O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

quinta-feira, maio 20, 2004


Um artigo no Washington Post discorre sobre o recente livro de Jagdish Bhagwati, a evolução da Economia indiana e os resultados das recentes eleições.

[I]f the India of the 1960s was right about growth's importance, it was wrong about how it might be achieved. The economy crawled along during the 1960s and 1970s, and the Indian Planning Commission was a large part of the problem. As Bhagwati [1] realized soon after he arrived to work there, there was no way that government planners could know how many tractors or machine tools India needed. Meanwhile, import substitution was no match for the export-focused strategy of the East Asian tigers.

Which brings us to last week's election. The incumbent government going into that contest had accelerated the reversal of India's failed development strategy, and had reaped the benefits. The economy is now humming along at 7 to 8 percent annually, twice as fast as in the statist 1960s and 1970s: India has at last achieved the expansion that Nehru wanted. And yet the government's reward was to lose the election to opponents who complained that growth was not reducing poverty. The leader of those opponents was Sonia Gandhi, the head of the Congress Party that Nehru once presided over and the widow of his grandson.

There were several reasons for this electoral upset. But prominent Indian intellectuals -- Salman Rushdie in The Post, Arundhati Roy in the British Guardian -- could not resist declaring that the failure of growth as an anti-poverty strategy explained at least part of the result. The "immense countryside India," Rushdie wrote confidently, ". . . has not benefited in the slightest from the recent economic boom." According to Roy, the election represented a decisive defeat for "neo-liberalism's economic 'reforms.' " And so we have a curious inversion. India used to understand growth's importance, but not how to achieve it. Now India knows how to achieve it; but some famous Indians, and perhaps millions of ordinary voters, have lost sight of growth's importance. People don't seem to have noticed that, whereas India's poverty rate stuck obstinately above 50 percent during the low-growth 1960s and 1970s, it is now falling precipitously: To 36 percent in the government's household survey of 1993-94; to 29 percent in the next survey, six years later. The idea that the countryside has not benefited is simply spurious. In the interval between the two most recent surveys, rural poverty fell from 37 percent to 30 percent.

And that, in a nutshell, is the problem with globalization -- we can't seem to appreciate the good things that it brings. Bhagwati's new book offers other examples: He explains how globalization is good for women's rights, good at reducing child labor, good for the environment. If only the globo-skeptics would spend less time celebrating India's odd election and more time reading him.

[1] Jagdish Bhagwati, famoso economista indiano que editou recentemente o livro "In Defense of Globalization"

E falando do novo governo indiano. O Primeiro-Ministro indigitado, depois da desistência de Sonia Gandhi, é
Manmohan Singh (que já era - no entanto - dado como futuro Ministro das Finanças). Este é apontado como o "pai" da liberalização da Economia indiana, durante os anos 90, durante o governo de Narasimha Rao. Não se esperam, portanto, retrocessos neste campo.
posted by Miguel Noronha 3:37 da tarde

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