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Strategies for a discontinuous future.












Saturday, August 21, 2004
 


Business 2.0 interviews Prof Jagdish Bhagwati (Sub). Higly recommended.

I wish more economists would reach out to the Left to explain the role of macroeconomic policy and trade liberalization in poverty alleviation. Lately, I find myself engaging in deep discussions with my leftist friends, and it is striking to see how common our concerns are. At the same time, I find that most people do not have sufficient training in economic analysis to form well-reasoned opinions.

This makes me think that the Stupidity Tax we keep paying through our noses is just a result of our societies not being literate in economics. I cannot imagine that anyone reasonably well-versed in economics would ever support monstrous idiocies in public policy such as the War on Drugs in America.

Hmmm...if I were the world's chosen dictator for a day, I'd make it compulsory for every kid in every school to learn economics and its application to public policy. Not exposing citizens to the ideas of Bastiat, Ricardo and Smith is just too expensive for any society. It disturbs me to see that an entire generation of otherwise enlightened, well-meaning young people, especially on the Left Coast here in BC, think that trade liberalization is a *cause* of poverty, rather than its *cure*. Look no further than the link to Adbusters' take on economics posted earlier this week.

Why aren't so many educated, rational people in the West analyzing the historical experiments in economic principles, conducted at horrible human cost, in North Korea/South Korea or East Germany/West Germany? Why aren't they asking themselves why identical societies separated at a point in time in history evolved so very differently over the course of the next couple of generations just by following different socio-political and economic systems? Aren't they going to understand the economic mechanics of the miraculous poverty reduction going on right now in India and China?

-- Mahashunyam // 7:03 PM //


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