Trevor Noah’s takes on Trump

Trevor Noah, the 32 year old South African who recently took over from John Stewart as the host of the Daily Show, does the latest take down of the Donald.

It really will be a shame if Trump does not become the GOP nominee. I have not laughed this much in ages.

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Trevor Noah: ‘It’s easier to be an angry white man than an angry black man’
Trump learns that thinking is hard

Trump proves that democracy is dead

John Oliver’s spectacular takedown of the former reality TV star, who continues to win support from voters in spite of a string of xenophobic, racist, mysoginistic, and anti-muslim rants proves that democracy is dead.

No wonder that Americans searching Google for moving to Canada has reached an all time high.

Good luck.

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‘How can I move to Canada’ Google search spikes Super Tuesday night
America, you’re stupid: Donald Trump’s political triumph makes it official — we’re a nation of idiots
Here’s Donald Trump’s best strategy for winning the White House
Trump will lose, or I will eat this column
Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster. Now he’s strong enough to destroy the party.
We Have a Serious Problem
The party declines
The Party Still Decides
All of Donald Trump’s Four-Pinocchio ratings, in one place

Getting team India to win again – poverty

People living on less than $1.25 per day are below the poverty line. India is home to 250 million, a quarter of the global total.

In the a recent paper Martin Ravallion points out that the eradication of poverty was not always considered to be good policy. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, Europeans believed that poverty kept the economic engine humming by ensuring the availability of plentiful cheap labour. That led to laws that were palliative, keeping the poor in place. The subsidies of energy, rail fares and diesel, and meal subsidies in India are part of this same legacy. The politicians value these as tools to win favor with voters, and so are loath to get rid of them. But the economic distortions they create make the potential of the country unreachable.

An example is the rail subsidy. Fares are heavily subsidised, and the cost apportioned to the goods that are carried by rail. Shipping companies have calculated that it’s cheaper to move goods by road. Heavy goods vehicles are destroying the new highways. Traveling from one city to another by road is a surreal experience, with the passengers in small road cars, regularly dwarfed by 18 wheel pantechnicons, hoping that their vehicle’s horn has been heard above the cacophony.

When politicians try to remove any of the subsidies, the poor object with such vehemence that the idea is quickly scrapped1. The poor make up a big part of the vote.

Poverty is not just a problem for the politicians and the poor. It is a challenge that the whole country must solve.

It would be unfair to leave the impression that the intent of politicians is to keep the poor in penury. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act enacted in 2009, which came into force on 1 April 2010 is intended to address poor levels of eduction among the poor. Some of the states are experimenting with conditional cash transfer (CCT) schemes to encourage attendance. The central government has introduced school meals with the same intention.

Even with these positive ideas the challenges are huge. With almost 300 million children of school going age, recruiting and training the teachers, designing the curricula, building schools, and ensuring standards of education are established and maintained is a mammoth undertaking.

The CCT and free meals encourage the students to attend, but that does not guarantee the attendance of teachers, who are poorly paid. Indian parents, both rich and poor, have been shifting their children out of government-run schools in search of the better education in private schools2.

The more innovative states are finding solutions to these challenges, and the competition between the states drives the others to emulate those successes.

But it will take time, and the clock is already running on India’s demographic dividend. If the youth becoming available to power India’s future economy do not find jobs, they will become disenchanted. India can’t afford that.

More at:
Getting team India to win again
Getting team India to win again – infrastructure
Getting team India to win again – The 1991 financial crisis
Getting team India to win again – fiscal consolidation
Getting team India to win again – the plan
A mess of pottage
Express or stopping?
Feast and famine
How Long Will It Take to Lift One Billion People Out of Poverty?
Lessons from Palanpur
Not always with us
Penury portrait
The Idea of Antipoverty Policy
The Future of Global Poverty in a Multi-Speed World: New Estimates of Scale, Location and Cost
Where Do The World’s Poor Live?
Where will the world’s poor live?

  1. Will India Be The First BRIC Fallen Angel? pg3 []
  2. Will India Be The First BRIC Fallen Angel? pg10 []

Getting team India to win again

At the start of the 16th century India had 25% of the World’s GDP. So did China. By 1820 China’s share was 33%, but for India the decline had already begun, and it held 16%. By 1973, the low point, India produced 3% of global GDP. Then as the economy almost collapsed in 1991, it introduced a series of sound economic reforms, so that after that it’s economic growth sometimes reached double digits. And then it stopped.

The bureaucracy, corruption, cronyism, nepotism, poor infrastructure, energy shortages, poverty, population, and lack of openness to foreign competition are legion. India’s government has recently concluded it’s most unproductive session of parliament since independence. The phenomenal growth was the surprise, not that it stopped. And that offers the solutions.

India’s has some world leading companies. The resurgence of Landrover and Jaguar is being inspired by leadership from their new Indian holding company. Providing remote capable outsourced services in tele centers and software development are both Indian inventions, and for a long time India has led1.

But the country failed to respond to the inevitable competition that the collapse of the developed wold’s economy brought. The Philippines is competing strongly for the tele center business. High unemployment in the developed countries, especially among the young, has brought much of the outsourced IT work back home.

India has the potential for sustained high economic growth, provided it can tap it’s world beating demographic dividend, it’s youth.

To do that it must address the issues with conviction.

This series of articles will suggest how that can be done.

More at:
Getting team India to win again – poverty
Getting team India to win again – infrastructure
Getting team India to win again – The 1991 financial crisis
Getting team India to win again – fiscal consolidation
Getting team India to win again – the plan
The firm that builds India
On a hiding to something
The screen revolution
Ratan Tata’s legacy
From pupil to master
Goodwill Hunting
Rape and murder in Delhi
How India got its funk
Report of the Committee on Unorganised Sector Statistics
Losing its magic
Will India Be The First BRIC Fallen Angel?
The democracy bottleneck
Stopping the spiral
A walk on the wild side
Once in a lifetime
Walk the line
Why Everyone Is Freaking Out About India
5 Reasons India’s GDP Growth Is Heading To A 10-Year Low
Express or stopping?
India raises duty on gold imports as demand surges
What’s The Matter With India?
Asian Development Outlook
When giants slow down
A billion brains
What a waste
Harnessing human computation
World Development Report 2013
The future is black
The Kudankulam conundrum
Now finish the job
Everlasting light
An uphill walk
A Delhi particular
The road from perdition
Foreign policy
No frills
Parsnips unbuttered
Aim higher
The Global Competitiveness Report
A tale of two villages
Cash, with strings
A million rupees now
A rotten state
Throwing the rascals out
Evasive action
Zapping mosquitoes, and corruption
In search of a dream
Money where your mouth is
Farewell to Incredible India
Can India become a great power?
Lenders of the last resort
The capitalist manifesto
India PM Manmohan Singh: Pakistan ‘attack dastardly’
Unfinished journey
Show your hand
Mischief Minister
Hugging him close
Fragile hope
On the prowl
Power shifts
The candidate
The degeneration game
An illiberal turn
Another country
Memento Modi
Concrete jungles
India Transport Sector
Halfway to paradise
Ideas coming down the track
Know your own strength
2CN or not 2CN?
Poor Economics Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo
Lessons from Palanpur
Where Do The World’s Poor Live?
Where will the world’s poor live?
The Future of Global Poverty in a Multi-Speed World
How Long Will It Take to Lift One Billion People Out of Poverty?
Poverty, geography and the double dilemma
Not always with us
Render unto Padmanabhaswamy
Growing, and neglected
The good of small things
Bloodshed and futility
Out of the trees
India’s identity revolution
Water for all
Allo, allo

  1. World Development Report 2013 pg20 []

Whose fault is that?

The recovery from the great recession of 2008 has been extraordinarily slow.

Now, as more data is available, the reasons for this sluggish convalescence are becoming evident. Businesses, uncertain of what the future holds, are not investing. The piles of cash that large American and Western European businesses are now hoarding provides proof.

Interviewed executives of Western European companies have explained that uncertainty about the euro is the reason. In America it’s the “fiscal cliff”.

Recently announced statistics reveal that unemployment is now below the magical 8% figure. Two researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco have established that unemployment would be 1% lower, were it not for the uncertainty.

The politicians will be pointing at each other, and for once they’ll be right.

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Uncertainty Shocks are Aggregate Demand Shocks
Employment will decide the election. Really?
Give us a brake
Iron enters the soul