Posts Tagged 'uk'

Why the decline of the West is best for us – and them

Source: The Economist & McKinsey

Why the decline of the West is best for us – and them

By R Vaidyanathan

R Vaidyanathan is professor of finance, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and can be contacted at vaidya@iimb.ernet.in. The views are personal and do not reflect that of his organisation.

Ten years ago, America had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash. Now it has no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash. Or so the joke goes.
Only, it’s no joke. The line is pretty close to reality in the US. The less said about Europe the better.Both the US and Europe are in decline. I was asked by a business channel in 2008 about recovery in the US. I mentioned 40 quarters and after that I was never invited for another discussion.
Recently, another media person asked me the same question and I answered 80 quarters. He was shocked since he was told some “sprouts” of recovery had been seen in the American economy.
It is important to recognise that the dominance of the West has been there only for last 200-and-odd years. According to Angus Maddison’s pioneering OECD study, India and China had nearly 50 percent of global GDP as late as the 1820s. Hence India and China are not emerging or rising powers. They are retrieving their original position.

The dollar is having a rollercoaster ride at present. Reuters
In 1990, the share of the G-7 in world GDP (on a purchasing power parity basis) was 51 percent and that of emerging markets 36 percent. But in 2011, it is the reverse. So the dominant west is a myth.
Similarly, the crisis. It is a US-Europe crisis and not a global one. The two wars – which were essentially European wars – were made out to be world wars with one English leader commenting that ‘we will fight the Germans to the last Indian’.
In this economic scenario, countries like India are made to feel as if they are in a crisis. Since the West says there’s a crisis, we swallow it hook, line and sinker.
But it isn’t so. At no point of time in the last 20 years has foreign investment – direct and portfolio – exceeded 10 percent of our domestic investment. Our growth is due to our domestic savings which is again predominately household savings. Our housewives require awards for our growth not any western fund manager.
The crisis faced by the West is primarily because it has forgotten a six-letter word called ‘saving’ which, again, is the result of forgetting another six letter word called “family”. The West has nationalised families over the last 60 years. Old age, ill health, single motherhood – everything is the responsibility of the state.
When family is a “burden” and children an “encumbrance,” society goes for a toss. Household savings have been negative in the US for long. The total debt to GDP ratio is as high as 400 percent in many countries, including UK. Not only that, the West is facing a severe demographic crisis. The population of Europe during the First World War was nearly 25 percent and today it is around 11 percent and expected to become 3 percent in another 20 years. Europe will disappear from the world map unless migrants from Africa and Asia take it over.
The demographic crisis impacts the West in other ways. Social security goes for a toss since people are living longer and not many from below contribute to their pensions through taxes. So the nationalisation of families becomes a burden on the state.
European work culture has become worse with even our own Tata complaining about the work ethic of British managers. In France and Italy, the weekend starts on Friday morning itself. The population has become lazy and state-dependent.
In the UK, the situation is worse with drunkenness becoming a common problem. Parents do not have control over children and the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregation in London said: “There are all signs of arteriosclerosis of a culture and a civilisation grown old. Me has taken precedence over We and pleasure today over viability tomorrow.” (The Times:8 September ).
Married couples make up less than half (45 percent) of all households in the US, say recent data from the Census Bureau. Also there is a huge growth in unmarried couples and single parent families (mostly poor, black women). Society has become dysfunctional or disorganised in the West. The government is trying to be organised.
In India, society is organised and government disorganised. Because of disorganised society in the West the state has to take care of families. The market crash is essentially due to the adoption of a model where there is consumption with borrowings and no savings. How long will Asian savings be able to sustain the western spending binge?
According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal (10 October 2011), nearly half of US households receive government benefits like food stamps, subsidised housing, cash welfare or Medicare or Medicaid (the federal-state health care programmes for the poor) or social security.
The US is also a stock market economy where half the households are investors and they have been hit hard by bank and corporate failures. Even now less than 5 percent of our household financial savings goes to the stock market. Same in China and Japan.
Declining empires are dangerous. They will try to peddle their failed models to us and we will swallow it since colonial genes are very much present here. You will find more Indians heading global corporations since India is a very large market and one way to capture it is to make Indian sepoys work for it.
A declining West is best for the rest and also for the West, which needs to rethink its failed models and rework its priorities. For the rest—like us—the fact that the West has failed will be accepted by us only after some western scholars tell us the same. Till then we will try to imitate them and create more dysfunctional families.
We need to recognise that Big Government and Big Business are twin dangers for average citizens. India faces both and they are two asuras we need to guard against. The Leftists in the National Advisory Council want all families to be nationalised and governed by a Big State and reform marketers of the CII variety want Big Business to flourish under crony capitalism. Beware of the twin evils since both look upon India as a charity house or as a market and not as an ancient civilisation.

Three Different Reports – One Common Theme

Read an interesting article on growing islam in the west and threat as perceived by thinkers in west. We too have the same situation in india. I think, the world started realizing the danger of islam.

http://www.mediasyndicate.in/medsyn/1260379825.htm

Muslim students prevent Hindu students from using Multi-Faith Center

*Muslim students prevent Hindu students from using Multi-Faith Center
(at Queen Mary University of London)*

Source: http://www.hinduvoice.co.uk/Issues/28/QMW.htm

*QMW Hindu students denied access to to Multi-Faith Centre*

*Hindu Voice UK, July 2009*

As part of their “Sewa Week” (a week for which the National Hindu Students
Forum holds various service based activities), the QMW Hindu Society
organized to use the University’s Multi-Faith Centre every day from
6pm-8.30pm for one week, to recite the Hanuman Chalisa.

The Multi-Faith Centre is also booked by Islamic Students Society from 12pm
to 6pm for the entire year. After 6pm the Islamic Students Society had
another room allocated to them which they could use until late.

From the outset of the week, the Hindu students were prevented from being
able to access the Multi-Faith Centre by the Islamic students who refused to
vacate the centre. To justify not being willing to share the centre with
other faith groups they said that there is no demand for the use of the
Multi-Faith Centre by other faith communities and they cannot therefore
allow Hindus to use the premises even though they have a valid booking for
its use. An article written several months before the incident shows that
the Islamic Students Society dissaproved of other faiths sharing the
premises (click
here
).

The Hindu society committee sent letters to the Principal, Chancellor and
the Students’ Union (SU) of the university. The Students’ Union sent letters
to the Islamic students asking them to respect bookings made my other
students.

On Thursday, after three days of being prevented from entering the
Multi-Faith Centre, security guards accompanied the Hindu students to ensure
that the rooms were vacated as scheduled. Far from gaining entry to the
Centre, they were verbally threatened by a group of Muslim students who far
outnumbered them.

Rather than tackle this unacceptable behaviour resolutely, the security
guards and Students Union suggested that the Hindu students should use an
alternative room to conduct their prayers and forget about the booking. The
Hindu students society rightfully rejected this offer as a wholly
unsatisfactory solution to a serious breach of their rights.

The QMW Hindu Society together with the NHSF contacted and got the support
of various other students at QMW and other Hindu groups, who turned out
together in larger numbers on Friday.

On Friday, once again, the QMW Islamic Students Society refused to vacate
the Multi-Faith Centre at 6pm, and placed a group near the door to prevent
anyone from entering. The QMW Hindu Society and other supporters, including
non-Hindu students, decided to start their program outside the doors of the
centre and sang the Hanuman Chalisa loud and proud. Gradually the Islamic
Society members emptied out of the Centre over a long period, and the Hindu
Students Society moved into the Centre for the first time in next week.