Anticipating the Unintended: “A more fundamental question on public finance that doesn’t get covered is this. Who does the money belong to? I mean, of course, it belongs to the government. But where did it get this money from, to begin with? I guess the simplistic answer is it earned money from providing services to its citizens and taxing them for it. Then it built up the surplus, invested the money in creating assets that generate good returns, improved the productivity of the citizens that in turn helped in increasing revenues and this continues nicely so long as it keeps its expenses below its revenues. As we see all around this isn’t as easy for any government. Over time it spends more than it earns and creates a deficit. Then it goes into debt to bridge this gap. If that isn’t forthcoming, it prints more money. All of which is like taking a loan from future generations. And this sort of a giant Ponzi scheme of borrowing fresh money to pay past debt continues. Someone will be left holding the can in distant future. But who cares.”
Shane Parish: “When people seem uncommonly disciplined, look for a powerful ritual hiding in plain sight. It’s not that they have more discipline than you or I, but they were able to turn that discipline into consistency with a ritual. Short-term results come from intensity but long-term results come from consistency. Turning intensity into consistency unlocks a powerful asymmetry.”
Shashi Shekhar: “Perhaps, we Indians are content by nature. During this visit [to Moradabad in UP], I met those who became jobless and were forced to leave their place and craft. They are unhappy, want to change the situation, but do not want to get rid of the shackles of religion and caste while voting. They know that polls are the key to making a change, but they are reluctant to use them. They do not think they can use their economic status to change their social existence. This is nothing less than a boon for the leaders. Instead of giving the report card, they find it easier to mislead them with slogans. Is it suicide for your political career to make the lives of others easier? I have asked this question many times, and each time, a confused silence is there before me. When will this confusion end?” Sagarika Ghose: “The voter does not get to access any new political talent and does not have any new choices available to her because in every election it’s the same cast of characters with a degree of ideological convergence, an endless rotation of the same ruling elites. The political space drastically shrinks and younger, newer energies find it near-impossible to get their foot in the door.
When new forces do emerge…every effort is made to keep them out. The closed club of politicians, who are the majority, wants to keep the gates shut. Startups and disruption are buzzwords in the economy. But political startups are very difficult to set up and very tough to run.”