Public goods capitalism
It takes about 10-15 days to build an Oxygen PSA. Many of us gave a significant fraction of our savings to the PMCARES fund. Why was it not used to build the necessary COVID infrastructure in time. We had 1 year, and our government could not take out a month or two to focus on Oxygen plants?
While we again try to generate lakhs of rupees to help the most in need, I am still angry why do we need to go around begging for money, when
1. A PMCARES fund was established for this very purpose,
2. The government has enough money in its coffers to raise lakhs of crores to provide instant COVID relief.
But the government is surrounded by a group of supply side economists and rent seekers who say to them - do not spend too much, it will increase the deficit and hurt investor confidence. With this madness they have not only let lakhs of people die, but also destroyed the Indian brand and its potential, by pursuing policies meant not to help those in need, but to protect the wealth of those who are rich and powerful.
I have said this before, and say it again- levy an emergency wealth tax NOW on the ultra rich - Ambanis, Adanis etc - and use that money to pay for building the urgent COVID infrastructure we need. We need the era of supply side economics (aka Gujarat model) to end.
It is time for good old public goods capitalism, the one that has been successfully applied for decades in the south and in other parts of the world — an economic system where both free market clusters are developed to support entrepreneurs and businesses, and so are public goods for the broader population. This is the only sane model of development that can work. It has worked in the south, it is doing wonders in Bangladesh, Vietnam… it will do well in rest of India too.
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Personal blog. Views expressed are my own, expressed in personal capacity.