Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More nuanced answer to failure……….

Mr.GURCHARAN DAS has piece in WSJ titled “The Dharma of Capitalism” in which he writes:

  • “President Barack Obama's reaction to the crisis, among other things, was to seek to claw back bank bonuses. Congressional Democrats suggested an extortionate tax on bonus recipients at banks that received federal bailout money. To want to punish someone in this crisis is understandable but it is a dangerous path. What the world needs instead is the calm and principled voice of King Yudhishthira. He would have appealed for a voluntary return of bonuses while explaining to the public that Wall Street had been bailed out to save Main Street's pain. Furthermore, honoring bonus contracts is necessary to support the rule of law.
  • If envy is the sin of socialism, greed is the sin of capitalism. As capitalist nations grow, the resulting wealth creates enervating influences. Generations of savers are replaced by spenders. Ferocious competition is a feature of the free market and it can be corrosive. But it is also an economic stimulant that promotes human welfare. The subtle art of dharma tries to strike the right balance between healthy and unhealthy competition.
  • The choice for policy makers today is not between free markets and central planning but in getting the mix of regulation right. No one wants state ownership of production where the absence of competition corrodes the character even more. Dharma's approach is not to seek moral perfection, which leads inevitably to theocracy or dictatorship. It recognizes that it is in man's nature to want more and it seeks to give coherence to our desires by containing them within the discipline of an ordered existence.
  • We must learn to live with imperfection but seek the sort of regulation that not only catches crooks but also rewards dharma-like behavior and nobility of character.”

In the ET Mr Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar says “… the problem as Obama’s cowardice rather than corruption. I don’t expect another Great Depression: at worst, the US will suffer stagnation of the sort Japan had in the 1990s. Most likely, we will see a long, weak recovery. Either way, it’s bad news for India, which badly needs US resurgence.

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