Thinks 162

Nancy Sherman: “The early Stoics taught that we are world citizens connected to all of humanity through our reason. Marcus Aurelius paints a graphic image in his “Meditations.” He jots his notes in the quiet of nightfall after a day of battle during the Germanic campaigns. The detritus of the battlefield is on his mind: Picture a hand and head lying apart from the rest of the body. This is what a person makes of himself when he cuts himself off from the world. We can’t be “at home in the world,” a Stoic catchphrase, if the good is reduced to self-interest, or grit is defined as go-it-alone self-reliance.” [NYTimes]

A 2016 essay by TCA Srinivasa Raghavan on the Indian Constitution: “The simple truth is that although it is a fine document from an aspirations point of view, it is simply not a practical one for a politically independent India. It suffers from two flaws. One is that its design and purpose is a colonial one: that is, of a very strong central government that the British had prescribed via the Government of India Act, 1935. That Act was not designed for change or even managing change; it was prescribed for maintaining the status quo. The other problem is that it gets into too much detail of the administrative kind.”

Donald Boudreaux: “Government borrowing changes the identities of the particular taxpayers who incur the costs of government projects; government borrowing does not, however, enable taxpayers – considered as a group over time – to escape these costs. Government projects undertaken today and paid for with current tax revenues are paid for by taxpayers today. Government projects undertaken today and paid for with borrowed funds are paid for by those taxpayers who will be responsible for servicing and repaying the debt – namely, taxpayers tomorrow. While in principle some worthwhile projects – such as a hydroelectric dam that will operate for 75 years – are better funded with debt than with currently raised tax revenues, even these projects are costly. Buchanan warned that debt-financing’s shifting of the burden of paying for government projects and programs from current taxpayers to future taxpayers will incite current taxpayers to consume too much through government.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

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