Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We want to pay them!!

Rapping Economics: Keynes vs Hayek

From Financial Express editorial
  • It’s unsurprising that What’s the Difference, a classic from legend of rap Dr Dre’s The Chronic 2001, has well over 2 million YouTube hits. Rap is big, and Dr Dre’s is the sort of rap we all expect. But 2.3 million hits for EconStories.tv, with its rap battle between JM Keynes and FA Hayek! No, the biggest economic influences of the 20th century haven’t come back to life to test themselves against Eminem. 

  • Despite the videos’ Hayekian bias, given the creators’ Austrian views, the videos portray the work of both theorists accurately. Whilst the first looks at their analysis of what causes the boom and bust cycle (Hayek: blame low interest rates; Keynes: Nahhh, it’s the animal spirits), the second examines their purported philosophical underpinnings in the context of continued global economic sluggishness. A testament to the power of creativity in spreading understanding, it is a shame that the Aadhaar enrolment drive in Punjab, as reported in Indian Express recently, wasn’t able to use its creative plans to spread word of the enrolment drive, as EconStories could with economic theory. It is a valuable lesson for us all to learn: capturing imagination is the key to learning and understanding.

Dalits affairs on capitalism

Here is my piece in today’s Wall Street Journal (Asia) which argues for the free market ideas of B.R.Ambedkar. It also talks about his views on English, urbanization etc.

Monday, May 30, 2011

“You don't want the IAS running the country. At the end of the day we want politicians to run this country.”

The Rediff interviewed Prof.Mehta some time back in two parts. If you have not read it, I would urge you to do now!! First Part and Second Part.     

He said: 
  • “Now you have the National Advisory Council on one track and the finance ministry on another track; the planning commission is on a different route and the Prime Minister's Office is on another track.”

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cash them out!!

Guy has great piece explaining the truth about the cash transfer to abject poor, read its interseting. He also rejects Jean Dreze's argument. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Talk at SHALA!!

The SHALA is almost near!! 

See the scheduled speakers list from here!

Please do watch live webcast of the event!!

Check out the speakers timing here

Bastard Ambedkarites!!

Mind you, that is not my words!

Please see here!! for understanding WHY DALIT MOVEMENT   FAILED IN INDIA?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Ambedkar is one of our key antidotes."

Mr.Bal has very interesting article on “The Absence of Ambedkar”, in which he writes: 
  • This is no surprise, while there is widespread public admiration for Ambedkar in India, there is little or no appreciation of his ideas.  Even the public admiration is quite often a façade, with the caste elite in India reserving their contempt for the privacy of their homes much as they would their anti-Muslim sentiments. As a result of a few government presses and new publishers such as Navayana, Ambedkar’s own writings are now accessible to those willing to make the effort but we are still far from a good biography of the man or a critical engagement with his ideas. 

  • Ambedkar matters at least as much as Jawaharlal Nehru, and far more than Gandhi, in understanding contemporary India.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Make market forces work

From the article “Leave It To The Market” by Dilip Modi
  • However, the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, gives sweeping legal powers to the government or its authorised agencies to acquire almost any private land or property provided such acquisition is for "public purpose". Invariably this route is adopted. This is also known as 'eminent domain', regarded as an inherent right of the state to take private property for public use. It is legal in many countries, including the US, UK and France. 
  • The problem lies in interpretation of the term "public purpose". Unfortunately the Act does not define the term. So interpretation was left to the courts. The Supreme Court in 1971 took a very wide view of the term in the case Jage Ram vs the State of Haryana. Yet it did not provide any definition and left it to the state governments to define and thus (mis)interpret the term. Strangely the judgment was delivered when 'right to private property' was still a fundamental right. Subsequent apex court judgments further widened the scope of interpretation. 
  • The economics behind eminent domain and thus the interpretation of the term public purpose assume that the state would always act in the public interest and, therefore, any taking of private property would be to provide certain "public goods" that otherwise would not be provided by the markets. 
  • Lighthouses or clean air are typical examples. One or several ships can use the light at the same moment. Yet no single ship owner would build the lighthouse. The government needs to build it - in other words, provide public goods as the market will not provide them automatically. 
  • This clearly implies the Act's provisions should only be used when the government itself is to provide infrastructure facilities (public good). They should not be used for land acquisition for private investments, whatever the benefits. For such transactions, the market must play out. The government should not undermine market processes. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

‘The ideal way to bridge the skill gap is to privatise the education system’

Prowess of ancient (south)India

Monday, May 23, 2011

What a tribute to UPA Government!!

 Please give no judgment after reading the below article/argument!! 

Silly names like politburo or (No)useful ginger group

The communist turned economist Mr.Meghnad Desai writes: 
  • The general-secretary can do no wrong. Nor does he ever resign; in the USSR, purge was the only way out but never resignation.

This is true in case of Mr.Prakash Karat who is a General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Under his leadership, he ensured one GOOD thing for our country is to simply sink his party in all the electoral battle contested. Who can do such as nice thing to us!

Mr.Desai further said: 
  • Communist parties do not allow free and open democratic debate about their failings. They use words like ‘rectification’ which ordinary mortals never do. The very word implies its opposite. 
  • The basic problem is an understanding of how capitalism works. Leninism was predicated on the bet that capitalism is in a terminal crisis and will collapse before long. Instead, the Leninist State in the USSR collapsed before capitalism did. The fact that capitalism has its ups and downs, that it fosters inequality and that it creates insecurity, is all true. But the cure is not to wait for its demise even by giving a push but to see how it can be regulated and cured. Each generation has to face the task anew since capitalism is capable of immense innovation and change. Even poor people like the casino aspect of capitalism because that is better than regimented poverty which is what Communism offered them. 
  • The Left in India needs a wide and open debate. They have a lot of sympathisers who can help. I recall that in the 1950s, the Communist party used to be in the vanguard in critiquing old and outdated religious superstitions……..What we have is a repetition of old anti-colonial, anti-imperialistic rhetoric with no new economic thought.
I actually wrote the title of this post as "there is nothing called democratic in communism!".

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Growing restrictions on personal liberty and increase in state power

Prof.Deepak Lal writes:

  • In dealing with the undeniable state-sponsored Pakistani terrorism in India, a similar policy is relevant. The only long-term solution is to change the Pakistan army’s calculus that it can succeed in destroying India (or its economy) through its jihadi agents. As this tiger it has unleashed, increasingly turns( as it has) against its sponsors, and the growing distance between its citizens in a stagnant and those in the booming Indian economy becomes apparent to its people (as is happening), the ‘rent seeking’ soldiers might at last realise that it is in their interests to complete the deal, which Musharaff nearly completed with Dr Manmohan Singh. Meanwhile, intelligence remains vital in apprehending and forestalling ISI-sponsored terrorists. But this is not done through heavy handed suppression of civil liberties. When,with information from Western intelligence agencies, about the co-ordinates of suspicious boats moving to Bombay, along with mobile numbers of some terrorists, Indian intelligence failed to forestall the 26/11 attacks, it is absurd to believe that they can forestall future terrorist plots by preventing my 70-year-old American wife from coming back to India, a month after she had left our New Delhi home.

Buck back to us

Mr.Nitin Pai has very interesting column in DNA wherein he writes
  • The earliest Indian traditions view the role of the State as protecting its citizens from the predatory world of matsya-nyaya, the law of the fishes, where the strong prevail over the weak. The state, through the establishment of danda niti, the rule of law, ensures that the rights and freedoms of the individual are protected. Citizens surrender a part of their freedoms to the State, so that it may ensure that they can enjoy the rest. This deal is the fundamental premise in the world’s constitutions, including our own. In other words, we citizens have appointed the State as our security guard. It is absurd for the security guard to outsource the job back to us, for then, why do we need the security guard in the first place?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Count that ‘GOLD’ back!

Economist S.S. Tarapore writes
  • A reserve currency which is not linked to gold necessarily has to become weak. For the next 40 years international monetary pundits felt that somehow the system of a reserve currency would remain stable through so-called international monetary co-operation. Economist Wilhelm Röpke, 60 years ago, said that the more countries talk about international co-operation, the less countries co-operate with one another! 

  • The Washington D.C. based American Principles Project (APP), on the Gold Standard 2012, is an attempt to reach out to lawmakers to advance legislation to put the US back on to a gold standard. The APP has recently prepared a White Paper on the “Use of gold as the primary reserve asset by international central banks” by Ralph Benko, Charles Kadlec, Richard Danker and Nick Arnold (December 2010).

F A Hayek’s double cheers!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Leave that LEFT!

Raghuram Rajan & Brian Barry says
  • “Many on the left nowadays seem especially confused about the advantages of competition, and many progressives’ approach to education is an excellent example of this.” 

On the similar tone Surjit Bhalla said: 
  • Hints of this forthcoming doom are contained in the Communist manifesto, sorry, the CPM Election Manifesto for the 2011 state elections. Of the three main objectives stated in the manifesto, number one is the following, and it bears quotation in full: “Our main objective is to improve (the) living standard of families below the poverty line and to create opportunities of employment” (emphasis added). Further, if the poor are the base of support for the CPM, then they have lots to worry about. By their own admission, poverty is down to only 20-odd per cent according to the old official poverty line. Which means there are less and less supporters for those whose only slogan is “for the benefit of the poor”. This is a key point and suggests that the CPM has been caught in a time warp of its own making. 
  • The manifesto starts off with how capitalism is dying under the burden of the great 2008 recession — remember, we are in 2011, but never fear. These are the opening lines: “The... election is being held against the backdrop of an unprecedented worldwide economic crisis... the hegemonistic western capitalist countries led by US imperialists have been shifting the onus of the crisis onto the Indian people.”

Note that cult-IN-flation

Monday, May 16, 2011

Come SHALA!!

There is a good news!! Brief write up about SHALA has been published in the 14th Livemint "Loung Loves" as "Outside the classroom".

  • In scheduled sessions, Takshashila fellows—Pai himself is a fellow of geopolitics—will share their research. Speakers will include government officials such as Navdeep Suri, joint secretary, public diplomacy, ministry of external affairs; and topics such as “India as a swing power” (Pai) and “B.R. Ambedkar as a champion of free markets” (B.Chandrasekaran, Hayekorder.blogspot.com).

Vulnerable Statism and Marxism

Mr.Venu writes
  • “The housing minister of West Bengal, Gautam Deb, told some journalists just before the concluding phase of the state elections that the Marxists managed to stay in power for 34 years because the heightened political consciousness of the Bengalis made them immune to material needs. This was virtually turning Karl Marx on his head, whose entire treatise is based on the premise that materialism is the strongest social force in history!

Does left have any new idea?

A Professor says:

“……. the Left seemed to have run out of ideas or at least lost its enthusiasm for pushing new ones.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

B.R. Ambedkar, the Republican!!

Mr.Chandrabhan Prasad writes
  • It was at this point that Dr Ambedkar wrote in his manifesto of 1951: “It is a fact that on the day of India’s Independence, all nations were the friends of India...Today, the situation is just the reverse. India has no friends…The change in the situation is the direct result of the foreign policy that our country has followed. Wanting China to be a part of the UN and taking a stand on the Korean War — why should India want to fight China’s battle. This championing the cause of Communist China by India has been responsible for the prevailing antagonism between India and the US. It has become impossible for India to obtain financial and technical aid from America.” (Pg 395-396, Vol. 17, Part One)

  • Dr Ambedkar realised the importance of having the US as a friend 60 years ago. Something that our leaders are thinking of doing today.
  • Dr Ambedkar was so inclined towards the US in 1946, that at one point of time he had wanted India to be named United States of India after Independence. He also named his party — Republican Party of India, inspired by SSA’s Republican Party. But, why was Dr Ambedkar so enamoured the US?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Francis Fukuyama and Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy

 From Hayek’s Letter to Editor
  • …swipe at Glenn Beck as not a very serious thinker, without any specific examples. Beck has been wonderful for my book sales, so I admit I have an interest here, but I'd take Mr. Beck's thought over what the New York Times passes off as serious thinking any day. If the Times is going to go ad hominem, I can, too — the reviewer your book review hired, Francis Fukuyama, reportedly consulted to Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy, a fact the Times bizarrely omitted in a recent long and flattering profile of Mr. Fukuyama. If there were ever an example of the dangers of big government, Colonel Khadafy personifies it, and your reviewer's apparent blindness to that raises questions about his judgment and critical thinking skills.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Beast G, back Ahead

Some excerpts from a review article by Francis Fukuyama on new edition of F A Hayek's 1960s book The Constitution of Liberty. The current President of Mont Pelerin Society is Prof.Kenneth Minogue. He said to me (during the February's MPS Asia Regional Meeting which I attended) that this book is Prof.Minogue's favourate and the best among Hayek's books!! 
  • In an age when many on the right are worried that the Obama administration’s reform of health care is leading us toward socialism, Hayek’s warnings from the mid-20th century about society’s slide toward despotism, and his principled defense of a minimal state, have found strong political resonance. 

  • Unlike Beck, Hayek was a very serious thinker, and it would be too bad if the current association between the two led us to dismiss his thought. Hayek always had problems getting the respect he deserved; even when he was awarded the Nobel in economic science in 1974, the awards committee paired him with the left-leaning economist Gunnar Myrdal. With the passage of time, however, many of the ideas expressed in “The Constitution of Liberty” have become broadly accepted by economists — e.g., that labor unions create a privileged labor sector at the expense of the nonunionized; that rent control reduces the supply of housing; or that agricultural subsidies lower the general welfare and create a bonanza for politicians. His view that ambitious ­government-sponsored programs often produce unintended consequences served as an intellectual underpinning of the Reagan-Thatcher revolution of the 1980s and ’90s. Now that the aspirations of that revolution are being revived by Tea Partiers and other conservatives, it is useful to review some of the intellectual foundations on which it rested.
  • Hayek’s skepticism about the effects of “big government” are rooted in an epistemological observation summarized in a 1945 article called “The Uses of Knowledge in Society.” There he argued that most of the knowledge in a modern economy was local in nature, and hence unavailable to central planners. The brilliance of a market economy was that it allocated resources through the decentralized decisions of a myriad of buyers and sellers who interacted on the basis of their own particular knowledge. The market was a form of “spontaneous order,” which was far superior to planned societies based on the hubris of Cartesian rationalism. He and his fellow Austrian Ludwig von Mises used this argument against Joseph Schumpeter in a famous debate in the 1930s and ’40s over whether socialism or capitalism offered a more efficient economic system. In hindsight, Hayek clearly emerged the winner.

Walk with that cult!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Choice in India

Some excerpts from this article

"Research in India, however, reveals that choice has neither the same positive consequences for individuals, nor the same negative consequences for society. For example, research by Ritu Tripathi at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and Daniel Cervone at the University of Illinois at Chicago examined whether choice motivates Indians to work on a task. They found that Indian corporate professionals were willing to volunteer as much as 25 minutes for an unpaid online task when they were directed to volunteer as much time as possible, but only 5 minutes when they were asked to choose how much time they wanted to volunteer. The researchers argue that performing one’s duties and meeting obligations is more energizing for Indians than focusing on personal choice."

If the similar survey is done in the government, the conclusion will be opposite!!!

"In India, in contrast to the US, individuality, independence, and personal self-expression have not been historically significant concerns. Instead, Joan Miller, a psychologist at the New School of Social Research, has shown that many Indians are more concerned about meeting their responsibilities and obligations to other people than in expressing themselves through unique choices." 

My Talk in Chennai on May 14th, 2011!!!

Here (sorry its in Tamil!!!) is a link to the announcement for my talk in Chennai on May 14th, 2011. I will be presenting based on my paper presented in the Mises Institute's Austrian Scholars Conference 2011 in March and subsequently published a article in the Pragati's April Issue (PDF). This is the first time I will be engaged in talk in Chennai!! I am looking forward the talk!! If any one or whose friend is interested in attending, please do come!!

Many thanks to Mr.Satya for the arrangement!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Some good news links

The Pragati’s May Issue is out now. You can find PDF here.

Don’t forget to read the piece on Jan Lok Pal: unconstitutional, unnecessary” by Amba.

The Centre for Civil Society has announced Colloquium on Property Rights: Law, Liberty & Livelihood