Posts Tagged ‘India’
If you asked the average American what he thinks when you say the word “empire,” he’d probably say something about exploitation, oppression and the heavy hand of intrusive government - a leviathan-like state we’re steering toward yet desperately need to avoid.
But in terms of the largest empire the world has ever seen - the British Empire, the empire that gave birth to the United States and gave America its ideas of liberty and limited government - he’d be dead wrong. Compared to today’s modern welfare state, the British-empire (that is, Britain and the quarter of the globe it governed in the 1920s) operated on a budget the size of the projected fiscal revenue for Best Buy stores in 2012 (in inflation-adjusted dollars). The British Sudanese civil service, which governed a country of 9 million people, was 140-men strong (smaller than the combined active rosters of the Rams, the Packers and the Cowboys of the NFL), and governed - perhaps needless to say - with a far lighter and fairer hand than the regime now in Khartoum. In India, 100,000 British soldiers and civil servants ruled more than 300 million people. To put that in perspective, in 2009 California, a state with a population of about 37 million, had 206,000 full-time state employees - that’s not even counting city, county or federal workers. Oh, and incidentally, it’s a little remarked fact that the British ended up taxing the Indians at a far lower rate than the Moghuls had taxed their subjects before the British arrived. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “I have more than once said that the government is best that governs least; and I have found that it is possible for me to be governed least by the British Empire.”
Read more by H. W. Crocker III at The Washington Times
Bernanke’s Last Stand
by David Dreman, Forbes, 6/29/11
As I watch the economy limp along and I become exasperated by the impotence of the Fed, the Obama Administration and the private sector in their attempts to boost employment, I am reminded of the old Indian fighters of the last century. They were stuck in a time warp fighting yesteryear’s battle long after most of the native tribes had been decimated.
–SNIP– A second serious problem is China’s counterfeiting. I’m talking about some $480 billion worth of copycat goods annually. The magnitude of this dwarfs our entire trade deficit with China.
Here’s what Senator Carl Levin said at a Congressional Executive China Commission hearing in 2010: “The Chinese government itself estimates that counterfeits constitute between 15% and 20% of all products made in China and are equivalent to about 8% of China’s annual gross domestic product.”
More recently Wayne M. Morrison, a specialist in Asian trade and finance, reported to Congress the following: “To produce this large amount of goods, pirated from the U.S. and other industrial countries, many new jobs went to China that previously were held in the U.S. or elsewhere. China has used mercantilism and counterfeiting extremely well to improve the standard of living of its people at the expense of other industrial countries.”
Adam Smith also warned that in order for free enterprise to work, every nation–not just the U.S.–must be a free trader. This certainly isn’t the case today, but I remain an optimist.