Friday, January 6, 2012

Aspiring to the Third World

More and more lately, it seems as though the Republican vision for America is to turn it into the world's richest Third World country. Consider these common characteristics of Third World countries:

  • Life is extremely pleasant for the rich, and extremely difficult for everyone else.
  • Economic growth is hampered by poor transportation systems and crumbling infrastructure.
  • Environmental regulation is minimal.
  • The only widely respected public institution is the military.

Sound familiar? Now comes this story on India from The New York Times:

Doing nothing might be considered the epitaph of India’s political year in 2011. A ... national government ... demonstrated little political vision, analysts agree, and even less political backbone. An opposition ... seemed interested primarily in thwarting the government, offering little in the way of a constructive alternate agenda.

Political stalemate is not always a terrible thing, but the question is how much longer India can afford its increasingly dysfunctional politics. India’s dynamic economy, buffeted by the broader global slowdown and uncertainty about Europe, is wobbling precariously... private investors are spooked by governmental inaction or timidity on a long list of reforms....

Parliament, once the proud symbol of India’s democracy, has increasingly become a stage for televised acts of obstruction and political theater.

Well, at least the Republicans are here to save us from imitating Europe. Except I think by "Europe" they mean "the industrialized world."

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