Five Articles I Enjoyed Reading This Week

The book is about how public sector failures have forced Indians to seek private solutions even if it means paying for those services that they are entitled to demand from their governments. In other words, private solutions, innovative though they may be, are the other side of the coin of public failures. That said, many of the non-accountability of the public sector is traced to the private sector criminality or apathy or both.

Whether it is letting pollutants into our rivers, whether it is defaulting on bank loans, whether it is diverting the loans taken for personal purposes, whether it is underbidding and then re-contracting for providing services or goods to the public sector or evading taxes, the private sector feeds into and reinforces public sector apathy. Trust breaks down at both ends. Accountability is weakened all around.

I’m reading The Gated Republic myself right now, and like the author says in the review I have excerpted from above, I’m not enjoying reading the book. The reason I’m not enjoying reading it is the same: this is not a book you read for enjoyment. Which is all the more reason to read it!

Although Shetty often performed free surgeries for the poorest of the poor, he reasoned that the only way to sustainably serve large numbers of people in need was to make it a business. “What Mother Teresa did was not scalable,” he says—perhaps the first time venture capital jargon has been applied to the work of the Angel of Calcutta.

Via MR, a profile of Dr. Devi Shetty.

It’s very strange that economists and analysts keep talking of a V-shaped or a U-shaped economic recovery from the current crisis. It’s as if the English alphabet has only two letters. At best, some talk of a W-shaped recovery, while the really depressing ones sometimes mention the L-shape. But there are plenty of other letters, all of them neglected and ignored by the pundits.
This is rank discrimination—we need to start an ‘Other Alphabets Matter’ movement immediately.
We bring you here the complete guide to the recovery alphabet, incorporating all the letters.

Perfect Friday material, this. G, R and T are my personal favorites. What about you?

Kelton does not explain why she believes that those currently without jobs would be a good match for her spending priorities. But without the ability to wave a magic wand to instantly transform the unemployed into teachers, skilled health care workers, and engineers specializing in energy alternatives, more spending in these areas would compete for scarce workers rather than soak up idle ones.

Another review of Stephanie Kelton’s work. I remain unconvinced about MMT (to the extent that I understand it!)

The point then is not to force other countries to adopt the Chinese development model, or even evangelize the glories of the Chinese Party-state to foreign audiences, but rather to slowly weave a web of economic and institutional ties that link all countries to a Chinese center, a center which the Communist Party of China has control of. In such a world, few countries would want to risk their share of surging global economic growth by doing things the Party-state might object to (say, hosting Uyghur dissidents or protesting against mass camps in Xinjiang). Common development turns Chinese interests into global interests.

I’ll be writing more about this in the days to come, but this is an excellent essay about understanding China and her long term goals and ambitions.