Here are a few items that caught my eye. One is an article in the Financial Express by the economist and labor peer Meghnad Desai. The other is a blog post by the incomparable @MediaCrooks.
Meghnad Desai writes about “The Difficulty of Being Right.”
Let us conclude that whatever may happen to the GDP growth rate in the short run, we are not going to see a shift in policy towards high growth dynamics. Yet there is uncertainty in the air. Narendra Modi’s speech at the SRCC in Delhi has put development and governance at centre stage. While many will go on worrying about his 2002 record, we are beginning to discuss for the first time in many years the idea of reviving Swatantra—a Right-wing political party. Even now commentators say that given India’s poverty, no Right-wing party can be good for India.
But India has tried Left populism for 67 years now. In its first phase during 1947-1980, there was dismal growth, no discernible reduction of poverty and employment growth confined to the tiny organised sector. The next phase of the 1980s reluctantly tried to change direction but did not alter much. Since 1991 we have had higher growth but since 2004 there has been the growing burden of populist spending policies. There are no policies to take people out of poverty; only to keep them comfortable in their poverty, immobile in their constituencies so they can cast their vote for their masters.
This model has run out of steam. It would help India if someone articulated an alternative that made growth rapid enough to raise employment all around. This would require dismantling many regulations that still exist, improve the logistics of supply chains and remove barriers to the movements of goods and people. Western social democracy has been convinced that growth can only be achieved with a vibrant private sector, especially SMEs. There is not much hope yet that the Indian Left and even the rest can boldly articulate such a vision.
Narendra Modi may yet spell out how he could change economic policies. He is about to be saddled with Ram Mandir by the more stupid elements of his party. If so, we will have to wait till another leader who will have to change direction. [Emphasis added.]
Desai writes that the Leftist-populist “model has run out of steam.” Actually, it never had any steam to begin with. It was not an engine of growth and was not even meant to be. It was just a way of keeping the people dependent and poor. That that model has been discredited is not news at all. It has been tried in many regions of the world with the same dismal outcome: the widening and deepening of poverty.
The sad thing is that India is ruled by a bunch of self-serving goons. Deepening poverty does not bother them. They will abandon their leftist-populist policies the day after hell freezes over. Don’t hold your breath.
The bunch of thugs — also known as the UPA and its chaprasis such as the English language main stream media — hate Narendra Modi because he threatens their livelihood. He will give their leftist-populist policies a quick burial.
Being right is easy if that’s what you want to be. Getting the power to do the right things is hard.
I click on the above link and find the message “This Site is Block [sic]“. I guess I will have to try to get to the article later.
And BTW, do follow @MediaCrooks.