India Uncut

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Only India is to blame for India's poverty

Swaminathan Aiyar writes about Joseph Stiglitz:
The main problem with [Stiglitz's] approach is that it views most Third World ills as a white man’s burden. This is infuriatingly condescending and plain wrong. If Dalits and tribals in India suffer from high poverty and pathetic education and health, it is not the fault of the IMF or multinational corporations. It is the fault of decades of socialism and continuing government failure.

For many decades, politicians monopolised all economic power in the holy name of socialism and used this to line their pockets and create patronage networks. They shackled every nook and corner of the economy, stopping Indians from using their great energies. Those energies were released when the shackles were lifted in the 1990s.

But while industry and trade have been reformed, rural India has not.
The way ahead, therefore, is more reforms, not less. In fact, I'd disagree with Aiyar and say that even trade and industry have not been reformed as much as they should have been. Shackles still exist, and the more they are removed, the more trade and industry will create jobs for millions of Indians who don't have any right now.

(Link via email from Sruthijith KK.)
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