Overprotected. Over-administered. Over-planned.

That’s India of the 1950s-1980s – the age of the “permit raj”. wgreen has a post on the proposed US auto bailout where he has linked to a YouTube video (about 3 1/2 minutes) – a clip from the PBS documentary Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy – that deals with the problems that plagued socialist India. Read his post for that clip, and visit this website for the whole three-episode-six-hour documentary.

The video I refer to is the fourth chapter from the second episode – India’s Permit Raj and this is the complete transcript of that chapter. You have everyone from Yashwant Sinha to Chidambaram to Jairam Ramesh to Manmohan Singh talking about how government control of the economy and “protecting” local industry was a recipe for disaster, and the funny part is, in 2008, none of them are ready to completely open up the economy. Its as if they don’t understand economics at all.

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  • wgreen  On December 11, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    It is strange, isn’t it. Barack Obama (along with most US politicians) is in the same puzzling mental state. He rejects nationalization on the grounds that governments don’t do a good job of running businesses, and yet he proposes more government control of business. I guess they believe there is some ideal mixture of control and freedom. But to my mind, this doesn’t make sense. if the government is not good at business, then how can they help at all.

    And of course, freedom is the goal, regardless of practical results. There is no ideal mixture of justice and injustice any more than there is an ideal mixture of drinking water and poison. Pure freedom is the goal.

    That freedom is also practical is a “fortuitous” added benefit–it is “icing on the cake”. But it’s is not fortuitous, since the reason that freedom is good is that it is in accord with human nature, which is in accord with the way the world works.

  • you12  On December 11, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    If I remember correctly, the industries themselves asked for more “Pocket money” from their dad.

    The sheep gets its wolf.

  • you12  On December 11, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    PS: I am talking about current news.

  • Aristotle The Geek  On December 12, 2008 at 1:53 am

    Our politicians – there really is not much difference – have no sense of history, no sense of justice, actually no sense at all. That Obama can oppose nationalization (or at least oppose calling the bailout nationalization) and then argue in favor of controls is proof of the fact that his beliefs, if he has any at all, are of a fluid kind. He’s looking at the situation not from a ‘natural rights’ perspective (if he were a ‘natural rights’ person, he would not have been elected President) but from a partly utilitarian perspective – what works and what does not. The utilitarian in him recognizes that government cannot run businesses; the statist in him does not allow him to let go. Like Buridan’s ass, he opts to stay in the middle. Rand has quite a few things to say on the ‘mixed economy’, which is what the US and most other democracies really are.

    What you say about freedom is true, but people who evade reality – the nature of man and his existence – will hardly care about ideas like freedom. They are busy conjuring up socialist utopias of their own, and trying to bring it to fruition, which of course is never going to happen.

    It was Nehru who set the ‘socialism’ ball rolling. Unfortunately, our businessmen have mastered the art of bargaining for favors, and think that they can profit from it some how. Sadly, they are mistaken.

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