Economics

Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on Western Pollyannas who think India will surpass the West

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Wriiting from London, Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia notes in her morning column at The Daily that a deep gloom has set in Europe that its glory days are over. Private bank excesses and public-sector legacy costs are poised to drag the continent — and America — down for generations. Only India and China are seen as the rising stars in the global firmament. Their young economies have stalled this year. But they are expected to recover, learn from the West's mistakes and become economic powerhouses, displacing the West's global hegemony.

But Dalmia notes that India isn't going to perch its tricolored flag atop the globe anytime soon for one big reason. "The world's largest democracy doesn't have rule of law," she says, "it has the rule of babus, the local term for petty bureaucrats. And so long as they keep challenging India's entrepreneurs, there isn't much chance that India will challenge the West."

She describes her own traumatic encounter with the Babu Kings whose bizarre ways turned a simple travel request into a nightmare.

Read the whole thing here.