Monday, 27 February 2017

Forms of Government

It has been suggested that every government which has ever existed has been a prime example of kakistocracy, or the rule of the worst, but this list of 169 different types of government suggests that that might be a bit too simplistic. Each of the following words indicates a form of government or type of leadership by a certain kind of person or institution. Everyone seems to want to get in on this rulership gig, from saints and mothers to beggars and prostitutes. Note the difference between the suffix 'archy', meaning 'rulership', and 'cracy', meaning 'power', which both come from Greek roots. 

  1. acracy         government by none; anarchy
  2. adhocracy   government in an unstructured fashion
  3. albocracy     government by white people
  4. anarchy      government by none
  5. androcracy       government by men
  6. anemocracy   government by the wind or by whim
  7. angelocracy   government by angels
  8. antarchy     opposition to government; anarchy
  9. argentocracy   government by money
  10. aristarchy   government by the best
  11. aristocracy   government by the nobility
  12. arithmocracy   government by simple majority
  13. autarchy     government by an absolute ruler
  14. autocracy   government by one individual
  15. barbarocracy   government by barbarians
  16. beerocracy   government by brewers or brewing interests
  17. bestiocracy   rule by beasts
  18. biarchy     government by two people; diarchy
  19. binarchy     government by two people; diarchy
  20. bureaucracy   government by civil servants
  21. cannonarchy   government by superior firepower or by cannons
  22. capelocracy   government by shopkeepers
  23. chiliarchy     government by one thousand people
  24. chirocracy   government by physical force
  25. chromatocracy government by rulers of a particular skin colour
  26. chrysoaristocracy government by the wealthy; plutocracy
  27. chrysocracy   government by the wealthy; plutocracy
  28. corpocracy   government by corporate bureaucrats
  29. cosmarchy   rulership over the entire world, esp. by the devil
  30. cottonocracy   government by those involved in the cotton trade
  31. cryptarchy   secret rulership
  32. decadarchy   government by ten individuals; decarchy
  33. decarchy     government by ten individuals
  34. demarchy   government by the people; popular government
  35. democracy   government by the people
  36. demonarchy   government by a demon
  37. demonocracy   government by demons or evil forces
  38. despotocracy   government by despots or tyrants
  39. diabolocracy   government by the Devil
  40. diarchy     government by two people
  41. dinarchy     government by two people; diarchy
  42. dodecarchy   government by twelve people
  43. doulocracy   government by slaves
  44. duarchy     government by two people; diarchy
  45. dulocracy     government by slaves; doulocracy
  46. dyarchy     government by two people; diarchy
  47. ecclesiarchy   government by clerics or ecclesiastical authorities
  48. endarchy     centralised government
  49. ergatocracy   government by the workers or the working class
  50. ethnarchy   government over an ethnic group
  51. ethnocracy   government by an ethnic group or race
  52. exarchy     government by bishops
  53. foolocracy   government by fools
  54. gerontocracy   government by the aged
  55. gunarchy     government by women; gynarchy
  56. gymnasiarchy   government over a school or academy
  57. gynaecocracy   government by women; gynarchy
  58. gynarchy     government by women
  59. gynocracy   government by women; gynarchy
  60. hagiarchy   government by saints or holy persons
  61. hagiocracy   government by holy men
  62. hamarchy   government by a cooperative body of parts
  63. hecatarchy   government by one hundred people; hecatontarchy
  64. hecatontarchy   government by one hundred people
  65. hendecarchy   government by eleven people
  66. heptarchy   government by seven people
  67. heroarchy   government by heroes
  68. hetaerocracy   government by paramours
  69. heterarchy   government by a foreign ruler
  70. hierarchy     government by a ranked body; government by priests
  71. hierocracy   government by priests or religious ministers
  72. hipparchy   rule or control of horses
  73. hoplarchy   government by the military
  74. hyperanarchy   condition of extreme anarchy
  75. hyperarchy   excessive government
  76. iatrarchy     government by physicians
  77. idiocracy     personal rule; self-rule
  78. infantocracy   government by an infant
  79. isocracy     equal political power
  80. jesuitocracy   government by Jesuits
  81. juntocracy   government by a junta
  82. kakistocracy   government by the worst
  83. kleptocracy   government by thieves
  84. kritarchy     government by judges
  85. landocracy   government by the propertied class; timocracy
  86. logocracy     government of words
  87. matriarchy   government by women or mothers
  88. meritocracy   government by the meritorious
  89. merocracy   government by a part of the citizenry
  90. mesocracy   government by the middle classes
  91. metrocracy   government by mothers or women; matriarchy
  92. millionocracy   government by millionaires
  93. millocracy   government by mill owners
  94. mobocracy   government by mobs or crowds
  95. monarchy   government by one individual
  96. moneyocracy   government by the monied classes
  97. monocracy   government by one individual
  98. myriarchy   government by ten thousand individuals
  99. narcokleptocracy government by those who profit from trade in illegal drugs
  100. navarchy     rulership over the seas
  101. neocracy     government by new or inexperienced rulers
  102. nomocracy   government based on legal system; rule of law
  103. ochlocracy   government by mobs
  104. octarchy     government by eight people
  105. oligarchy     government by the few
  106. paedarchy   government by children
  107. paedocracy   government by children; paedarchy
  108. panarchy     universal rule or dominion
  109. pantarchy   government by all the people; world government
  110. pantisocracy   government by all equally
  111. paparchy     government by the pope
  112. papyrocracy   government by newspapers or literature
  113. parsonarchy   government by parsons
  114. partocracy   government by a single unopposed political party
  115. patriarchy   government by men or fathers
  116. pedantocracy   government by pedants or strict rule-bound scholars
  117. pentarchy   government by five individuals
  118. phallocracy   government by men
  119. philosophocracy government by philosophers
  120. phylarchy     government by a specific class or tribe
  121. physiocracy   government according to natural laws or principles
  122. pigmentocracy government by those of one skin colour
  123. plantocracy   government by plantation owners
  124. plousiocracy   government by the wealthy; plutocracy
  125. plutarchy     government by the wealthy; plutocracy
  126. plutocracy   government by the wealthy
  127. polarchy     government by many people; polyarchy
  128. policeocracy   government by police
  129. pollarchy     government by the multitude or a mob; ochlocracy
  130. polyarchy     government by many people
  131. polycracy     government by many rulers; polyarchy
  132. popocracy   government by populists
  133. pornocracy   government by harlots
  134. prophetocracy   government by a prophet
  135. psephocracy   government resulting from election by ballot
  136. ptochocracy   government by beggars or paupers; wholesale pauperization
  137. punditocracy   government by political pundits
  138. quangocracy   rule of quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations
  139. rotocracy     government by those who control rotten boroughs
  140. septarchy     government by seven rulers; heptarchy
  141. shopocracy       government by shopkeepers
  142. slavocracy   government by slave-owners
  143. snobocracy   government by snobs
  144. sociocracy   government by society as a whole
  145. squarsonocracy government by landholding clergymen
  146. squatterarchy   government by squatters; squattocracy
  147. squattocracy   government by squatters
  148. squirearchy   government by squires
  149. squirocracy   government by squires; squirearchy
  150. statocracy   government by the state alone
  151. stratarchy   rulership over an army
  152. stratocracy   military rule or despotism
  153. strumpetocracy government by strumpets
  154. synarchy     joint sovereignty
  155. technocracy      government by technical experts
  156. tetradarchy   government by four people; tetrarchy
  157. tetrarchy     government by four people
  158. thalassiarchy   sovereignty of the seas; thalassocracy
  159. thalassocracy   sovereignty of the seas
  160. thearchy     rule by a god or gods; body of divine rulers
  161. theatrocracy   goverment by gathered assemblies of citizens
  162. theocracy   government by priests or by religious law
  163. timarchy     government by the propertied class; timocracy
  164. timocracy     government by the propertied class
  165. triarchy     government by three people
  166. tritarchy     government by three people; triarchy
  167. tritheocracy   government by three gods
  168. whiggarchy   government by Whigs
  169. xenocracy   government by a body of foreigners

Essentials of Education

  • The intellectuals will accomplish nothing if they fail to integrate themselves with the workers and peasants.
  • The educational policy must cultivate a firm and correct political orientation, an industrious and simple style of work, and flexible strategy and tactics. 
  • Educational policy must enable everyone who receives an education to develop morally, intellectually and physically and become a worker with both socialist consciousness and culture.
  • Students and intellectuals should study their specialized subjects and must make progress both ideologically and politically, which means that they should study current events and politics. 
  • Not to have a correct political point of view is like having no soul.
  • People have to learn while teaching while serving as teachers. 
  • To be a good teacher, one must first be a good pupil. 
  • There are many things which cannot be learned from books alone; one must learn from those engaged in production, from the workers, from the poor and lower middle peasants etc.
  • Education must serve proletarian politics and must be combined with productive labour. 
  • The working people should master knowledge and the intellectuals should become habituated to manual labour.
  • Destruction means criticism and repudiation. It involves reasoning things out, which is construction. There is no construction without destruction.
  • While students main task is to study, they should in addition to their studies, participate in other things like industrial work, farming and military affairs. 
  • The domination of schools by bourgeois intellectuals should by no means be allowed to continue.

Why majority rule?

  • Democracy in its true sense is rule by people. 
  • The only way a government can function, and the only way a people's voice can be expressed to effect a practicable control of government, is through a process in which decisions are made by the majority. This is not a perfect way of controlling government, but the alternatives -decisions made by a minority, or by one person are even worse and are the source of great evil. To be just, majority decisions must be in the best interest of all the people, not just one faction.
  • The will of the majority honestly expressed should give law.
  • Civil government being the sole object of forming societies, its administration must be conducted by common consent.
  • The fundamental principle is that the will of the majority is to prevail.
  • If we are faithful to our country, in the decisions of the majority, and the nation moves in mass in the same direction.
  • Where the law of the majority ceases to be acknowledged, there government ends, the law of the strongest takes its place.
  • A nation ceases to be republic, when the will of the majority ceases to be the law.
  • If the avenue of the expression of the voice of the whole people be shut, we shall go on in the endless circle of oppression, rebellion, reformation; and oppression, rebellion, reformation again; and so on forever.
  • No good measure was ever proposed which, if duly pursued, failed to prevail in the end.
  • Against a majority we cannot effect by force. Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments.
  • If the measures which have been pursued are approved by the majority, it is the duty of the minority to acquiesce and conform.
  • Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals.
  • This sacred principle that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
  • The majority oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.
  • Great innovations should not be forced on a slender majority.
  • A geographical division ... is a most fatal of all divisions, as no authority will submit to be governed by a majority acting merely on a geographical principle.
My View:
We all know that majority is not always right. The minority is often right and the majority, who are usually conservative by nature and with backward, feudal mindsets, often wrong. In India the majority of people are casteist, communal and superstitious and hence no rapid progress is possible. India requires scientific thinking and massive investments to eradicate poverty, unemployment, lack of healthcare and good education, etc. But our politics under the present parliamentary system of democracy is largely based on caste and communal vote banks and rarely people elect merit candidates giving scope to criminals entering legislatures. Most of our present politicians are selfish, greedy and unpatriotic, with no love for people, but are experts in manipulating vote banks and polarizing the people on caste and communal lines. Casteism and communalism are feudal forces obstructing our nation's progress. Unless we make large investments in education and awareness creation, people will not be able to overcome these feudal forces and see reason in electing genuinely good people. Instead of going for drastic measures for rapid development which would confuse poorer & uneducated masses and make them scary & skeptical, we should improve upon existing systems with giant steps with transparency of process and building confidence of people. Remember systems never fail; It is people who fail them.


Thursday, 23 February 2017

US National debt is now close to $20 trillion

Due to underlying structural problems, US government spending is rising on automatic pilot.

  • Eighty percent of the spending increase over the next 10 years will go for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid (the “entitlements”) and interest on the national debt, unless entitlement programs are altered to lengthen their lifespans.
  • Right now, U.S. government debt is equal to about 77 percent of the gross national product (GNP), the total annual output of U.S. goods and services.
  • The figure could to rise to 89 percent by 2027, and to 145 percent of GNP 30 years from now.
  • Interest costs are likely to rise from $270 billion this year to $768 billion in 2027. Absent reform, things would get worse from there. Interest payments would rise from 1.4 percent of the economy (GDP) last year to 5.8 percent in 2046.
  • As interest costs rise, an aging population and rising health care costs will further increase pressure on the federal budget, making it increasingly difficult to fund other important national priorities, from defense to medical research. 
  • Increased risk of a fiscal crisis could drive interest rates even higher. 
  • A steadily rising debt is unsustainable, and that aging of the population, rising health care costs, and increasing interest costs will continue to drive up the debt with no end in sight, assuming no changes in American laws.
  • It isn’t exclusively a spending problem but changes need to take place on the revenue side as well.
  • Under the current political situation, the debt is a bipartisan problem and requires bipartisan solutions. Neither party wants to go it alone on cutting important programs and boosting tax revenues.
  • To avoid such risks to economy and the nation’s future, elected officials must pursue broad fiscal reforms soon. Interest costs are not something that lawmakers and the president can control directly. Avoiding a dangerous upward spiral in those costs in the future will require greater fiscal discipline throughout the federal budget.
  • The focus should be on future generations. Younger people have the most at stake in what direction the national debt chart takes.
  • These are solvable problems that need to adjust national policies and build sustainable operations.
  • Steep tax cuts without spending reductions might stimulate the economy, but they would result in further burgeoning of the national debt.  
  • The longer Washington continues to procrastinate on budget reforms, the more taxpayers today and in the future can expect to pay more just to service the growing federal debt. That’s not the path to prosperity.
My View:
Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse. 
It is the responsibility of the Government to reduce expenditure, increase revenues and bring down national debt to manageable levels. Otherwise they will lose credibility, ratings will go down, and end up borrowing at higher interest rates to settle lower interest debts due for repayment and end up in vicious cycle that could result in payment defaults. Unless reformed, US national debt will continue to rise and USA will be permanently trapped in ever increasing national debt, forever.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Rio Olympics 2016 - Billions wasted

  • The 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil cost Brazilian taxpayers $4.6 billion, conservative estimates show. But once related expenses covered by the Brazilian government are factored in, the overall costs hit the $12 billion mark.
  • Prior to the Olympics, the Brazilian government had already spent $12 billion on infrastructure. Stadiums and urban projects designed to ensure the country was ready for the sports event were built, but aside from the scheduled 2014 & 2016 events, there seemed to be little to no demand for such public investments prompting the country that the expenses were not worth the trouble.
  • These structures are left to rot symbolizing government waste, not only because the investments weren’t meant to stand the test of time, but also because the Brazilian government’s lack of concern for the taxpayer.
  • The government ignored the economic realities of the country, betting on inflation and cronyism in order to throw an unforgettable party.
  • Due to the government’s lavish spending prior to the World Cup and Summer Olympics, led to a move that provoked chaos among consumers simply because banks were forced to put money into circulation that wasn’t backed by anything.
  • As more cash was put into circulation by the banks and the federal government due to the World Cup and Olympics-related expenses, the value of Brazilian money tanked. To the consumer, that translated into lower purchasing power, making it more difficult for the poor to stock their pantries. 
  • With the government’s out of hand expenses Brazilian people suffered because the government robbed them of their money’s purchasing power. 
  • Now that the structures built for the world to see are rotting away, the low-income Brazilian continues to suffer. The only solution to this matter is to unleash currency control from the hands of the federal government. Only then will the federal government be powerless in creating more debt and inflation, keeping it from playing with the Brazilian taxpayer’s hard-earned money.
My View:
Greece has spent £7 billion, twice their projected budget, for 2004 Olympics. Ten years later now, these sports venues in Athens lie empty, completely unused and decaying. Greece hit by the global financial crisis and with no real post-games plan, the prestigious venues were abandoned. Greece has seen post Olympic era as a decade of lost opportunities. No country, with weak fundamentals, should embark on such ambitious spending risking economic collapse, for partying and fun. Former Olympic Greek sporting hero turned Socialist member of Parliament Pyrros Dimas said 'We didn't take advantage of this dynamic that we got in 2004, We simply made the biggest mistake in our history: We switched off, locked up the stadiums, let them fall to pieces, and everything finished there.' This 8.5 billion euros is a drop in the ocean of the country's subsequent 320 billion-euro debt, which spun out of control after 2008.


The Gold Standard is Right

  • Gold is the primary global currency that has an intrinsic value. Credit instruments and fiat currency depend on the credit worthiness and signature of a counter party. No one refuses gold as payment to discharge an obligation. It has always been that way. No one questions its value, first coined in Asia Minor in 600 BC.
  • The gold standard was operating at its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a period of extraordinary global prosperity, characterized by firming productivity growth and very little inflation. 
  • Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. That is the reason for the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard.
  • World War I disabled the fixed exchange rate parities.With different degree of war and economic destruction from country to country, the desire to return to pre-war exchange parities was wholly unrealistic. It wasn’t the gold standard that failed; it was politics.
  • As per the above chart, bottom 90% of US earners income was far more than top 1% earners until Nixon ended the US Gold Standard, in August 1971, unleashing an unprecedented increase in US debt, and the stagnation of real incomes and net worth for all but the "top 1% of earners." 
  • It is no wonder that the 1% hates the gold standard, including their protectors in the developed market central banking system, their economist lackeys, their purchased politicians and their captured media outlets, the topic of a return to a gold standard is the biggest threat conceivable.
  • Everything changed a few decades later in the late 1980s onwards, instead of applying the above wisdom, central bank intervening in every crisis, creating new currency with abandon, and debt soared. Prevention of regulation of credit default swaps and other derivatives had nearly blew up the system in 2008.
  • The growth has continued despite adversity, is due to the new financial instruments unbundling risks. These instruments enhance the ability to differentiate risk and allocate it to those investors most able and willing to take it. The product and asset price signals enable entrepreneurs to finely allocate real capital facilities to produce those goods and services most valued by consumers, a process that has undoubtedly improved national productivity growth and standards of living.
  • In the aftermath of the dot com crisis interest rate cuts to near-zero in the early 2000s, ignited the housing bubble, which no one at the Fed was able to detect along the way. 
  • The leveraged speculating community learned that no risk was too egregious and no profit too large, because government - that is, the Fed - had eliminated all the worst-case scenarios. Put another way, under this regime profit was privatized but loss was socialized.
  • One of the nice things about the information age is that public figures leave long paper trails and can't therefore easily escape their pasts. 
  • The risk of inflation is beginning to rise. Significant increases in inflation will ultimately increase the price of gold. Investment in gold is insurance, not for short-term gain, but for long-term protection.
  • Gold standard would have helped mitigate risks of an unstable fiscal system like the one we have today.
  • Going back on to the gold standard would be perceived as an act of desperation. But if the gold standard were in place today, we would not have reached the situation in which we now find ourselves. There is a widespread view that the 19th Century gold standard didn’t work. It wasn’t the gold standard that failed; it was politics.
  • Protracted period of stagnant productivity growth, particularly in the developed world and social benefits crowded out gross domestic savings, the primary source for funding investment. The decline in gross domestic savings has suppressed capital investment and is reflected proportionately in the people’s standard of living. 
  • As productivity growth slows down, the whole economic system slows down provoking despair and a consequent rise in economic populism from Brexit to Trump. Populism is not a philosophy or a concept, like socialism or capitalism, it is a cry of pain by the people.
  • At the same time, the risk of inflation is beginning to rise. In the United States, the unemployment rate is below 5%, putting upward pressure on wages. Demand is picking up, as manifested by broad increase in the money supply stoking inflationary pressures. Impose inflation on stagnation, you get stagflation.
  • Today, we cannot afford to spend on infrastructure in the way that we should. Much such infrastructure would have to be funded with government debt. We would never have reached this position of extreme indebtedness were we on the gold standard, because the gold standard is a way of ensuring that fiscal policy never gets out of line.
My View:
The above contents are largely the experiences of USA during the longest tenure of its Fed Reserve's Chairman Alan Greenspan (1987 thro 2006). India following the more or less same principles is also suffering with inflation, budget deficits, large borrowings, reckless spending, crony capitalists, and above all unbridled corruption by politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen, who work hand in hand, to loot the nation. While the rich & educated became super rich, poor remained poor only. Inflation and low bank interest rates hurting the savers especially old people who live on interest income on the fixed deposits. Today India ratings are just a notch above junk status and ratings upgrade in next two years is unlikely. Banking system is on the verge of collapse with NPAs trebling in the past two years. Tax evasion and black money is restricting our economical growth. Agriculture that provides livelihood for 65% of people, who are largely poor, uneducated & unskilled and rural based, has been made unprofitable by successive governments. Modi's recent demonetization, publicized as surgical strike on black money hoarders and corrupt people turned out to be least thought, politically motivated, poorly executed man made economic disaster unprecedented in independent India destroying livelihoods of poor & lower classes and recovery to its pre-demonetization levels is expected only after two years. Despite all ills, India with large masses of consumption and production has resilience to survive and grow.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

UP Elections - Likely outcome

  • Hearing 'Modi, Modi' in and around, Muslims got divided between the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP). The estimates are at least 70% Muslims in his voted for the SP and remaining BSP.
  • It's enough to make the SP candidate win, because the SP is getting some extra votes beyond M and Y, Muslim and Yadav.
  • Regarding Ram mandir to be built in Ayodhya, voters said they have heard this forever.
  • Ragrding the decisiveness with which demonetisation was announced overnight, has even more brought about a near consolidation among Hindus. About 65% Baniyas, upset with demonetisation, voted for the SP candidate as a negative vote for the BJP, to send a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • There are women and youth across caste and community lines who never cared to vote but voted this time for Akhilesh Yadav, to defeat BJP.
  • This election is difficult to read in the absence of a perceptible wave, or leher, the only way to understand voter behaviour is caste.
  • Not just journalists and psephologists, even politicians don't really know what's cooking inside the voting machines.
  • There will be many who will get it right, but by chance. Anyone who claims to be able to read this election is bluffing. Or may be it is just a bad reporter playing it safe.
My View:
BJP is lacking 'slogan' and CM face and burdened with demonetisation woes; Modi's war against corruption, black money, fake currency & terrorism financing proved to be a gimmick; his stoic silence about demonetisation benefits; absence of noticeable anti incumbancy vote against Akhilesh Yadav; Ram Mandir not generating any Hindu polarisation but polarising Muslims against itself; and caste grouping unfavourable to BJP; SP-Congress combine likely to add 6-9% votes etc leaves SP-Congress combine in a hopeful position to sail through the election with a simple majority similar to that of Jayalalitha AIADMK in Tamilnadu six moths ago. However voter behaviour and election outcomes are not easily predictable even to the psephologists.

      Sasikala must NOT be moved to Chennai jail

      • Sasikala should be told that she is not a free citizen on holiday to a resort to exercises choices for comforts and entertainment. She is a convicted criminal stripped off all fundamental rights and undergoing rigorous imprisonment.
      • She has ulterior motives to run TN government sitting in jail and must be thwarted.
      • Her 'mulaqats' must be restricted to only family members and must not be allowed to engage in any kinds of politics or businesses.

      Friday, 17 February 2017

      Development

      • Development is an emergent property of the economic and social system.
      • Development is simply defined as ”good change”. Good change lies on a continuum and development is a process not a definite goal post.
      • Development is not the sum of well-being of people in the economy. Development is not enrichment of of upper classes or GDP growth or growth rate or lesser inflation or combination of above but is the enhancement of living standards of lower classes on sustainable basis. 
      • Early theories and strategies of development were more focused on achieving economic growth as compared to latter theories and strategies that emphasize social, political, ecological and other dimensions of development.
      • Traditional welfare economics had focused on incomes as the main measure of well-being but poverty involved a wider range of deprivations in health, education and living standards which were not captured by income alone. 
      • The challenge of development is to improve the quality of life, higher incomes, better education, higher standards of health and nutrition, less poverty, a cleaner environment, more equality of opportunity, greater individual freedom, and a richer culture life.
      • The purpose of development is to create an environment in which all people can expand their capabilities and opportunities that can be enlarged for both present and future generations. The essentials to the enlargement are healthy life, education, and decent standard of living.
      • Development is more than improvements in people’s well-being. It also describes the capacity of the system to provide the circumstances for that continued well-being. 
      • Poor countries suffered from orientation to the past, strong kin relationships, superstition, and fatalism.
      • Developed countries managed to move through industrial revolutions, research and exploitation of technology that resulted in an increase in the productive capacities of their societies and creating the conditions of modernity. 
      • Developed countries was characterized by innovation, motivation, entrepreneurship, weaker kin relationships and not enslaved by tradition. 
      • But economic growth need not necessarily require the displacement or abandonment of the traditional patterns of living and norms.
      • Development is a system-wide manifestation of the way that people, firms, technologies and institutions interact with each other within the economic, social and political system. 
      • Development is a characteristic of the system and sustained improvements in individual well-being.
      • Development is defined as the process of economic and social transformation that is based on complex cultural and environmental factors and their interactions.
      • Development must be judged by its impact on people, not only by changes in their income but more generally in terms of their choices, capabilities and freedoms; and we should be concerned about the distribution of these improvements, not just the simple average for a society.
      • Development carries a connotation of lasting change. Development is not only the improvements in the well-being of citizens but also the capacity of economic, political and social systems to provide the circumstances for that well-being on a sustainable, long-term basis.
      My View:
      The present model of reforms & development in India during the past 25 years have resulted in expansion of government's revenues and spending thus offering stability of economy. Per-capita income grew a lot, the pertinent truth is that rich became ultra richer and poor remained poorer. Aberrations are increased corruption, tax evasion, black money, destruction of ecological assets and erosion of value systems. Reckless borrowing had reduced our nation's ratings to near junk status. Unbridled corruption had almost destroyed our banking system. Attempting to develop with export orientation or rapid industrialization without enhancing purchasing power of large number of poor people would be futile. China's economic growth is mainly due to its exploitation of labour for prolonged periods, destruction of ecology and patronizing by western countries which may not suit India with its democratic values and labour rights. Neglecting our agrarian economy will be short sighted approach. Even after 25 years of reforms, agriculture sector still not liberated with MSP dictating the produce pricing. Dilution of labour rights will only enable ruthless capitalists exploiting them. What we need is a development model suitable for country's all round development steadily & surely, especially focusing on lower classes advancement.

      Thursday, 16 February 2017

      Modi bites dust in Tamilnadu

      Jayalalitha expired on December 5, 2016 and O.Paneer Selvam became Chief Minister of Tamilnadu for third time. On Sun Feb 5, 2017, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam,  tendered his resignation from the post citing 'personal reasons' and Governor accepted the same. In a separate but near identical letters, Panneerselvam thanked Prime Minister Modi and Governor Ch.Vidyasagar Rao for all the support and cooperation extended by them during his term. After O.Paneer Selavam submitted his resignation as CM of Tamilnadu and Leader of the AIADMK legislature party and he himself had proposed Sasikala as Leader of the AIADMK legislature party. Same day and AIADMK MLAs elected party chief V K Sasikala as their leader, paving the way for her appointment as Chief Minister. 

      At this juncture Modi & BJP saw an opportunity to gain foothold in Tamilnadu, with just 2.86% vote share and lost all 232 seats contested in 2016 elections. Governor, Ch.Vidyasagar Rao (a BJP leader) indicated that in the interest of forming a stable government, he would wait for SC judgement, in a DA case against Jayalalitha, Sasikala, Elavarasi & Sudhakaran, and had traveled from Delhi to Mumbai instead of to Chennai. Governor's action of not inviting majority party leader to form government, on some pretext or other, is fundamentally incorrect, unprecedented, irrational and blatantly unconstitutional & illegal as there is no bar on a person holding constitutional positions until convicted and jailed. Presumptive action by Governor is in violation of fundamental principles of democracy is untenable and despicable. At the same time the outgoing CM O.Paneer Selvam changed his mind and revolted against Sasikala charging her with applying pressure to sign resignation and requested Governor to permit him withdraw the resignation which was already accepted and is unmaintainable. On Feb 14, 2016 SC delivered judgement upholding Trial Court's conviction judgement in toto, setting aside HC's acquittal judgement, and Governor's stand seems to be vindicated but still is unconstitutional and amounts to overreaching his powers. 

      Modi's game plan got tumbled with Paneer Selvam unable to obtain switch of 20 MLAs from Sasikala's group camping at Mahabalipuram resort to his side that could topple Sasikala's claim, with the support of DMK & Congress, arch rivals of Sasikala, despite seven days of time. Going by the inordinate delay in Governor inviting Sasikala to form Government and tone of statements by Paneer Selvam it is clear to everyone that Modi is behind Paneer Selvam's histrionics. Sasikala before proceeding to Bangalore jail got K.Palani Swamy elected as AIADMK legislature party leader with 124 MLA's signing the support document and Governor, Ch.Vidyasagar Rao has no option but to invite Sasikala's proxy K.Palani Swamy to form government and obtain confidence of house within 15 days.

      Thus, Modi is once again is at receiving end in Tamilnadu, after his failed adventures in Bihar, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, in the past denting his already spoiled image further badly.

      My View:
      Modi and BJP's game plan to gain foot hold in every state without winning hearts of the people by sheer manipulations is totally against the principles of democracy and making mockery of governance. With Sasikala in jail, and thin majority of 124 against 117, how long K.Palani Swamy government will survive is a million dollar question. A switch by 10 MLAs will pull down the government for which DMK, BJP and Congress would be anxious to do at the earliest opportunity. If that happens, most likely it will in next few months, midterm poll becomes inevitable and DMK & Stalin would be in a position of advantage.

      Sensing the reality, the parties behind Paneerselvam namely BJP, DMK & Congress distanced themselves and are trying to be neutral in the forthcoming floor test of new CM Palaniswamy and allowing Paneerselvam to get isolated.

      Jayalalitha & Sasikala - Convicted criminals

      On Feb 14, 2017, SC verdict accuses Jayalalithaa as a mastermind who misused her public office.



      Late Jayalitha, Sasikala, Elavarasi and Sudhakaran were convicted by SC on Feb 14, 2017, in a 21 year old DA case. Sasikala, the unrelated acquaintance of Jayalalitha for 33 years, was also convicted by SC upholding Trial court sentence and setting aside HC acquittal reveals the deep rooted criminal attitudes of both along with Elavarasi & Sudhakaran.
      • Jayalalithaa did not accommodate Sasikala at Poes Garden house out of some philanthropic urge or humanitarian concern but with cold-blooded calculation to keep herself secure from any legal complications, which may arise from their criminal activities
      • deep-rooted conspiratorial design to amass vast riches
      • hatching criminal conspiracy to launder the ill-gotten wealth
      • purchasing huge properties in the names of masked fronts
      • ten firms were constituted in a single day. Apart from buying properties, no other business activity was undertaken by them
      • Jayalalitha masterminded, misused her public office, masked banking exchanges, acquired vast tracts of land for pittances and conspired with her co-accused at Poes Garden only to later feign ignorance about any crime committed
      • this case is a deep-rooted conspiratorial design to amass vast assets without any compunction and hold the same through shell entities to cover up the sinister trail of such illicit acquisitions and deceived and delude the process of law
      • Jayalalitha had executed a GPA in favour of Sasikala in respect of Jaya Publications only to maintain a respectable distance from inflow and outflow of money meant for property acquisitions.
      • SC lauded Special Judge for his investigative approach and exhaustive research regarding every piece of evidence. The SC observed that the trial court was sensitive, vigilant and judicious in its appraisal of the evidence in this case
      • SC held that Karnataka High Court judge did not even bother to appraise the evidence available and stuck to whatever the income tax authorities found in favor of the accused persons
      • SC held that death of a public servant does not extinguish the corruption case against the other private accused. Private individuals can be prosecuted on the ground that they had abetted the act of criminal misconduct.
      • SC expressed deep concern about the escalating corruption in the society
      Jayalalithaa adopted Sasikala's nephew Sudhakaran, announced his wedding in Sep 1995 to the grand daughter of actor Sivaji Ganesan. The Rs.100 crore extravagant wedding consisted of several dining halls; state machinery misused to supply power to the hall, tankers used to supplied lakhs of litres of water and government vehicles employed for transport. This prompted Dr. Subramanyam Swamy initiate the corruption case against Jayalalitha.

      It is rumored that Karnataka HC judge who set aside Trial court conviction, later purchased several plots & properties in his relatives names in Bangalore.



      My View:
      Now that it is proven that Jayalalitha is not 'Amma' but a hard core criminal, worse than a terrorist. DMK brigade is no better is another story. Only a fortnight ago there was demand from various Tamil quarters for the award of 'Bharat Ratna' to Jayalalitha. Even without family to inherit, Jayalalitha 'amassed' so much wealth exemplifying human being's underlying greed and becomes difficult to imagine how much politicians are looting the nation. Hopefully, YS Jagan will be consigned to jail in next few months relieving AP of the demonised evils. 21 years to convict her is shamefully too long. The best could be no more than 6-12 months. The need of the hour is to reform our systems to track and book this type of culprits early and send them to jail quickly for rest of their life so that society could lead better quality of life. Bringing all politicians including Prez & PM, officials, businessmen, judiciary and all people in public domain under the purview of strong & independent Lok Pal and strengthening RTI and institutions like CVC, CBI, ACB etc. will be few steps in right direction. Self styled 'anti corruption lone crusader' Modi - whether he will do anything in this direction, even after mid way of the term,  is yet to be seen. I fear he is politician who looks at everything for political gains only.

      Wednesday, 15 February 2017

      Capitalism & Morality

      • Capitalism is the most productive and efficient economic system.
      • Some critics contend that capitalism is not a moral system.
      • Morality is impossible unless one is free to choose between alternatives without outside coercion. Since capitalism is based on freedom of choice, it provides the best environment for morality and character development. 
      • Business success not only requires but also rewards virtuous behavior by participants in the market.
      • All human beings have natural rights endowed by their Creator or inherent in their nature, and have a moral obligation to respect the rights of others. Natural rights impose the obligation not to interfere with others liberty. 
      • It is morally illegitimate to use coercion against someone who does not first undertake the use of force. The role of government, is to protect man's natural rights.  
      • This freedom involves far more than simple democracy and an individual can pursue his freely chosen norms, actions, and ends without the arbitrary intervention of others. This freedom is necessary for individual morality. 
      • There can be no morality without responsibility and no responsibility without self- determination. Self-determination implies rationality, honesty, self-control, productiveness, and perseverance. 
      • Maximum self-determination for each individual is possible only when the state is limited to maintaining justice and defending against coercion, thus protecting life, liberty, and property.  
      • Capitalism is a system of relationships and cannot be moral or immoral and individuals can only be moral agents. 
      • A social system can be moral if it promotes moral behavior by individuals. 
      • It is imperative to create a political and economic system that permits self-determination and promotes morality. Capitalism is that system. 
      • Capitalism is only a means and requires individual participants to decide on the ends to be pursued. 
      • No economic system can make people good. The best that an economic system can do is to allow people to be good. 
      • Morality and virtue require that individuals be free to be immoral and of bad character. 
      • When an individual has choice and bears responsibility for his actions can he be moral. 
      • Capitalism allows the exercise of individual free will but cannot guarantee a moral society. 
      • Human development requires more than material wealth. 
      • Prosperity enables individuals to cultivate their talents, abilities, and virtues. 
      • Capitalism is the best system for wealth creation, permits individuals to spend less time on physical concerns, leaving them more time to engage in higher pursuits. 
      • Achievement of prosperity tends to reward moral behavior. 
      • Businesses and their owners, managers, and employees have moral obligations. They must respect the natural rights of other individuals, which includes honoring contracts, not engaging in fraud, not using coercion against others, and honoring representations made to the local community. 
      • Businessmen should not support government economic interventions, such as price supports, tariffs, and subsidies, even though doing so might result in higher profits. Doing so in nothing but use of coercion.
      • Living up to these virtues will aid businessmen in the pursuit of profit. 
      • The free market rewards polite, cooperative, tolerant, open, honest, realistic, trustworthy, discerning, creative, fair businessmen. 
      • Lying to and cheating other businesses, misleading consumers, and mistreating workers all have serious adverse consequences. 
      • In the long run, profitable businesses tend to be operated in accordance with the basic ethical principles most people hold dear.
      • Under capitalism business transactions takes place by mutual agreement for perceived mutual gains only by serving the interests of others. 
      • Protecting individual choice, capitalism generates enormous wealth, and creates an environment in which virtue can flourish. 
      • Capitalism is not only the most productive and efficient economic system. It is also the most moral economic system!  
      • Capitalism is an economic system that promotes inequality.
      • Uncontrolled, capitalism will corrupt and undermine democracy.
      • The vice of capitalism is its unequal sharing of blessings; the virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. 
      My View:
      All the above merits of capitalistic system seems to be very nice but in reality people are selfish, greedy and does anything to maximize their profits. In a highly educated society, with abundance of awareness, consciousness of individual rights, free of corruption at least at working levels, stringent law enforcement systems with highly deterrent punishments where citizens will voluntarily comply with laws otherwise they will be compelled to fear laws, capitalism will work to great extent. In poor, less educated & developing societies, free market capitalism is a bane and a distant dream.

      Capitalism is fundamentally incompatible with principles of democracy. Capitalism doesn't recognize equal rights of sharing natural resources. The rich consumes too much and poor too little. Capitalism only produces materialistic benefits and makes humans drift away from soil. A small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor. Capitalism creates materialistic wealth, makes people insensitive and impoverishes spiritually. In the pursuit of riches, economic systems often creates jolts which only hurts the poor. In poor and less educated societies poor gets exploited with scanty food & social security. In educated & affluent societies poor people are provided social and food security only to safeguard the interests of the rich. The only applaudable achievement of capitalism is that extreme poverty & starvation deaths are eliminated. The worst aberration in capitalism is that while risk is spread out on everybody, the fruits are cornered by the rich alone. Morality is incompatible with amassing wealth. Usually amassing wealth is associated with cheating & corruption, looting public or government and destruction of ecological assets. Since the system will not change the rules, we need to change the system. 

      Tuesday, 14 February 2017

      Saikala VK's conviction upheld by SC

      • Today, the Feb 14, 2017, the Supreme Court verdict upholding Trial Court judgment, setting aside HC acquittal, convicting AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala, in a 21-year-old disproportionate assets case, effectively ending her chances of ever taking office as Tamil Nadu chief minister, is a vindication for Governor Vidyasagar Rao deciding to delay formation of government and await SC judgement.
      • In addition to (1) Late Jayalalitha, (2) VK Sasikala and (3) her sister-in-law Ilavarasi and (4) her nephew Sudhakaran were all found guilty and Sasikala, Ilavarasi & Sudhakaran were sentenced to 4 year rigorous imprisonment.
      • Earlier, it was extremely wrong, unconstitutional and patently illegal on the part of BJP and the Modi government to fish in the troubled waters of Tamil Nadu. They have no business to instruct the Governor Vidyasagar Rao to not go to Tamil Nadu and abort the swearing-in of Sasikala scheduled for Feb 8, 2017. Modi government is playing a dirty game as they want to create a problem for the political parties in TN and they want to get some advantage as BJP has no hold in Tamil Nadu. 
      • With Jayalalitha dead and now Sasikala convicted for 4 year sentence, AIADMK stands leaderless, directionless and disintegrating into several groups and some merging with DMK and some with Congress are likely.
      • Whether Governor Vidyasagar Rao had inside information from BJP or Modi about SC's impending judgement against Sasikala, a week ahead, will never be known.
      • Even though dead, Jayalalitha's name will be tarnished in the history books as corrupt and convicted criminal.
      • All properties of Jayalalitha, in the absence of no will left by her, will get liquidated and auctioned to realize the fine of Rs.100 crores imposed by Trial Court.
      • Unless all AIADMK MLAs join together and elect unanimous leader, Tamilnadu will be thrown into political turmoil with Presidents rule followed by mid term poll which will become advantageous to DMK and its leader Stalin. AIADMK might slip into oblivion soon.
      • Sasikala paid bitter price for her misdeeds and cultivating mafia culture and most people hates her except AIADMK MLAs who were granted tickets by her.
      • In Sept 1995, V. N. Sudhakaran, the 28-year-old nephew of Jayalalitha's friend-turned-sister-turned-confidante, Sasikala Natarajan, hit a Vegas-style jackpot when he was plucked out of oblivion by the chief minister, declared her foster son, betrothed to actor Sivaji Ganesan's granddaughter, Sathyalakshmi, and married off in the most expensive and controversial wedding in the state's history, the highest approximate worked out is a mind-boggling Rs 100 crore. This provoked Dr. Subramanya Swamy initiating corruption cases against Jayalalitha, Sasikala, Ilavarasi & Sudhakaran.
      Corruption never pays and even a lower court is independent 
      whose verdict was same as the SC. She may file a review petition 
      but unlikely to get any relief ... Soli Sorabjee

      My View:
      It took 21 years for our legal system to send culprits to jail where huge assets with powerful people Jayalalitha and sources remain unexplained. Shame on our judicial system. We need judiciary reforms so that there won't be any pending cases in all courts and any case should take less than 6 months. At worst 12 months. Already people of India are shying away from our legal system and taking help of mafia and gangsters for resolution of litigation they encounter. Left unattended the situation will further deteriorate and collapse.

      In civil & judicial services, there must be performance evaluation at all levels and bottom 10% in first year and 5% in subsequent years in every category must be compulsorily retired/retrenched every year without any terminal benefits. The vacancies arising could be filled with fresh recruitment. That is how Ratan Tata has turned around Tata Motors in 1990's plagued with all sorts of ills & corruption.


      Justice delayed is not only justice denied 
      but rule of the law destroyed ... William Ewart Gladstone 

      Friday, 10 February 2017

      Rent seeking behaviour

      Rent seeking is defined as the practice of manipulating public policy or economic conditions as a strategy for increasing profits. Rent-seeking lobbyists or cronyism and rent-seeking have become an integral part of the way our biggest companies do business. Rent-seeking results in reduced economic efficiency through poor allocation of resources, reduced actual wealth creation, lost government revenue, increased income inequality, and national decline. The classic example of rent-seeking is that of a feudal lord who installs a chain across a river that flows through his land and then hires a collector to charge passing boats a fee to lower the chain.
      • Rent-seeking often requires spending your own resources so that you can own someone else’s surplus in the end. 
      • Weak property rights allows rent seekers gain more by trying to appropriate that wealth than by producing themselves. 
      • Rent-seeking can include piracy, lobbying the government or even just giving away money.
      • Hired lobbyists sway public policy to benefit their companies and punish their competitors. The work of lobbyists does not add value to the larger marketplace. Stable property rights would have eliminated role for lobbyists.
      • Rent-seeking doesn’t add any national value. Rent-seeking is coerced trade and benefits only one side. 
      • Rent-seeking of pirates motivates merchants to spend their resources to prevent the theft.
      • Rent-seeking never encourages productivity. 
      • The production of valuable goods and services is maximized with strong property rights. In strong economy, there are fewer incentives for rent-seeking.
      • Weak economic times make it difficult to produce and rent-seeking becomes attractive.
      • Downward spiraling gets created because the rewards of rent-seeking are often constant. 
      • In poor economy, the burden of fixed rent-seeking costs on producers drives surpluses even lower and makes rent-seeking more attractive, which in turn burdens those who remain productive.
      • Much rent-seeking is redistributing the surplus of one group to another group via the government. There might be great incentives for one group to seek another’s surplus but there is no added value for society as a whole.
      • Rent-seeking is a normal impulse. Much of what we do in wealth management is rent-seeking. We practice tax management and look for ways to reduce government-legislated rent-seeking.
      • Tax planning doesn’t add value to society as a whole, but it is personally profitable.
      • Any legislation to subsidize or bail out struggling businesses is rent-seeking. 
      • When banks take excessive risks to gain excessive returns, they are risking that the returns will be worth the hazards involved. But when government bails out these risky banks, they were able to privatize any profits from their risky ventures and through rent-seeking and they have managed to coerce the public to pay for their failures. Thus prudent lenders are punished and reckless lending is rewarded.
      • A wasteful amount of rent-seeking accompanies most government spending. The best way to improve the situation is to reduce the size of government. When there is less money, there will be less corruption and less incentive to rent-seek.
      ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND RENT SEEKING IN INDIA by Roby Rajan  - CATO Journal

      In India, governmental intervention only creates further rent-seeking opportunities and still further resource diversion into unproductive activities. The tax base in such a society is generated by the losers in the rent-seeking game who are forced into value-producing activity at governmentally depressed rates of return. These shopkeepers, cultivators, masons, carpenters, construction workers, agricultural laborers, and so forth are forced into market activity, and their consumption is then heavily taxed to meet the rent requirements of government job /contract seekers. The rents procured, therefore, are usually invested in personal assets—such as automobiles, ostentatious housing, gold and silver jewelry, children’s education, and savings bank accounts—in amounts that reflect individual marginal rates of substitution between current and future consumption. 

      Any proposal for reform must drastically reduce the magnitudes of these rents. While this may seem to imply steep reductions in government salaries and perquisites, such a step alone may only exacerbate the problem as office holders try to compensate for lost income through increased bribery, extortion, and obstruction. The more significant component of the rents is lodged in the discretionary powers attaching to public offices. Especially important among these are the extraction of bribes for permits, licenses, and the awarding of government contracts; opportunities for theft of public assets; and threats of job nonperformance. Failing the drastic curtailment of these discretionary powers, rent-seeking losses will continue to be significant. Although the theory of rent seeking dictates random allocation as the solution, it also predicts that it is the solution least likely to be adopted by the political/ bureaucratic process. 


      No good man has ever made fortune in this world.

      Honesty is incompatible with amassing a large fortune - Mahatma Gandhi 

      Amassing of wealth is associated with exploitation of people or 
      looting governments or destruction of ecological assets.

      My View:
      Most rich people on this planet are rent seekers, either legally or morally, at some point of time or other. In India they are in very large numbers. There is no rich man who hasn't visited power corridors seeking favors and doling out bribes for their enrichment at the expense of others. Ambani is an exceptional expert in these matters. Ambani's riches are primarily due to their ability to extract favours worth crores by doling out few lakhs destroying their competitors. Banks NPAs in excess of Rs.Ten lakh crores threatening nation's economic collapse is a glaring example. the stories are endless. The proposed BTT (Banking transaction tax) is glaring example of government's rent seeking activity only take away public wealth with no return of any tangible benefit to people. Modi in the name of demonetization is expanding government and unleashed police & inspector raj and our heading southwards is unstoppable. Modi's utterances of all pain now and gain in long run is unacceptable nonsense.