Thursday, August 31, 2006

Maybe it's oblong

Ever since reading Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat, I am always interested by articles like this one. It's an interesting twist -- it basically says that India's economy will eventually top China's basically because they are a democracy and China is going to struggle with its communist authority. The article gives weight to India's "institutional strengths" over the infrastructure and huge head start that China has built up. It also lists India's exploding population (in comparison to China's more stagnant growth due to the 1 child policy) as a plus for India. I'm skepitical. I had always thought that Friedman painted too rosy an outlook for India and China, and this article also seems to ignore factors such as the virtually debilitating bureaucracy in India (why do you think investors are flocking to China instead), crushing poverty, and enormous population.


At Wednesday, September 06, 2006 9:50:00 PM, Blogger UCLaw98 said...

Well you're right. The "Raj tax" in India (i.e. bribes) are an incredible drain. India is, IMO, better positioned than China -- mainly because I'll back a market economy and a democracy over central command economy every time.


At Thursday, September 07, 2006 12:54:00 AM, Blogger michael budelsky said...

Moose, what about the continued presence of the caste system in India?

The one statistic from TWIF that always gets me is that after chapters of extolling India's progress and predictions of how they are going to supplant the U.S. in world economic dominance, Friedman throws in the fact, almost as an afterthough, that only 0.2% of India's workforce (not population, workforce) is connected to the Bangalor/Infosys type tech jobs. For every high tech worker, there are literally hundreds of peasants working in the fields and living in poverty.


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