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Predatory state

a) Vamsi vs. Subroto: 

There is much literature on the predatory state. The soviet state (and
all socialists states, generally) have been predatory states. I would
generally agree with Vamsi here, despite some sweeping generalizations
involoved. While there are a great many excellent souls in our political
and administrative life, that does not mean that the average standards
of competence and particularly of integrity, are anything to write home
about. When we discuss governance, we are basically seeking to improve
both these (competence + integrity). 

Clearly, fair compensation has much to do with this. Hence the economics
of good governance, summarized below:

In the USA a survey of wages "of comparable private workers," is held,
subject to possible Presidential and congressional modification. The
wages are then determined by ensuring that a public sector employee gets
at least what a private sector employee of comparable status/
qualification would get (Ehernberg, Smith: Modern Labor Economics).

In India we love to pauperize our government employees, particularly at
the higher job levels. That is the level where we need the most
competence, and that is the level where the pressures to either become
corrupt or to leave the job are becoming enormous. 

I dislike being part of a system which is rightly identified as both
corrupt and incompetent, in general. We need to change that for
ourselves as citizens if we want to recruit and retain some of the best
brains for India's governance. But as mentioned elsewhere, we need to
begin the reform at the political level. Pay our MPs ENORMOUSLY higher
than what they are paid today. First step: get rid of temptation at the
top levels in government where decisions of thousands of crores are
taken on a day to day basis. Political service is serious business. It
is not social service.

b) v.imp point (not discussed at length so far, but maybe we could):

>     Our Government is incapable of protecting its people in a major
> war.  (Vamsi)

This is actually the frightening truth of India's defence. I have
mentioned earlier, somewhere, about my discussions with a US pilot of
Indian origin who studies this topic of India's defence preparedness,
and he made this claim very soberly that India's mismatch of logistics
(bombs, guns, planes, etc., procured from different nations) is so
terrible that an all-out air war cannot be waged for longer than three
days. The planes might remain, but there will be no support of spares/
ammo. Our govt. is thus perhaps actually incapable of protecting its
people in a major war. This can be further investigated.

It is difficult to let go our defence industry to the private sector,
but that is the best solution. Some of our best brains in this area are
serving the US defence and aerospace industry. We need to attract them
back to India by enabling them to open factories to produce guns, tanks
or whatever it is they want to. Let top quality managers get into the
business of production for global competition, i.e., to make India a
major supplier in the world.

Patriotism can take a nation only so far. The rest has to come through
economic incentives (high wages, stiff competition). We can neglect the
study of the economics of Indian defence only at great peril to us. I
suggest that those who know more about this, speak up.


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