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The Curious Case of the Bloated State

May 15, 2011 4 comments

A distinct feature of the developed world is the size of the bureaucracy and State employment. Fully 10% to as high as 30% of the labour force depend on the State for income and employment.

Iceberg ahoy!

With ‘advanced’ EU countries like Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, (PIGS) on the verge of bankruptcy, strangely mainstream media is silent on the important aspects of this crisis.

The mammaries of the Welfare State?     If everyone is part of the Government, who will you tax?

The mammaries of the Welfare State? If everyone is part of the Government, who will you tax?

Overpaid public servants

Critics, however, are also questioning the present government’s decision not to touch civil service pay and pension. The civil service, apart from the bureaucracy, also includes health service and education administrators etc. As a group, this has over 300,000 members and a massive vote bank no government wishes to antagonise, least of all a very unpopular coalition government led by the Fianna Fail party. In 2002, the government had agreed to massive rescaling of civil service pay and pension benchmarking it on private sector scales. Today despite a fall in private sector pay, government servants have managed to stick to their higher salaries, which some today estimate is 30 per cent above their private sector counterparts.

Ireland is a 4.5-million strong country which is about one-fourth the size of the National Capital Region in India. Its economy is primarily supported by exports, which today accounts for 80 per cent of its GDP. Information technology and pharmaceutical industries are the largest exporters from Ireland. Ireland incidentally also has the largest number of US FDA-approved plants outside the US. Food, retail and logistics also account for a sizeable portion of its export today. (via Exporting out of the mess).

This economic model needs a perpetual supply of victims to support this bureaucracy. | Cartoon by Bill Day; courtesy - cagle.com| Click for larger image.

This economic model needs a perpetual supply of victims to support this bureaucracy. | Cartoon by Bill Day; courtesy – cagle.com| Click for larger image.

Irish cream

Ireland is truly a remarkable case.

In a country of 45 lakhs, an estimated 69% are in the 15-64 years of employable age – leaving us with a workforce of 30 lakhs people. Of these 30 lakh people some 3 lakhs are highly paid government employees – fully 10% of the Irish workforce is in the Government.

With such a bloated bureaucracy, apart from bankruptcy, what else can happen in Ireland? Is Ireland an exception?

Is the situation different in other countries?

The coming storm

Let us look at 3 countries (UK, USA, India) which for the time being are not in the ‘bankrupt’ position.

A look at British situation is revealing. The size of the British public sector is “6.1 million people on the state payroll, (and) an increase of about 900,000 in 13 years.” From a working population of some 30 million, and total population of some 60 million.

Faceless bureaucrats who devise wars, famines, disease to keep their jobs | Cartoon by Clay Bennett | Courtesy - claybennett.com | Click for larger picture.

Faceless bureaucrats who devise wars, famines, disease to keep their jobs | Cartoon by Clay Bennett | Courtesy – claybennett.com | Click for larger picture.

 For every four private sector employee, there is one public-sector employee.

That is the British situation for you.

In the land of the free enterprise?

How about the US?

Surely, the land of free enterprise, free markets, has to be different.

The estimated gross US labour force for 2010 is 15.4 crores. US Government – local, state and federal, has some 2.0 crore (20 million) employees. And we are not talking of contract staff in the US Govt. who are off-rolls. Experts worry about

the 10.5 million federal contractors and grantees the government’s “hidden workforce” because politicians tend not to mention them when discussing the size of the federal bureaucracy. Yet such workers absorbed nearly $400 billion in federal contracting funds and $100 billion in federal grants in 2005. They often performed vital work such as researching new vaccines, running federal computer systems and making body armor, weapons and meals for the military.

The number of civil servants is increasing, too, up 54,000 since 2002 to 1.9 million workers. That is still fewer than the 2.2 million civil servants on the federal payroll in 1990, at the end of the Cold War.

Doors shut, minds closed, opportunities lost, lives destroyed. The Bloated State | Cartoon by Clay Bennett | Click for larger image.

Doors shut, minds closed, opportunities lost, lives destroyed. The Bloated State | Cartoon by Clay Bennett | Click for larger image.

To this figure now add unemployed people – who are also State responsibility – part of the public sector. US unemployment is running

at 9 percent, well above historical norms, with about 14 million Americans looking for work. Those figures don’t tell the whole story. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says more than 8 million people are working part-time but would rather be working full-time.

We are sitting at a total of 4.4 crore people from a labour force of 15.4 crores.

Nearly 29% of the labour force is used and paid by the US State.

Aha .. Where is India?

Examining India shows a vastly different picture.

A report on Indian bureaucracy reveals

The size of government employment is not that large. On 31 March 2005, total public sector employment was 18 million, divided into 3 million for the central government, 7.2 million for the state governments, 5.7 million for quasi-government and 2 million for local bodies. With an estimated labour force of 420 million in 2004-05, government employment thus accounts for 4.1 percent of total employment within the country.

One small guy against a huge bureaucracy - bought, paid and controlled by the powerful few | Cartoonist - Jim Morin | Click for larger image.

One small guy against a huge bureaucracy – bought, paid and controlled by the powerful few | Cartoonist – Jim Morin | Click for larger image.

The Indian figure includes the railways, which the world’s single largest, employer, all the public sector corporations (like banks, govt. telecom companies,  etc.).

Global disease

A bloated State, over-sized bureaucracy that controls every aspect of our life. On one side, these States speak of freedom,  liberty, human rights. The reality is increasing prison populations and an expanding police State.

Fundamentally, the country model of the West has failed – and the time for भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra draws near. In the last 200 years, भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra has gone into regression. But, in this period, the world has also learnt more about the limitations of the Desert Bloc ideology.

People get ready!


A ‘caring’ state is a ‘foolish’ mistake

The 'development' paradigm

The 'development' paradigm

The state government caught flak for using words such as “rustic” to describe tribal girls in official documents … Minister, Padmakar Walvi, apologised on behalf of the government …

… 95 adivasi girls had undergone a year-long training in Pune (for) the aviation hospitality sector … Legislators had taken on the government, saying it had “embarrassed these girls” by failing to get them placed. “The government encouraged these girls to become air hostess, but couldn’t provide them with jobs.”

Walvi informed … that the government has so far assisted 37 adivasi girls—who were denied jobs as air hostess—in getting placements in the tourism and hospitality industry. Six of them have been absorbed in airline companies, he added. “The remaining are likely to be recruited in various government departments if they do not get jobs of their choice,” he added. (via State says sorry for calling tribal girls ‘rustic’).

In Mumbai

In 2007, with surging liquidity, with no signs of The Great Recession, the Government of Maharashtra, decided that the fruits of the ‘sunshine’ sectors should also go to the ‘adivasis‘ and ‘dalits‘. So, they decided to spend Rs.1.crore. Said, Dr Vijay Gavit, state tribal development minister to TOI,

“Under the Centre’s welfare scheme for education of tribals, we (the state tribal development department) proposed that our boys and girls be trained in the sunshine sectors. Our proposal for air hostess and pilot training were readily sanctioned by them,’’

Girls from the backward pockets of Nandurbar, Thane and Nagpur are already undergoing the training programme at the privately-run Air Hostess Academy in Pune. The Centre is bearing over Rs 1 crore for the programme.

Presently the Centre pays Rs 1 lakh towards the one year air hostess course which includes tuition fees, hostel and uniform costs.

The minister said it was essential to keep up with the changing times so as to bring the socially and economically backward tribal community with the mainstream. Instead of making the tribal students go through some course which have lost all relevance in present times, we decided that they be trained to meet challenges in the modern era.

Is this the ‘development’, the ‘modern’ careers, that the ‘caring’ Government wishes on the ‘Adivasis‘!

In New Delhi

Two years after Mumbai, the next great ‘revolution’ in Indian economy after the BPO ‘thing’ was ushered by the ILO and GoD (Government of Delhi) under Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit. ILO-GoD are going to train domestics and ‘upgrade their skills. With this ‘revolution’ India’ can become the global source for ‘true’ coolie labour – a source for domestics, for any country in the world. The New Delhi State Government

launched the programme for skill development of domestic workers, a programme to turn out trained housemaids for the rich and the burgeoning middle class. And in this endeavour, it had impressive sponsors: the International Labour Organisation (ILO) no less, the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Delhi government, all under the umbrella of the high-sounding National Skill Development Programme. (via Latha Jishnu: The commons and the classes).

‘Caring’ Governments … ‘foolish mistakes’

I forgot to charge my cell phone! Foolish mistake, right? Everyday mistakes are usually foolish! And to believe that Governments can be caring, is a ‘foolish’ mistake! Apparently, colonialism never died. We now seem to just have Brown masters instead of White masters!

What a waste!

Of course, like Latha Jishnu (the author) of the article points out, no one is really interested in ensuring that all Indians go to equally good and high quality schools. Because then where will and “how would one get the endless flow of domestic helpers”. A dubious policy by the Government that cynically feeds on a trusting (gullible?) population!

To become domestics and air hostesses.

How Safe Is Britain’s Proud Pound? – Speculators Eye Next Prey

Britain may soon turn into a nation for the government, from the government and by the government.

Will there be a private sector in the future?

Will there be a private sector in the future?

budgetary and debt problems facing Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain have reinforced (British) conviction that staying out of the euro zone was the right decision. Unlike Berlin, London is not under pressure to come to the aid of Athens.

But speculators have taken aim at the British pound – a favored target. Market pressure on the British currency is not likely to disappear overnight.
Alarm on the Markets
Markets were alarmed … that a close election could make it difficult for parliament to pass a strict package of savings measures. Such political concerns are temporary. More permanent, however, are the fundamental debt and budgetary problems that have fuelled the British currency’s downward trend since October 2008.
The problems start with the size of the country’s budget deficit. With a budget deficit of 13 percent of GDP this year — Greece’s is 12.7 percent — Britain is by far the deficit champion of the G-20 states. Britain has so far avoided an Athens-style crisis primarily (because) unlike Greece, which is facing the need to immediately refinance €20 billion in debt, most British debt won’t come due until 14 years from now..

Mass consumer debt in Britain is whitewashed in a similar manner. With an average personal debt of 170 percent of annual income, British households are even further indebted than the Americans. And interest rates kept artificially low by the Bank of England are still feeding this bubble. Sooner or later, a rise in interest rates is inevitable — at which point domestic demand could take a nose dive. (via Speculators Eye Next Prey: How Safe Is Britain’s Proud Pound? – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International. Parts excised, punctuation provided).

If everyone is part of the Government, who will you tax?

If everyone is part of the Government, who will you tax?

Safe for now

In the short run, Britain may be safe. Redemption 14 years away, debt designated in GBP and issued out of London. With the unraveling of the Bretton Woods, London’s reign at the cross-roads of the world capital markets, may be thin and short-lived. A seemingly probable scenario is an increase in interest rates will increase defaults by British households unwinding British banks.

But in the meantime, Britain will need to place additional debt to tide over the next 10 years. Britain (and the world) will see another cycle of recession, inflation and economic dislocation. The main difficulty for Britain will be placement of new debt when the new crises hit the world. Considering the frequency of financial crises, Asian Crisis (1997), the Tech Meltdown (2000), The Great Recession (2008), Britain will face a fresh crises soon.

Will there be takers for British debt then?

Population Break up of UK  |  Source - ons.gov.uk

Population Break up of UK | Source - ons.gov.uk

Debt and demographics

The other element in this equation is the size of the British public sector. The British public sector with “6.1 million people on the state payroll, (and) an increase of about 900,000 in 13 years.”

From a population of some 60 million. And a working population of some 30 million. From a working population of some 30 million, the British Public Sector (significantly) funded by the Government) employs some 6 million.

Britain and Europe - One huge public sector nation!

Britain and Europe - One huge public sector nation!

The coming storm

For every four private sector employee, there is one public-sector employee. If India were to follow this model, the Indian tax payer would be burdened with 10 crore public-sector employees.

Add another 2.5 million unemployed, who are also taken care of by the State. Add another 8.0 million inactive people (largely students) who are subsidized. a working population of some 29-30 million supports 15-17 million people from the public sector, unemployed, inactive. Add to this difficult situation, an aging British population. A perfect recipe for an economic disaster. Most promises of public sector cutbacks are met with disbelief and incredulity.

This may soon turn Britain into a nation from the Government, for the Government and by the Government.


The road from Copenhagen | Ed Miliband | Comment is free | The Guardian

December 26, 2009 Leave a comment
Stop this scaremongering! We got enough problems of our own to worry about yours!

Stop this scaremongering! We got enough problems of our own to worry about yours!

We did not get an agreement on 50% reductions in global emissions by 2050 or on 80% reductions by developed countries. Both were vetoed by China, despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries. Indeed, this is one of the straws in the wind for the future: the old order of developed versus developing has been replaced by more interesting alliances. (via The road from Copenhagen | Ed Miliband | Comment is free | The Guardian).

Old bulldog … old tricks

President Bharrat Jagdeo. *Photo credit: thereddsite.files.wordpress.com

President Bharrat Jagdeo. *Photo credit: thereddsite.files.wordpress.com

Gordon Brown, The British Prime Minister declared, “today, together with Norway and Australia, the UK is taking a further step to a Copenhagen agreement: publishing a framework for the long-term transfer of resources to meet the mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries.” (Paris Hilton note, who the PM of Britain is!)

More interesting was when Europe went ahead and committed funds and disbursed carbon credits. Small amounts – but nevertheless a significant step! So, what gives! How come Europe was disbursing – not serious money, but more than pocket money, without using IMF, World Bank, et al. No UN! How come?

Anglo-Euro efforts

The joint trojan operation (Norway, Australia and UK + EU) against China (or was it India?) was immaculately pursued. Bernarditas de Castro Muller, former lead coordinator and negotiator for the G77 and China in Copenhagen, writing in the Guardian of UK, reported,

The UK financed workshops in selected vulnerable countries and deployed climate envoys. One of its envoys told intransigent negotiators that the UK would mobilise a group of vulnerable countries to pressure the major developing countries – such as China, Brazil and India – into committing to emissions reductions, contrary to their obligations under the climate treaty.

The EU for example made sustained attempts to influence and pressure developing nations – something that only served to increase their cohesion. They bribed where they could, promising the same recycled financing and maybe more to come if countries bent to their demands. And they bullied when they could not bribe.

India’s neighbours, like Maldives, Bangladesh were co-opted – as were countries, led people of Indian extract like Caribbean island of Guyana, Mauritius. The strategy was to isolate China and pair India with the ‘vulnerble 14’ – like Maldives, Guyana, Bangldesh, etc. For instance, alongwith Mohammed Nasheed, Bharrat Jagdeo in Guyana, was faultlessly pursued. Long ignored and isolated, countries like Guyana suddenly found themselves in the spotlight.

Agreeably surprised, they wondered how Guyana “received a disproportionate amount of coverage and access given its size for its progressive and leading stance on climate change.” Time magazine nominated Guyanese president Bharrat Jagdeo, as one of Heroes of the Environment 2008. This year Time magazine included Mohammed Nasheed in its Heroes of the Environment 2009. It was also announced,

Stabroek News in Guyana has confirmed that President Bharrat Jagdeo has been nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to combat climate  change. He was nominated by Professor David Dabydeen, Director of the Centre for Caribbean Studies at the University of Warwick.

US actor Harrison Ford and Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo at a news conference about forest protection on September 21, 2009 in New York. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

US actor Harrison Ford and Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo at a news conference about forest protection on September 21, 2009 in New York. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

The Commonhealth Heads meeting a few weeks before Copenhagen was supposed to seal this ‘alliance.’ Intriguingly, the French President Sarkozy joined the Commonwealth Summit, with Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen and UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon – and proposed a US$10 billion fund for climate change. Just imagine the French joining in a Commonwealth meet (a first, I would think).

Possibly it was the US efforts which made China and India stand together at Copenhagen.

Why the US did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol?

The political undertones of climate control talks are unravelling. The first major smoke signal was when the USA refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol – while talking about global warming and climate change at the same time. Sometimes puzzling and wholly beyond understanding! The lip service paid by the US to climate change can be best summarized by a Hindi idom हाथी के दांत, खाने के एक, दिखाने के एक. Meaning, elephants have two sets of teeth – one for actual use and another for show.

Cynical subversion of media, honours and public opinion

Cynical subversion of media, honours and public opinion

The third element in the multilateral equations set was the efforts made by Bush /Obama to get India and China to ‘get on the climate change band wagon’ with the US. The Chinese ‘unilateral’ announcement of ‘voluntary’ carbon intensity cut after Obama’s trip to China a few days before Copenhagen was a signpost of this unusual ‘alliance’. India followed soon thereafter with its own ‘voluntary’ carbon intensity cuts. One of the justifications of Bush’s nuclear deal with India was climate change.

This US master-stroke of Obama+BASIC meeting, ensured that the “only breakthrough was the political coup for China and India in concluding the anodyne communiqué with the United States behind closed doors, with Brazil and South Africa allowed in the room and Europe left to languish in the cold outside.”

In hindsight, US covert resistance to climate change was actually resistance to the monopolisation by the EU on the climate change agenda and campaign. Under the garb of climate change, EU was trying to do what US did to the world, under the garb of poverty elimination, population control, Bretton Woods in the aftermath of WW2.

What were the BASIC countries resisting

Writing from a Western standpoint, John Lee, in the Guardian, of the UK, faults China for not allowing,

“Teams of international economists, scientists, inspectors and statisticians roaming China to gather information on carbon emissions and reduction initiatives … reporting to political masters in America and Europe … (on) the further problem of cheating in current and future carbon reduction schemes.” (ellipsis and linking text in brackets mine).

The Climate Change Agreement would have delivered us - hog tied and helpless!

The Climate Change Agreement would have delivered us - hog tied and helpless!

Ed Milliband, Britain’s Energy Minister, younger brother of British foreign secretary, David Miliband, writing for the Guardian,

“We cannot again allow negotiations … to be hijacked in this way. We will need to have major reform of the UN body overseeing the negotiations and of the way the negotiations are conducted (for this) global campaign, co-ordinated by green NGOs, backed by business … we must keep this campaign going and build on it. It needs to be more of a genuinely global mobilisation, taking in all countries …this year has proved what can be done, as well as the scale of the challenge we face. (ellipsis and emphasis mine).

Indeed much has been done.

Face behind the mask

Faceless NGOs, without accountability to anyone, were able to bring global political leadership, to the very brink of an agreement. Like Milliband’s boss, Gordon Brown remarked, “the political will to secure the ambitious agreement … comprehensive and global agreement that is then converted to an internationally legally binding treaty in no more than six months.was very much there. The same 25,000 people (25 countries x 1000 powerful people) who rule over the G8-/OECD wanted the poor to invite these 25,000 to have undue and illegitimate oversight over our ‘poor’ lives – in the name of climate change.

The message I got ... loud and clear

The message I got ... loud and clear

To deliver more than 600 crore (6 billion) of humanity to an agreement that would have allowed the likes of the Milliband Brothers (and their NGO ‘partners-in-crime’) to pry into our lives, our affairs and dictate our very existence – with our own consent. Without recourse, with no checks and balances. With large amounts of unaccounted money at their disposal. To decide how we live our lives. Under a system, that would have re-invented colonialism, in a way wholly unknown to us earlier.

Any deal was a bad deal

Last time around, India was called the deal breaker at Doha. This time around, it is China. Who gets called, what by whom, may seems unimportant! But as my grandfather reminded me many times, बद हो जाओ, लेकिन बदनाम नहीं (Beware of getting a bad reputation).

The Guardian, goes onto say, “Only China is mentioned specifically in Miliband’s article but aides tonight made it clear that he included Sudan, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba, which also tried to resist a deal being signed.” Sadly India is not included in this list of ‘deniers’ who are, as Gordon Brown puts it, “anti-science and anti-change environmental Luddites who seek to stand in the way of progress.”

Climate control noise is just drowning out all debate

Climate control noise is just drowning out all debate

How I wish India was blamed for the failure of Copenhagen!

De-construction of climate change by 2ndlook

Copenhagen Talks End With Agreement, But No Binding Deal – AlterNet

December 20, 2009 Leave a comment
Too much money ... creating too much of maya

Too much money ... creating too much of maya

Environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben of 350.org voiced his disapproval. (and) summarized what Obama accomplished:

He formed a league of super-polluters, and would-be super-polluters. China, the U.S., and India don’t want anyone controlling their use of coal in any meaningful way.

(via Copenhagen Talks End With Agreement, But No Binding Deal: So, How Screwed Are We? | Environment | AlterNet).

QED

On Aug 14, 2009, a Quicktake post wondered if this entire climate change and global warming had something to do with coal-fired power plants.

This is too close to my dis-comfort zone

This is too close to my dis-comfort zone

Bill McKibben’s peeve does prove that this is indeed the case.

Now, coal is the cheapest way to generate electricity. Looking at the shortfall in electricity, and Indian consumers’ ability to pay, coal is the answer.

To low costs, add the fact that India has coal reserves that will last for the next 100 years – at least. But, coal-generated electricity, will also makes India industrially competitive.

And we don’t want that, do we? Right, Billy Boy!

Inside Indian bedrooms

60years ago, an assault was made by foreign ‘observers’ into Indian bedrooms. Foreign ‘observers’

  1. Tied ‘development aid’ to India’s population control.
  2. Trained Indian ‘health workers’ to control India’s human reproductive behaviour.
  3. Paid for by Western Governments, soon after that, we had ‘health workers’ fanning out across the Indian country-side, conducting  vasectomies /tubectomies on India’s (especially poor) population.
Is this the science we are talking about?

Is this the science we are talking about?

It did not matter then, who the ‘observers’ were – foreign or Indian. Neither does it matter now. What matters is someone’s monitoring. And I don’t like that at all.

Even if the monitors have brown skins (my liking for brown skin notwithstanding). Even if it comes with a recommendation from Nobel prize winner, Amartya Sen. How Indian power producers generate electricity is our business.

Getting a handle on the Indian  economy is the second and related part of the agenda.

An agenda, I don’t like.

All that nice, fresh, white newsprint …

Wasted!

Just the amount of newsprint that has been devoted to climate change and global warming must have raised temperatures (going by the ‘warmers’ calculations and estimates) enough to make this debate of questionable value. To that add, the amount of gimmickry and media overdrive (through slick PR) that raises many doubts and questions.

Hush, boy! Do not even mention ‘scientific manipulation’.

Just look at the record.

The most prominent and vocal votary of Climate Change was Al Gore – who was promptly awarded the Nobel Prize. The recruitment of Maldives and the positioning of President Mohammed Nasheed was again a very slick operation. The underwater Maldives cabinet meeting had a interesting story.

Maldivian officials said the idea to hold the attention-grabbing underwater cabinet meeting came from President Mohamed Nasheed when he was asked by an activist group to support its “environmental day” action on October 24.

“The 350.org group asked if the Maldives can hold an underwater banner supporting environmental day,” an official from the president’s office said.

“The president thought for a while and then came up with the idea to have an underwater cabinet meeting.” (via Maldives cabinet rehearses underwater meeting).

Is this the problem?

Is this the problem?

Propping up Maldives as ‘fifth’ column was done over the last more than 20 years. Based on excellent PR and media management skills, the Maldives was the trojan horse loosed on the G77+Basic grouping.

350.org is rather well armed on the PR front – with a specific agency for South Asia itself. The PR agency for the Maldives Travel and Tourism Authority McCluskey International does  seem to either bask in reflected glory – or is hinting at the authorship of this stunt. The Maldives climate change campaign seems to be headquarted in Britain also.

Been there and done that

The hallmark of the Maldives’ climate  change campaign has been it slick PR. Dramatic statements, intriguing sound bites, the Maldives’ campaign was beyond the common bureaucratic ‘creature’ – much less a Maldives’ bureaucrat. This is consistent and in line with Al Gore’s media and public relations management – which won the PR agency, the campaign of the year award. And Al Gore the Nobel Prize.

All this is much like, how from the early 1950’s to the late eighties, the Western world created hysteria regarding ‘population explosion’  in India and China. Enormous pressures were brought onto the Chinese and Indian Governments to ‘control’ their populations.

Same game, different name! Doesn’t wash. Just like last time.

Related Posts

Fat in the wrong place

November 2, 2009 9 comments

As more Indians moved away from the brink of survival, they have come to demand and depend less on public health care and public food grain distribution.

Liberty will do ... as long as my Welfare State and my bailout is safe! | Cartoon Michael Ramirez; on 8th April, 2009; Source and courtesy - investors.com | Click for larger image.

Liberty will do … as long as my Welfare State and my bailout is safe! | Cartoon Michael Ramirez; on 8th April, 2009; Source and courtesy – investors.com | Click for larger image.

The generally accepted view is that the government runs a bloated bureaucracy. Its current employee strength is 3.32 million. But over 80 per cent of this number is accounted for by specific service departments: posts, central police forces and the railways. Logically, these should not be counted as part of a “bureaucracy”, which as a consequence stands reduced to a relatively modest 600,000. Since the overwhelming majority of even that consists of clerical and support staff, the operational part of the government is quite simply too small. (via Fat in the wrong place).

The good news!

2ndlook has been consistently saying that the Indian Government is NOT fiscally expanding – as percentage of GDP. In terms of employee numbers, like this post (linked above) shows, it has shrunk. As more Indians have moved away from the brink of survival, they have come to depend less on public health care and public food grain distribution.

Who will cut health care costs? For instance in the US, the majority wants the State to increase its powers!  |  Cartoonist - David Horsey; Originally published on August 24, 2009; courtesy - sfgate.com  |  Click for larger image.

Who will cut health care costs? For instance in the US, the majority wants the State to increase its powers! | Cartoonist – David Horsey; Originally published on August 24, 2009; courtesy – sfgate.com | Click for larger image.

It wuz jes poor service

Critics may carp that the those who have moved away, have done so due to the ‘poor’ service levels at Governmental health care and public food-grain centres.

What the carpers forget is that there is a decrease in total demand for such centres or any vocal activism to improve the ‘free’ system.

Quite unlike the citadel of the welfare state – the West.

Indians see a decreasing role for the State in the future – in spite of the best efforts of the State to increase its role. And a ‘progressive’ lobby, like the writer of the post (linked above), who would like the Government to have a better ‘teeth-to-tail’ ratio.

The Indian State meets its colonial cousin

Under the garb of ‘growth’ and ‘progress’ the Indian Government has launched new mega projects to expand its footprint. For instance, the NREGA and Unique Identification Database Authority of India (UIDAI; headed by Nandan Nilekani of Infosys fame). Will the Indian Government sheds it colonial baggage and Western leanings and go for an Indic model?

So, what will it be, India?!

The world’s first (and only?) lean Government – or a bloated Western style ‘Welfare State”?



Climate change – How India is falling for propaganda

September 5, 2009 5 comments

Polluter cleans ... and Pollutor pays and gets away

Polluter cleans ... and Pollutor pays and gets away

I have been surprised by the number of reasonable Indians who have come to accept the proposition, advanced by equally reasonable but perhaps nationalistically-motivated Americans, that the acceptance of internationally-mandated restrictions on carbon emissions by India is in its own national interest. Some have even come to argue that India should actively seek a climate change treaty at the Copenhagen conference in December 2009.

If the big and largely rich emitters of today were to take mitigation in the immediate future seriously, they could achieve emission cuts commensurate with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) without denying the poor in India (and Africa) the prospects of a humane existence. With abject poverty eliminated and electricity and water provided to all, India could join the mitigation effort by 2040. (via India and climate change talks).

Acquisitive Indian CompaniesAcquisitive Indian companies making US nervous?

What if

The entire global warming debate is just a facade to keep up demand for oil from India and China. The opposition to coal fired power plants is to stop India and China from reducing the growth in oil consumption.

After all practically all of British GDP today is declining North Sea oil and British Petroleum. Apart from Chinese money, the other source of liquidity, which keeps the US afloat is petro-dollars. And, remember, US future is so closely linked to Arctic oil. If India and China were to reduce their reliance on oil, leading to a price collapse, the biggest losers will be the Anglo Saxon bloc.

Makes one think!

Indias pharma exports
India’s pharma exports

Three things…

First, many of the regulatory bodies are actually a US-Euro Club – to fool the world, with token actions and steps to demonstrate inclusion and fairness to the developing world.

And second, these token actions divert the attention of the developing world. For instance, World Bank list of banned entities were significantly, from two sectors – Software and Pharma. These are the two sectors where the US still has a lead – and the Indians are its biggest challengers. Generic pharma firms from India have become world beaters – and the Indian software companies have built up US$50 billion a year business, in less than 10 years. These 50 billion dollars have come out of (arguably) US pockets.

At least, the actions against Wipro and Nestor Pharma were pathetic excuses to ban a business – and no third party arbiter will uphold these actions.

Third, on January 9, Standard & Poor’s announced that Greece, Spain and Ireland were on review for a possible downgrade, indicating that a Euro-zone country could default. The cost of the US bailout is likely to exceed US$3 trillion. Current US budget deficit is likely to break all records and estimates.

Indians cows can generate electricity - Australian Cartoonist Researcher

Not so long ago …

In 1999, an employee of an auto-components manufacturer, Autolite, was arrested in France for trademarks and copyright infringement – based on a complaint by the car manufacturer PSA Puegeot Citroen. The French police, on similar complaints, arrested two other nationals, a Belgian and a Taiwanese woman also.

The Belgian was of course granted bail – and the Indian and the Taiwanese were denied bail ‘The lawyers representing the Indian businessman offerred to deposit his passport and the sum of 100,000 French Francs claimed by Peugeot in the custody of the court as bailbond, pending the trial of the case on November 12′.

French court procedures took nearly 1 month and the Indian executive was finally granted bail after being in prison for 1 month. After two years of appeals and expensive litigation, the complaint was found to be without any merit – and dismissed.

When the North Pole greens over

When the North Pole greens over

More recently …

A shipment of medicines destined for Brazil, from India, was detained at Rotterdam. The Dutch Customs used a complaint from a local Dutch company, to detain this shipment, based on local patent laws. After a few months of ‘negotiations’, the shipment was sent back to India. An expert writes, what

‘EU is doing is using Council Regulation (EC) No. 1383/2003 to impound drugs that are suspected of violating patents registered in member-countries even if these are simply in transit. The regulations permit customs to hold these goods for a minimum of 10 working days while informing the patent holder of the seizure. The patent holder then applies to a civil court to initiate legal proceedings in order to prove that infringement has taken place.’

Whats the Quicktake

These seem like offensive actions from the EU and the US – to undermine their competitors and to bolster Euro-US businesses. It makes me doubt the Satyam saga. To carry the conspiracy theory thread forward, was there a Merrill Lynch-Ramlinga Raju ‘deal’?

demmed Indian cows

'demmed' Indian cows

Modern day protectionism, huh?

This also furthers the importance of having non-Western bodies, which are sponsored by the Third World, which will regulate and govern international laws. To depend on the West, is to further dig the hole that the Third World finds itself in.

And in case you forget, remember that for some time Indian cows were blamed for global warming!

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