India Uncut

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tilling fields

Speaking about FDI in retail, the Indian Express writes:
Plenty has been said—and an awful lot written—about mom and pop shops shutting down and taking with them the friendly, smiling, simple shop assistants who apparently define a part of our culture. That’s what, with different details, America’s “liberal” and anti-free trade conservatives say about outsourcing to India. Do the Swadeshi Jagran Manch and its politically correct counterparts oppose outsourcing because the West is experiencing an economic-cultural hollowing out? So, hypocrisy is the first feature of those who oppose retail FDI; the second is history, or rather a lack of it. Over space and time, economic progress has involved job losses, job displacement, old skills dying out and new markets for new skills appearing. The transition is almost never seamless and is, therefore, almost always painful for some. But if that were the argument for stopping economic change, we would all still be tilling fields.
And then comes the killer punch:
In fact, rather a lot of Indians do till fields.
Think about it.

Cross-posted on The Indian Economy Blog.
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