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Re: Thailand? You said? RE: Population

On Fri, 22 May 1998, Sitaramayya Ari wrote:

> > a) They all followed the Fabian Socialistic model, publicly. In 
> > 	the case of India, we call ourselves Socialistic in the first 
> > 	line of our Constitution.
> North Korea calls itself The Democratic Republic of Korea. That doesn't
> necessarily make it democratic.

You win the point. But does this not speak volumes about us as Indians,
namely, that we are dishonest about what we are, even in the first line of
our Constitution (assuming that we are lying about our being Socialistic).

Score: Sitaramayya	1 	Sanjeev 0

> > b) They all stole private property (nationalization) and prohibited
> > 	private citizen initiative in many areas of econmic activity
> In each one of the Princely states of India, the rulers, who by the way
> would love your ideas of democracy, stole the property of farmers and
> converted them to tenants. Revenue collectors of Nizam became Deshmukhs
> and owners of hundreds of thousands of acres of land. After indpendence
> they became legal owners of land they stole from peasants. Every one
> of them made it difficult for individual farmers to make a living on
> their own efforts. Does it make them socialist?

Please help us to distinguish between simple use of power (as was
practiced in Feudal and monarchic times), and use of power by a state for
ideological reasons (nationalization). I am against both kinds of
stealing and against both kinds of misuse of power. The private property
of the peasant is as important to us in this ideal manifesto as the
private property of an industrialist or banker.

I think you lose this point. (we can debate further if you think I did not

Score: Sitaramayya 1	Sanjeev 1

> > c) They all had and have planning models which attempt to "coordinate"
> > 	economic activity, centrally, a task, which as Hayek clearly
> > 	showed, is quite impossible in the absence of local
> > 	knowledge which only markets can provide.
> The one example I completely agree with.

I win. 
Score: Sitaramayya 1	Sanjeev 2

By the way, this is the pure version of the economist's definition of
socialism, and winning this point would normally suffice.

> > d) Their intellegentsia are almost completely immersed in socialistic
> > 	thought, which primarily shows itself up when they suppose
> > 	themselves to possess the unique abilities to lecture to
> > 	our masses to cut down their children, to not come to cities,
> > 	to have biogas while they have gas and petroleum products,
> > 	and so on. The intelligentsia think that the "poor" are fools
> > 	who need to be told what to do, while they themselves can send
> > 	their children abroad to study and work. Many of the
> > 	same intelligentsia "use" the system clearly for their
> > 	own benefit.

> Personal opinions. Vague accusations. Capitalists who think that poor
> people are lazy, idiots or simply lower caste morons are no better. 

I think you are missing out a vital point. The point is that our
intelligentsia is very distrustful of "personal choice," which is the
hallmark of capitalism. I mean, we do not mind our living in big cities
with two cars and cooking gas, but we do not like that choice to be
available to the villagers whose desire to migrate to cities scares us to
death. China is the only other nation in the world which tries its best to
prevent migration to urban areas, and prevents the exercise of choice by

So long as our ruling elite everywhere think that they can decide for
others, whether through a Planning Commission, or by giving them biogas
while they have their mansions and airports, I would call this attitude
"socialistic" since it is anti-choice.

Maybe we should re-debate this. None wins this point.

> > e) Their old and aging industrialists (except JRD Tata the great
> >  	competitor), claim themselves to be infants for ever and
> > 	seek protection against ants like Singapore.
> There are NO societies without protection of one thing or the other from
> foreign competition or subsidizing one or the other internally. 
> For example, Japan protects rice farmers against cheaper imports.
> Japan is hardly a socialist country. I would support internal production
> of defense-related products. I would support protection of those
> industries. 

Is domestic airline a defence industry? When then are we scared of ants
like Singapore Airlines (merely to illustrate using a point made earlier
in the debates)? Second, if Japan increases the price of rice to its
consumers, that is its own headache, not ours. I don't care for
argumements which use a few protectionist policies of the major capitalist
nations to support their argument against capitalism. 

In India, protection was not for a few industries, but for a vast array of
activities. Our effective tariff rates have always been the highest in the
world, and no nation has ever come close to that. The infant industry
argument violates the laws of competition and hence is socialist.

We could re-debate.

> > f) Political leaders in socialistic nations become surprisingly very
> > 	rich instantaneously, since they "regulate" the economy
> > 	and control all rents. I know of a chief minister in assam
> > 	who possessed so much wealth before he died a few years ago
> > 	while he actually started out life as a school teacher. He is
> > 	typical in all socialist nations. The case of the ruling dynasties
> > 	of India, and many of the Indian states, is too well known to bear
> > 	highlighting.
> I gave you examples of people who became rich under a perfectly capitalist
> model in the princely states. Regulating is not the only way to fraud.
> There are people in Texas who make billions of Dollars on oil without ever
> moving it from one place to another. Speculation is a perfectly pure
> capitalistic tool to riches. Or are all rich people socialists? 

What was that? Do you call speculation fraud? Then we are completely off
at a tangent. Did you know that without speculation, the entire market
system would collapse, even at the level of a paan-shop in a remote
village in India. Speculation is a form of trading, a form of taking bets
about prices and supply of commodities in the future. You too speculate
when you buy ANY commodity for more than immediate consumption. 

Options, swaps and futures are not a fraud! These are helping to provide
completer markets, so that you can trade well into the future and minimize
the uncertainty. These contracts help SMOOTHEN prices for the public and
capture all available information, rather than help defraud anyone.

In any case, I was referring to the strong tendency in our country for the
regulators (rulers) to get instanteoulsy rich while the people plod on or
remain poor, despite slogans of "Garibi Hatao." This get-rich story does
not have any brave speculation and deep understanding of the commodities,
involved. It involves getting money below the table in lieu of rents
granted to the supplicant. The citizen is made into a beggar, and the
ruler gets money to give that person his or her right to what? To PRODUCE! 

That is why we are a socialistic nation where one's creativity,
innovation, entrpreneurship, enterprise and choice is curbed by all kinds
of elected and non-elected officials who swear (for public consumption) 
that they are doing good for the "poor!" by creating laws that help them
take this money below the table and get rich in months!

We can redebate, if you like, since I think you were not able to get my
point, earlier.

Tally of the score so far: I guess that the score shows that I have won,
but if you like, we can redebate and we can count the score again, after
Round 2! 

Thanks for this intellectual battle. I love it!