When my friend Sameer Saurabh told me that corrupt officials houses were being confiscated and converted into schools by Nitish Kumar of Bihar….here is a news item in Times of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/Corrupt-IAS-officers-house-is-a-school-now/articleshow/9918735.cms

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  1. If it is converted into a government-run school, then, it is of no benefit to anyone except the government school teachers. It could have as well remained as a corrupt officer’s house.

  2. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan

    I would suggest to rent the place to a private school..
    If children need to be REALLY educated, the State has to get out if this education business and let the private sector take care of it. If they feel that this will deprive the poor students of quality education, give school vouchers to the poor kids. This will give the power of choice to the parents, introduce competition among the schools to get the vouchers and keep the teachers on their toes.

    If we want our children to be educated properly this is the way to go. And its much cheaper than maintaining an entire department of education.

    @ vishvanathan
    I’m skeptical of all of the current crop of Indian politicians who still have not got Nehruvian Socialism out of their veins. Nitish seems to be better among the lot though.

  3. Amazing better to keep it unoccupied and not to convert it to a school. Which again goes back to Ayn Rand’s ideas. I had asked you long back show me one place where capitalism has worked.

    It has not. Neither has socialism. People like Nitish are doing a far, far better job than sitting miles away and making a ‘perfect plan’ . A plan is worth only if it is executed.

    A politician has to ensure survival and then only can he work on his plans. Most intellectuals forget this. I know very honest politicians working hard – may not have Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke’s ‘perfect plan’ but it works. I have seen great ground level work at Gujarat and heard about Bihar and Orissa.

  4. @Dr.Khan, I am agree to your note partially why because already Government is having big issues with subsidy and with ration cards. This will add up to another crime instead of solving the actual issue.

    But your idea is worth a try in town’s rather in villages. The main chaos we have is about Education pattern, skill of teachers(Just under graduation will not solve in computer age), syallabus and infrastructure.

  5. “I had asked you long back show me one place where capitalism has worked.
    It has not.”

    Then why do you recommend equity and mutual funds for your readers Subra, if the system itself, as you say.. Does not work?

  6. Has not worked, has not worked, has not worked the way great people like Ayn Rand said it will. Nowhere has a capitalist behaved well ‘because it is in his/her long term interest’. That worked only in ancient Indian MONARCHY. Many kings were Noble. Yes many were bad too.

    Ayn Rand and her followers like Alan Greenspan (we need less and less regulation school) then go and bail out. No clue where Alan will spend her last few years…at least A R we know where she spent.

    Capitalism and Democracy are still better than other forms so there is no choice.

    Like I have more or less the same view on docs in general…I know a few good ones…and many greedy ones. Will I go to a doc because I think in general they are greedy? That would be a stupid question.

  7. Ravindra

    Ayn Rand has some followers who believe that Capitalism works… This in spite of the fact that in Atlas shrugged the hero says ‘There are no contradictions…check your premises something must be wrong’. Here is a set of people who have it ingrained ‘Capitalism works’. When they get INFORMATION to the contrary, they tamper with the INFORMATION like saying ‘it was not done in summer’ or ‘it rained 2 days after it was implemented’ or some such bull. Sadly, capitalism as AR thought does not exist. A bastardised version of socio capitalism is run – let us call it ‘kleptocracy’? LOL

  8. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan

    @ Subra
    So, a system where people are free to trade, free to worship, free to do whatever they want without harming others, without encroaching on the rights and properties of others, with a government ( monarchy or democracy) which only provides internal & external security to person and property and resolves disputes, which is the accepted definition of Capitalism, will not work? Strange to hear this from you Subra. I agree that it is too idealistic, but will not work?

    Moreover, if Alan Greenspan were REALLY an Ayn Rand follower he would have dissolved the Fed and brought back the Gold Standard and opposed ANY bailout. Did he do that? Then how can you call him an Ayn Rand follower?

    About regulation, who will be the great regulators, who will regulate.Where will you het such perfect saintly regulators. They will be ultimately some faceless bureaucrats, who have all the faults and bias of ‘greedy’ businessmen, as you call them.

    If Capitalism does not work, does not work, does not work, as you say( 3 times) why do you recommend market products like stocks & mutual funds? Markets are quintessential features of Capitalism.

  9. 1st para: Nehru thought socialism will work, you think capitalism will work. Both do not work. The world evolves and accepts a funny combination of some capitalism and some socialism. That works. US owns all the banks and insurance companies! Cuba has private enterprise. Real life is grey – no B or W.

    Ayn Rand is an economist who only sat in a lab and ASSUMED how people behave. Behavioral economics shows MAN is not rational as defined by an economist.

    Regulation is like a signal. It will reduce accidents, cannot eliminate them. Harshad mehta breaks rules, all of us pay the price.

    Markets are features of democracy – the right to think. Capitalism was NEVER there in any part of the world EVER. I am an out and out capitalist, but I KNOW IT DOES NOT WORK. It is fair in an equal world…does not exist in real world.

  10. Subra
    How can you be ” and out and out capitalist” and still say ” I KNOW IT (Capitalism) DOES NOT WORK”. You are contradicting yourself. How can you be a capitalist and still believe that it does not work?

    You have still not answered my question.. If Capitalism does not work, as you say, then why do you recommend people to buy stocks or mutual funds ( or, any investment for that matter ) because stocks and investments are features of Capitalism and investment is nothing but Capital.

  11. I am not contradicting myself. It is like me saying I love democracy, and it works. It does not work when ALL ARE NOT EQUAL. If every body is educated, employed, talented…democracy is lovely.

    How do you tell a STRONG man you cannot steal even if you are hungry? He will find a NON DEMOCRATIC, NON CAPITALISTIC solution. When a previously rich, strong military power like FRANCE OR USA run out of cash, do you expect them to come out with a democratic, capitalistic, correct solution? NO. NO. They will CHEAT. So I love capitalism, and democracy, but am not foolish enough to believe it works flawlessly. That would be AR.

    I am a product of capitalism – would not even join a govt owned bank or insur co. or mutual fund – I can see the ‘honest’ capitalists bribe these gov agencies and s…w the shareholders / unitholders / customers.

    For capitalism to work you need businessmen who are passionate about their business, and want to run it FOR THEIR OWN FUTURE GENERATIONS.Today such people do not exist. Ceos work for 3 years…businessmen create a business to sell it in 7 years! Capitalism is replaced by kleptocracy (pvt sector kleptocracy if there is something like that)

  12. Subra
    So, you agree that Capitalism works but has rarely been ALLOWED to work. This is exactly what AR also says..

    Businessmen who are passionate about their business do not exist! . Guess you never heard of Steve Jobs! Guess you are mingling too much with the soulless MBA- jargon-spouting corporate types. I know personally of a businessman from Erode, Tamil Nadu who was a smalltime textiles shopkeeper. Even then ( 20 years ago) he was passionate about his little textile shop.. He used to keep open his shop 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Now, he is a crorepati and owner of Chennai Silks. You have get out of the corporate boardrooms and search for passionate businessmen in dust and bustle of our cities, I guess.

    Private sector kleptocracy exists and is called “Crony-capitalism” or Ron Paul calls it Corporatism.. These phenomenon have nothing to do with Free-market Capitalism that Ayn Rand espouses. In fact Ayn Rand predicted that government interference in the economy will force/tempt the private businessmen to corruption, because bribing a bureaucrat is far easier that beating competition in the market.

    Dear Subra, my guess is that you have not actually read Ayn Rand. Maybe, you have read scathing reviews of her works in any of the left-leaning blogs that you sometimes hyperlink to from your blog. A good start would be to read ” In defense of Capitalism” .

    Ayn was not just an economist working in a lab. She went through one of most incredible events in human history… The Russian communist revolution of 1917.. She lived under Lenin & Stalin and had the good fortune to somehow leave Russia in 1924 before the great terror. If not, because of her views, she would have been one of the thousands of nameless corpses that lined the railway tracks on the way to the Siberian gulags or shot in the head and buried in mass graves by the Nazi Einsatzgruppen because of her Jewishness.

    She saw two very different systems at very close quarters and as a very intelligent person came to compare the philosophies underlying their respective systems. She was not just an armchair, purely academic, “Nobel prize-winning” economist like Paul Krugman or Keynes(That you so much seem to admire.) Her real life experiences were incredible, not everyone narrowly escapes the death camps and the Gulags!

    There are 2 other blogs which I recommend that you go through and hyperlink, apart from the usual left-wing ” Intellectuals” blogs.
    http://www.theantidoteblog.com/
    http://www.indiauncut.com/

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