reminded parliament, under a government of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Indeed, much of the BJP’s rancour over his alleged giveaway was a bid to rally itself after a disappointing election. The serious divisions in India are not over whether peace with Pakistan is desirable, but whether it is possible. And Mr Singh seems unable to bridge that gap. If the dialogue is renewed, as eventually it must be, it will therefore be bound by new limits. India would be unlikely to make any agreement with today’s feeble Pakistani civilian leaders whom Mr Singh sought to bolster in Sharm el-Sheikh. So there is little prospect, unlike under Pakistan’s former army dictator, Pervez Musharraf, of settling the countries’ border disputes, including over Kashmir.
  • Now he needs to husband it better—because India has other problems that perhaps only he can solve. The biggest of these concerns climate change.
  • Amid negotiations on replacing the Kyoto protocol, at the climate summit in Copenhagen in December, India is emerging as one of the main obstacles to a global agreement. Though it is the fourth-biggest carbon-emitter, it refuses to promise to curb the growth of its emissions, arguing that these are still modest per Indian. That is a strong argument, but half the world can cite it. To make India more accommodating, and align its interest with the planet’s, Mr Singh will have to effect a third transformation. This would be his greatest yet.

Remembering Rose Friedman!

Milton Friedman, left, poses with his wife Rose in this file photo taken in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

I’m very sad to hear that Rose Friedman passed away (December 25, 1910August 18, 2009) the world has lost one more freedom lover!

According to Friedman Foundation:

  • “Rose Director Friedman passed away Tuesday, August 18, 2009, in her home inDavis, California, of heart failure. While the exact date of her birth is uncertain, she is believed to have been 98 years old.
  • She will also be remembered as both the professional partner and beloved wife and friend of her late husband of 68 years, Milton Friedman.
  • She was born in a small village that was then located in Russia and is now part of Ukraine. Her birth records are lost, but she believed she had been born during December 1910. When she was an infant, her mother took her and her siblings and left for America, where her father had already moved to escape threats against his life arising from anti-Semitism. They left just before that part of the countryside was devastated during World War I.

Unfortunately her birth date is not know as per the above information. But I heard that she studied with Milton in Chicago University!

Infact, Milton Friedman wrote a great tribute to late Prof George Joseph Stigler (January 17, 1911 — December 1, 1991) in which he said:

  • I overlapped George at Chicago for one year, 1934-35, during which he, W. Allen Wallis, and I formed what proved to be a lifelong friendship. As it happened, all three of our future spouses were also students at Chicago. George was to marry Margaret Mack, always known as Chick, who was majoring in social science. Allen would marry Anne Armstrong, an art history major, and I married Rose Director, whose major was economics. We soon formed a sextuple whose lives were intertwined from then on.
  • In 1936 George accepted an appointment as an assistant professor at Iowa State College (now University), and shortly thereafter was married to Margaret "Chick" Mack. George and Chick had three sons: Stephen, a professor of statistics at the University of Chicago; David, a corporate lawyer; and Joseph, a businessman. The family suffered a tragic loss in 1970, when Chick died unexpectedly, without any advance warning. George never remarried.

Also read Rose Friedman:

“Here's how she and Milton summed up what they thought they were doing, toward the end of their memoir, Two Lucky People:

  • Our central theme in public advocacy has been the promotion of human underlies our opposition to rent control and general wage and price controls, our support for educational choice, privatizing radio and television channels, an all-volunteer army, limitation of government spending, legalization of drugs, privatizing Social Security, free trade, and the deregulation of industry and private life to the fullest extent possible.