India – The Most Optimistic Country in the World
Posted by Jerry on July 1, 2006
Val McQueen writes a bold article in the TCS Daily, titled “The Most Optimistic Country in the World“; that country, apparently, is India. The article reveals an interesting statistic I did not know about: India’s middle-class is “larger than the entire population of the United States.”
I also love how boldly McQueen seriously rebukes Gandhi’s pathetically backward vision that he thrusted upon India:
For 70 years, Mohandas Gandhi’s myopic vision of backward-looking socialism as a template for national advancement was accepted as revealed wisdom by a string of Indian prime ministers, starting with his acolyte, Nehru. Despite a plenitude of cotton, Gandhi didn’t think India should create a cotton industry, believing instead that every family should own a spinning wheel and spin its own. He didn’t believe India should develop a manufacturing base, which not only caused the dead hand of “import substitution” to smother native initiative, but the failure to develop factories meant there was also a failure to develop infrastructure like roads and ports to take goods to market.
Now at last, riding on a new surge of confidence at home and overseas, Indians have ditched austerity, the spinning wheel and the Mahatma and are spending it up like maharajas.
I can only watch with awe as the organic machine of freemarket Capitalism propels India so rapidly into upward development, undoing more than 60 years of decay and stagnation wrought by Socialist and mixed-economic policies. I wonder then, given the preponderance of evidence for the fact that Capitalism is indeed the only proper, most efficient, most benevolent, and moral system in world, why do we still have Communist/Socialist nations, Communist/socialist parties, lazy liberal hippies, and marxist academics who prate on and on about the evils of Capitalism?!
And another related article by Gurcharan Das states:
[The cause of India’s post-independence stagnation was] the Fabian socialist policies of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his imperious daughter, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who oversaw India’s darkest economic decades. Father and daughter shackled the energies of the Indian people under a mixed economy that combined the worst features of capitalism and socialism.
After India’s independence, Nehru attempted a state-directed industrial revolution. Since he did not trust the private sector, he tried to replace the entrepreneur with the government — and predictably failed. He shackled private enterprise with byzantine controls and denied autonomy to the public sector. Perhaps the most egregious policy was reserving around 800 industries, designated “small-scale industries” (SSI), for tiny companies that were unable to compete against the large firms of competitor nations. Large firms were barred from making products such as pencils, boot polish, candles, shoes, garments, and toys — all the products that helped East Asia create millions of jobs. Even since 1991, Indian governments have been afraid to touch this “SSI holy cow” for fear of a backlash from the SSI lobby. Fortunately, that lobby has turned out to be mostly a phantom — little more than the bureaucrats who kept scaring politicians by warning of a backlash.
For the sake of many of the Indian people who live in utter and abject poverty, I hope that this trend in India’s development does not stop. I hope that the lawmakers of India realize that the potent and benevolent effects of capitalism is the only solution to poverty at home and in the world. I hope they they will not arrest the Indian entrepreneurs and producers by the evil shackles of “welfare”, altruistic, regulatory, and socialist policies.
Das points out in his article that today India is the world’s fourth largest economy, and will soon surpass that of Japan to become the third largest. Obviously then, the Indian people have much to be proud and optimistic about. Just remember to keep that head raised!