September 1, 2013
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: India’s Economic Crisis A Bigger Story Than Syria:
The economic crisis in India represents a much more fateful moment in world politics than anything happening in Syria.
What’s so important about India’s economic problems? It’s more what they tell us about the state of the country than the severity of the problems themselves. The stock market jitters, the currency crash, the GDP slowdown and the government deficit aren’t enough in themselves to sink India. All economies go through rough patches every now and then, but the question isn’t about a downturn. The question is whether the Indian political system has what it takes to get the economy back on track.
Two horrible things happened in India this week: an inept government reeling from serial corruption scandals and mounting evidence of economic failure pushed two bad bills towards enactment. There’s a wasteful “food security law” that will do much more to nourish India’s rich world of government corruption than to help the poor on a sustainable basis, and a poorly designed “land reform” law that could be even more crippling.
We’ve noted the food bill before; the land law is new and its consequences could be devastating enough to India’s growth prospects to change the course of world history.
Read the whole thing.