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Re: Just a reminder: our target



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Administrative Note:
-------------------

Week's Agenda: Social Conditions

  Minimum Wage
  Rules regarding Safety of Personnel at work to be made clear
  Introduction of Social Security Net
  Introduction of identity card
  Removal of Age discrimination at work
  Creating conditions so that reservations will no longer be necessary
========================================================



     

Dear Sanjeev

There is a difference between means and ends.  America did not become
the no. 
1 nation in the world by TRYING to, or ASPIRING to, be the no. 1 nation
in the 
world.  It focused on becoming just and prosperous. It ended up being
no. 1.  

India did not focus on being no. 1 in 1750 either.  It ended up being
no.1 as 
a result of following intelligent, just and enlightened policies.

As America changes from focusing on greater justice and prosperity than
it has 
had, to the kind of society it is becoming (political correctness, no 
long-term investment, incredible self-indulgence), it is bound to lose
its no. 
1 place. I predict that it will happen in the next 5-10 years unless
there is 
a substantial change in the cultural climate.

Those who focus on being no. 1 as individuals, say in sport or
academics, do 
well because the goal is clear and the rules are clear and the
preconditions 
self-evident.  Those who focus on being no.1 as nations usually end up
paying 
too high a price (Nazi Germany, for instance) because the preconditions
and 
"rules" are not clear.  

The right policies produce prosperity relativey quickly, just as the
wrong 
policies produce poverty relatively quickly.  

It did not take Singapore incredibly long time to emerge into prosperity
and 
it has not taken India a long time to slide.

With the right policies, we could start seeing prosperity certainly in
our 
children's generation though, given the vast amount of talent that we
have in 
the country, I do not actually see any reason why we should not see
national 
prosperity in our own lifetimes.

Incidentally, we never had socialism in India, we had a "babu-raj" or a 
collusion between certain industrial/commercial interests and certain 
socio-political groups.  

Further, there is no such thing as "pure" capitalism, only varieties of 
capitalism created according to different philosophies and historical
and 
socio-economic situations (US capitalism is different from Canadian or
British 
or Australian capitalism, though each of these is relatively similar
compared 
to Japanese or Swiss capitalism...).  One scholar has identified seven 
different types of capitalism, though my own view is that that was
because of 
the limited time he gave himself to examine the different national 
capitalisms!

Professor Prabhu Guptara
Director, Organisational and Executive Development
Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre
(a subsidiary of UBS AG)
CH-8272 Ermatingen
Switzerland
Tel: + 41.71.663.5605
Fax: +41.71.663.5590
e-mail: prabhu.guptara@ubs.com




______________________________ Reply Separator 
_________________________________
Subject: Just a reminder: our target
Author:  sabhlok (sabhlok@almaak.usc.edu) at nyuxuu
Date:    06.10.98 07:37


On Sun, 4 Oct 1998 prabhu.guptara@ny.ubs.com wrote:

> And yes, what we are trying to devise is policies which can help India > to 
take her rightful place in 
>  the world (I am actually sceptical about the desire to make India
> "the number one country in the world".  I would be happy if India WERE > the 
 number one country but, as a policy objective, I would be quite 
> satisfied with India becoming a prosperous and just rather than a > 
rich-POOR country as it is today).  
>     
> However, a Manifesto or Agenda needs to be suitably MOTIVATING, on > these 
grounds I have no actual objection to this kind of excessive > language.

Professor, The target we have in mind is 100 years away. Even if the
very best 
policies were adopted by India, we could not beat the USA in less than
one 
hundred years. With the kind of policies we have at the moment, we have
been 
constantly slipping behind; we are worse, in relative terms, than what
we were 
in 1947.

Thus, neither you nor I nor even our grand children will see that day.
It will 
be left to our great grand children to see the day when India takes its 
rightful place as the #1 in the world in 3 things: wealth, sports, and 
knowledge. 

However I personally will NEVER be satisfied (particularly as a ghost!)
with 
mediocre goals like just becoming prosperous. We were the #1 in the
world (or 
close to that) in 1750 AD. We must revert to our #1 status. Our
competition 
should be with the Great China and not with these itsy bitsy countries
like 
USA or Singapore. 

Please check out the data and the calculations I have provided at:

http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/Notes/data1.html

and

http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/Notes/crossover.html

In fact, I'd be grateful if someone - the younger economists like Andrew 
Vargo, perhaps, or Iris, Yazad or anyone else, could please work on
these two 
web pages and make these 100% authentic (these should be 100% authentic
even 
now, but a second check does not hurt). 

Let us EMPHASIZE to the people that we have FALLEN BEHIND in the past 50
years 
of socialism rather than catching up. Without knowledge of this basic
fact, 
people in India keep saying rubbish like, "We have made a lot of
progress the 
past 50 years." Well what progress? With reference to what? Everything
has to 
be in relative terms. This rubbish about our being the 5th largest PPP
nation 
in the world does not impress me at all. Even in PPP terms we have
fallen 
behind. I mean, we were WAY, WAY ahead of the West in 1750 (say: our GDP
was 
at least 10 times the GDP of England). How can I take pride in being
No.5 with 
1/20 of US income (in PPP terms), 250 years later? It is a great shame. 
Nothing to feel good about.

We could have had 10 times the income, half the population and 20 times
the 
nobel/ olympic prizes had we followed good policies in these 50 years.
Nobody 
will of course believe that - so let me drop that.

But we will be 400 times poorer than USA (in USD terms) and have 6 times
its 
population if we do not switch from socialism to capitalism (as defined
on the 
web page) right away. That is the essential message. Of course the task
is 
huge: building the right institutions, building a civil society,
building a 
sense of national purpose. But this is something we have to do now, else
our 
great grand children won't forgive us.

SS


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