CGD in the News

Learning from America (New York Times)

November 08, 2010

Non-resident fellow Devesh Kapur’s opinion piece in the New York Times on what India can learn from America.

From the article:

India's education levels, its physical infrastructure and supporting governance-related institutions like the bureaucracy and the courts are all much weaker and levels of corruption significantly greater that those prevailing in the United States.

India's economic success lies in a middle path, avoiding ideological battles between the free market and government control. Nonetheless, India is comfortably growing at eight-plus percent while the United States is struggling to get to even a fourth of that. While economists expect lower-income countries to grow faster than upper-income ones, nonetheless it appears that India has begun to acquire some of the characteristics of a "hustling nation," as the historian Walter McDougall has so evocatively described the United States in its early years.

India's success lies in a seemingly muddling middle path, eschewing for the most part the various ideational currents in the United States, whether secular ideologies such as the reverence of free markets and antipathy to the possibility of the state being a force for the good, to a literalist view of the Constitution, to religious ideologies that have bitterly challenged science-based evidence, such as theories of evolution or the science of climate change.

Read the article.