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Re: National Debate




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Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
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Regarding Arindam Roy's statement that the economists have failed and
citing social failures in the system, I have this observation to make. 

All too often economics is considered to be the system that elucidates
all activities in a social system. And consequently money is equated
with added value. I encounter this situation often whenever I hear of a
professional going abroad for greener pastures and justifying his/her
action as "helping bring more foreign exchange to India". 

It comes as no surprise that there are a lot of people in India who are
growing richer beyond expectations. That is, when money is equated with
richness. 

However, money is not equal to added value. Money can be translated to
added value only if there exists a system to convert money to value.
Money is like fodder-- and is fed on by whatever system that sights it.
If people are able to afford gadgets, cars, foreign trips, etc., it is
no doubt due to the large amount of money that is flowing in. If
corruption is increasing, if the underworld is getting increasingly
deadlier, if the poor are being exploited even more, even that is
because of the large amount of money flowing in. 

There are two kinds of system-- let's call them the "good" system and
the "bad" system. The "good" system consists of legitimate, rational
transactions to match demand and supply; the "bad" system resorts to
whatever means is available to match demand and supply, be it extortion,
bribery, deception, etc. With more money flowing into India, both these
systems move forward to feed on it. Who gets how much depends on which
system is stronger. 

Now which system is the stronger one and which is growing stronger? The
"bad" system is undoubtedly strong-- what with corruption entering
almost every walks of life. On the other hand, the "good" system is
actually being eroded. With qualified professionals leaving abroad or
generally keeping a low profile, the "good" system is not growing as
strong as it should have been, if so much money were to be available for
it to feed on. (The amount of money in India is no small figure. The
other day there was a mail going around which aggregated the scam
amounts and it compared with the GDP! Also there are people whom I have
met, who claim to be from "middle class" backgrounds, but who finance
their way through their studies in European countries from India!) 

Sending away qualified people to bring in money into India is somewhat
similar to selling parts of your car to buy petrol. One day the car is
going to collapse. 

But how do we explain that to people and the policy makers? One cannot
explain and convince people using theories and principles to stay back
and build their own system, when there are juicy lucrative abodes right
within their reach. How do we make working in India and for India, to be
more lucrative? 

Best Wishes 
Srinath


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