Friday, December 19, 2008

Big Government means high social costs

M.N. Sabharwal and Manish Sabharwal quote “As Nandan Nilekani says in his exceptional book Imagining India: “Our failure to create opportunities can turn our demographic dividend into a crisis. We have already experienced these problems through the 1970s and 1980s when unemployment and the lack of income mobility for working-age Indians fed into criminality and extremist movements across India such as the extreme-left Naxalite and extreme-right Bajrang Dal movements, as well as the rise of the underworld in major cities. Key players in Mumbai’s underworld, for instance, were people belonging to discriminated groups and the impoverished underclass—Chota Rajan was the son of a Dalit sweeper, Abu Salem’s mother rolled beedis for a living, Chota Shakeel grew up in a Bombay slum and Arun Gawli’s father was a textile worker laid off during the mill strikes of the 1970s. While these circumstances do not exonerate their actions in the least, these are signs of how economic bitterness can create high social costs.”

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