Archive for October 22nd, 2014

Inequality in US– Some Trends

October 22, 2014

Yellen has this useful speech to show how inequality has risen so much in US.

This is a trend which has clearly caught US econs napping. Economists is around two questions: How much to produce and how to distribute. The question of distribution was dismissed by most economists in recent years. There was a widely held belief that just like econs have resolved the problem of depression, they have  resolved for distribution as well.

And now both, depression and inequaity have hit these economies hard. And what is worse that there were clear signs of this but were ignored.

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The mumbo jumbo of forward guidance..

October 22, 2014

David Miles of BoE has this article on forward guidance. FG was something which was slated to replace all mon pol tools or supersede them. With all these inflation targeting forward looking central banks came the idea of guiding markets towards the future policy decisions. So statements like what central bank is likely to do etc became fashionable. Some central banks started even giving paths over how their interest rates shall move going ahead. In other words central banks became nothing but Gods.  There is a reason why they are so hyped and celebrated after all.

This was all good till this crisis and things have become crazy since then. FG was taken more seriously as economies dived to assure markets but as things moved ahead one is not sure how to forward guide. Whatever you say, it is usually the opposite making you look mere human.

So Miles says, we should not be so precise. C-banks FG statements should be more qualitative:

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Reorganisation of States in India – A different Approach

October 22, 2014

This is perhaps one of the things to do in India. Somehow be a part of next State reorganisation committee whenever it is floated. I mean the learning will be just fabulous.

M P Parameswaran (All India Peoples Science Network and the Kerala Shastra Sahitya Parishad) and Srikumar Chattopadhyay (Centre for Earth Sciences, Thiruvananthapuram) have this picturesque paper on the topic. The say by looking at states natural resources etc. and size of population we can have 50 states in India:

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Walking/Living in Indian city vs western cities

October 22, 2014

Sanjay Srivastava of IEG has this interesting observation. We in India ignore strangers but really warm to people we know. In the west there is far more warmth with strangers but they draw a line with people they know.

As our cities grow, it increasingly appears that we might be inching towards – if we are not already there – a specific sensibility of people and spaces, one that lies at the heart of the relationship between strangers, and that between spaces. This sensibility may tell us something about the seeming hostility between city people, and the hopelessness of civic exhortations to care for public spaces.

I do not wish, however, to harken to a golden age before the decline of comity and social responsibility for “common” spaces. Rather, unsure about the comforts of the past, I merely wish to point to the troubles of the present. I am increasingly convinced that the most significant way in which urban selves deal with one another is through personal friendships and kin networks. In other words, we do not have ways of dealing with strangers at all, and the only persons we are willing to treat with care are those we already know.

This way of dealing with strangers would seem to be quite different from practices in the West where exaggerated p­oliteness is exchanged between people who have never met before (and may never meet again). The interesting thing is that in India someone who may be completely unmindful of another’s safety on the street is likely to be the same person who turns out to be extremely warm and personable otherwise: known persons allow each other access to the most intimate of domestic spaces and lives in a way that is not true in the West. There, while strangers are dealt with – in a manner that the sociologist George Ritzer might call “McDonaldized” – warmth, there are strict limits to the leeway familiar persons allow one another. We in India have no ways of dealing with strangers in tolerable ways, while in the West there are limits to tolerance between acquaintances. This conundrum, to return to my “garbage” reference, also extends to spaces: just as we provide unlimited care to acquaintances but almost none to those who are not so defined, the care we extend to spaces is limited to those of our “own”. Needless to add, our own people have unlimited access to our own spaces.

Interesting.

Further

In addition to the physical and material displacement, could this also be part of the making of a new urban consciousness, that which strengthens (or, only allows) relations among known persons? Is displacement also a process of separating different sections of the population to create strangers and intimates?

Another noteworthy development of our times also contributes to the growth of the sensibility of kindred interaction: the rapid proliferation of gated residential enclaves, which reinforces the idea that those who are not one of us deserve indifference, at best, and utmost hostility, at worst. Extreme social and economic asymmetries do not substantially affect this situation since unknown persons within the same socio-economic “band” do not necessarily offer greater care to one another.

Why do we hate each other? Are the mercies of McDonaldised civility our only recourse? Is the poor bargain of market-sociality – where we allow capital to colonise our social selves – the only working solution?

The extremes of our behavior..


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