Friday, June 09, 2006

Airmiles Aaro?

About a week ago, I noted that Aaro was in India and expressed the profound hope that he was there to do something about Muslim/Hindu tensions, rather than to do a poor man's Thomas "Airmiles" Friedman globollocks piece.

A cursory glance at "Growing confidence shows in investment and returns" reveals that I did not get my wish. Oh dear. More to come ...


Blogger Ray said...

Did he really have to fly all the way to India to write "India's economy is growing fast, and some areas are modernising rapidly. But for every IT park there is a shanty town, and for all the new wealth there is still great poverty. This truly is a land of contraditions."

6/09/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a feeling you wouldn't be impressed. ;-)

He's got two new ones up. I'm no economist and I share his concerns re poverty. "But poverty in the countryside, where most of the people live, may drag down the hopes of economic growth in the 21st century". Has anyone told China? And wasn't there frightening poverty in the countryside during the Industrial Revolution, which is why people took work in factories and down mines in the first place?

6/09/2006 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may not drag down growth, but I can imagine it causing massive (or massiver) social unrest in both India and China - which could drag down growth ultimately I guess.

It was the dispossesion caused by the enclosures/agricultural revolution that largely caused the rural poverty in Britain. There's an argument for saying that something similar is happening today (if through different mechanisms) in India. However India's problem is more a shortage of jobs, rather than workers. Underemployment for university graduates is apparently (still) a significant problem.

6/09/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh god it's like wading through cotton wool treacle that smells of shit. There's no argument there at all; just a load of breathless boosterist statements, naturally put into the mouths of obliging passing locals, so one can't argue against them without looking "a bit racist". There is one huge error though: there was *no* massive increase in growth in 1991. The Indian boom, as Aaro actually notes, began in the 1980s under the old system, and the transition to Airmilesism had no noticeable effect. Dani Rodrik (a fucking good guy on these issues) has been telling people this for years, but seemingly to no avail.

6/09/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

There were a few minor 'reforms' under the Rajiv Gandhi government - replacement of import quotas with tariffs, reduction of subsidies, lifting of some price controls, etc - which possibly kickstarted the growth, though they weren't anywhere near the magnitude of the Narasimha Rao 'reforms' of the early 90s. Nonetheless, their effect on long-run growth was much more significant. Brad DeLong has an interesting chapter on this in the Rodrik-edited book 'In Search of Prosperity' in which he seeks desperately to find a neoliberal explanation for this fact, before struggling to the half-hearted conclusion that (i) Gandhi's reforms had a 'strategic' effect out of proportion to their economic substance, (ii) the growth spurt of the late-80s would have stalled without the Rao reforms, and in any case it wasn't proper growth because it ended with an exchange rate crisis.

6/09/2006 09:03:00 PM  

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