The Prime Minister at his prime vegetative state…

The one man who belongs to the erudite class of economists, who recites economic policies like nursery rhymes is the Prime Minister of this country. Micro and Macro economics do not light up bulbs for many, but India’s favorite bulb being sold at Rs 65 a kilo lights me up. I am extremely lit up, kindled, infuriated,inflamed, outraged to say the least. Today, I am spending the same amount of money on purchasing a kilo of onions and a litre of petrol. Driving or riding to the vegetable market is a luxury and we are most likely going to go broke doing so. I expect my Prime Minister to make some drastic changes to curb spiraling food inflation and to ensure that onion uthappams are not taken off my menu. Is the man in Manmohan really talking? I cannot hear him.

Onion prices doubled from Rs 35 a kilo to Rs 70 a kilo in a space of one week in the third week of December 2010. Vegetable prices jumped 16% in the week to Dec. 25 from the preceding week and were up about 60% from the comparable week last year. We cut down import duties and imported the favorite bulb from Pakistan which capitalized on this situation and increased their export price. Like all good things that come to an end between the two countries, the Pakistan Government has now banned export of onions to India via the land route and have stalled trucks bearing onions rolling into India. We are now at a commodity war with Pakistan with India threatening to curb cotton exports to Pakistan.

The wholesale rates in India have climbed down marginally but the retail rates for onions are somewhere in the vicinity of Rs 65 per kilo. How did this happen? There has been fresh supply from Rajasthan, Gujurat and Madhya Pradesh which brought down the wholesale prices yesterday. The question to be asked is? Where did these onions suddenly crop up from. Until a month back, the Government had blamed the weather gods for the crop failures. Obviously, the distribution channels have miraculously opened up. The bottlenecks in supply are slowly seen to be easing. The miracle lies not in the Gods showering us with rains but in the supply gates being thrown open. The middle men in the supply demand chain are the biggest culprits for the shortage. Hoarding and speculation create the gap between demand and supply, causing havoc and disequilibrium.Food inflation invariably produces a catalyst reaction. The RBI is set to hike interest rates by another 25 basis points. The RBI has hiked interest rates six times in the last year alone. Tightening monetary policies have no effect on food inflation. Petrol prices are seen to rise again and naturally we have stopped exporting onions.

This whole issue of food inflation must set the focus back on the public distribution system.Have you ever visited any of the “ration” or the ” fair price shops” in your neighborhood? Have you seen the line that snakes through the neighborhood? Have you seen the frustration on the faces of the people who stand in the line for hours on end? Have you seen the Managers in these outlets abuse the hell out of the customers? Have you seen the frenzy amongst the people in trying to secure that one paltry litre of kerosene? Have you noticed how these outlets are open for a meagre few hours ?  Have you also seen instances where these fair price shops do not implement Government specified prices? If you have not witnessed any of these incidents I speak of,you need to give up the ration card that you are holding. You do not deserve it in the first place. Why is the Government allowing these ration cards to be issued to those who are supremely above the poverty line and to those who can afford to shop at Reliance Fresh or to those who bulk buy at Metro? 60% of the ration card holders are extravagantly way above the poverty line and the 40% who deserve this entitlement are left without much coming their way. The ration card is also no longer a proof of identity, so using this is an excuse to secure the card is lame. It is easy to understate one’s income and secure the card.The supreme court has finally suggested scrapping the Above Poverty Line category (APL) and extending the benefit of subsidised ration through fair price shops to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) cardholders only. But, fact of the matter is the Fair Price Shops are a primary reason for pilferage and corruption in the public distribution chain as more and more continue to abuse the system.

The department of public distribution Department is meant to be concerned with the formulation of policies concerning the food grains sector – procurement, storage, movement and distribution. The Department implements the scheme of minimum support price to the producers of wheat, paddy and coarse grains and the distribution of food grains from the Central Pool. A close watch is meant to be kept on the stock and price levels of food grains and efforts must be made to ensure their adequate availability at reasonable prices in different parts of the country. By strengthening the public distribution system and tightening the loop holes that exist in the current system inflation can be checked. But, at the rate at which food inflation is galloping in India there is little point in knowing our onions. I hope the renowned Economist, the ex Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, the ex RBI Governor, the ex Finance Minister and current Prime Minister knows his onions better than anybody else.

** Cartoon courtesy – Hindustan Times

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62 Responses to “The Prime Minister at his prime vegetative state…”

  1. Brilliantly written would be an understatement to this wonderful article. I am pretty much impressed by the starting, the title and the cartoon.
    Kudos and keep writing…..

  2. Sharmila,

    I fail to understand some things:

    1. What is inflation in real terms?

    2. Is inflation in the local market the same as devaluation in the overseas markets?

    3. The inflation in the local market is 100% while the rupee has devaluated just around 2-3% overseas. Does that mean there is no supply-demand crunch in the export of foodstuff? How come?

    4. The RBI injected 45 Cr of cash flow in September ’10. The banks were sitting on the money and there were no borrowers to take the money. Where did that money go?

    5. Enterprenuers who borrow money on current accounts use 90% of that to pay bribes and fudge their returns. Is the price rise due to available cash with consumers in their savings accounts?

    6. Futures contracts are known to increase prices at the time of realization, specially in the Oil & Gas Sector where the demand fluctuations (summers and winters) are predicted year on year ahead. Currently Oil is going at US$100 a barrel as I had said it would.

    7. Seasonal food crops in India have the same pattern though it is only on the supply side which is manipulated by merchants, traders, as-I-call-them the Indian jews.

    8. One billion people eat food worth at least Rs 100 each day which is a market of 100 billion rupees or 2 billion dollars a day! All of it cash!

    9. In Pune, there is a wholesale market where local cooperative banks and private money lenders are open all night only for this purpose. They provide spot funds in cash for anywhere between 2 to 3% interest returnable within 24 hours! The transaction is purely on trust and among a closed club of dealers. The daily turnover in the Pune market is about 100 crores in cash. All of it is between Jain Marwari traders. How can the government break this network?

    • Oops.. forgot to toggle the notify switch… here goes

    • Correction: RBI injected 45000 Cr in the last Quarter claiming that inflation was around 6-7%

    • All valid points that only Singh has the answer for, but will attempt soon.

      • No problem. Thats just rhetoric.

        Once we state a problem the solutions fall in place! I mean, so long as we are risk averse.

        If we are like George Orwell’s sheep in the Animal Farm we are likely to go over the edge!

    • If I remember right, i had answered a few of these in one of the previous blogs. Let me pull that one out..

      • Sharmila,

        This principle of circulating money in the market beats me.

        Money exchanged for a product for the first time is rational. But the same money remains in the market forever and cumulates after each transaction for each product. That beats the purpose of money.

        For example,

        In 1969, the first shipment of Oil was exported from country X. Say, it was worth US100 million. The currency was changed from Indian Rupee to Riyal/Rand/whatever. Fine. An equivalent of US$100 million of new currency was printed and distributed to various ministries for public works.

        For the next successful shipment another 100 million is printed.

        The first 100 never returned to the Central bank. It keeps getting re-invested and circulating among consumers and service industry. The second 100 adds to the first in the same way. And so on from 1969 to 2011.

        Result: Trillions of dollars circulating in a country that is producing just 100 million worth of real Oil a day.

        I come back to my question: What is Inflation?

      • Sharmila,

        Let me pose a hypothetical equation:

        Say, India changes its currency from Rupees to Dollars and pegs the exchange rate with the US Dollar at 1:1.

        Then, everything in India will be 50 times cheaper than in the US, as the real rate is ~1:50.

        That is not true. Real estate in Mumbai is more expensive than New York. Food stuff in India is the same price as the US and so on.

        In other words, the Indian Rupee is under-valued.

        Ditto China.

        Hence the inflation.

        Devaluation will further fuel the inflation. But the current framework demands devaluation because more rupee buys less goods.

        This spiral can only stop if currency circulation is stopped. Currency is not to be injected, but withdrawn from the market.

        The withdrawl cannot be done through taxes or interest rate hikes because that still remains in the system as accounts received.

        Money has to be removed by de-recognizing the service industry. Turnovers of the service industry like IT, hotelling or any other value addition should not be measured in the GNP. Equivalent of their contribution must be withdrawn from the market. Money is what money produces.

    • Inflation simply means your hundred ruppes is not buying what it used to buy last year.

      The supply demand crunch is there.Generally, a steady process of inflation is not considered a devaluation, although if a currency has a high level of inflation, its value will naturally fall against gold or foreign currencies. Especially where a country deliberately prints money (a usual cause of hyperinflation) to cover a persistent budget deficit without borrowing, this may be considered a devaluation.

      Liquidity in India is determined by the Reserve bank which determines the cash reserve ratios. RBI uses CRR either to drain excess liquidity or to release funds needed for the economy from time to time. Increase in CRR means that banks have less funds available and money is sucked out of circulation. Thus we can say that this serves duel purposes i.e. it not only ensures that a portion of bank deposits is totally risk-free, but also enables RBI to control liquidity in the system, and thereby, inflation by tying the hands of the banks in lending money. CRR means Cash Reserve Ratio. Banks in India are required to hold a certain proportion of their deposits in the form of cash. However, actually Banks don’t hold these as cash with themselves, but deposit such case with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) / currency chests, which is considered as equivlanet to holding cash with themselves.. This minimum ratio (that is the part of the total deposits to be held as cash) is stipulated by the RBI and is known as the CRR or Cash Reserve Ratio. Thus, When a bank’s deposits increase by Rs100, and if the cash reserve ratio is 9%, the banks will have to hold additional Rs 9 with RBI and Bank will be able to use only Rs 91 for investments and lending / credit purpose. Therefore, higher the ratio (i.e. CRR), the lower is the amount that banks will be able to use for lending and investment. This power of RBI to reduce the lendable amount by increasing the CRR, makes it an instrument in the hands of a central bank through which it can control the amount that banks lend. Thus, it is a tool used by RBI to control liquidity in the banking system.

      The price rise on commodities in my opinion is artificially generated via hoarding and speculation and not one which has been adjusted through the natural economic cycles, demand , supply, import, export.

      Futures trading on commodities most certainly affects inflation, the Govt has banned it on vital commodities till the price levels are stabilized.

      The cash generated via a faulty PDS would invariably not be accounted and naturally sit in lockers or stashed in wells.

      The Government cannot break the workings of small time money lenders in a country as large as India unless they bring about some form of licensing and heft penalties for those in breach.

      • Sharmila,

        Thanks. Yes, you had said about CRR earlier.

        My experience is this:

        If I have something to sell, I check the price that a customer can pay. Some customers value the product more than the price, some don’t. Accordingly I change the selling price.

        For example: Tariff for an individual checking in a hotel is different from that for a corporate office for the same room. The price is still less (almost 30% less) if I don’t ask for a bill!

        So, apart from demand-supply, export suction etc, the amount of disposable income seems to play an important role in the price rise.

  3. Aishwarya Says:

    Sharmila,

    With skyrocketing onion prices, an onion breath may soon be a sign of affluence! So will pillion riding with a bag of onions!

    Insightful post. Most relevant to our turbulent times.

    Aish.

  4. Anand Khare Says:

    Sharmila,

    Variation in price of any commodity is a complex variable. It may be caused by god created reasons and beyond the control of managers.I doubt the senior economist could do anything about it.However, trained economist are quick to ascertain the reasons and can take significant steps to keep the situation under control.

    Many onion jokes are doing rounds. Sharing one here,

    Recipe of Chicken Do Pyaja,

    Ingredients-

    Chicken- 500 gms.
    Tomato- 500 gms
    Oil- 2 Teaspoons
    Chicken masala- 2 Teaspoons
    Curd- One bowl
    GarlicGinger Paste- 1 Teaspoon
    Salt- According to taste
    Onions- According to Income

    There are different reasons for variation in price and unfortunately many of them are not taught at Harward or other universities.

    Check this out for one such reason well researched by Indian film industry,

    Anand

    • Love the recipe of disaster Anand. There is much the Government can do but chooses not to. Yes, there are variables beyond Governments control and sometimes ” god ” is also not one of them.

  5. From what I have read, the following are the possible reasons cited

    1) Quantitative Easing – Capital rich western countries are putting their money in emerging economies which is causing price rise and bubbles

    2) Damage to crops in Maharashtra

    3) Congress keen to please Sharad Pawar as Congress is losing ground in AP and it can’t afford to do the same in Maharashtra. Sharad Pawar obviously raising prices to favour his cronies.

    4) The distribution system, middlemen, bribes, onions which were already exported and had to be imported back again and all that nonsense which we call India.

    The above are not my views, i just read around the web.

    • Bubbles have more of an impact on the stock markets and real estate sectors, it would be scary if it has trickled down. Cannot put anything past Pawar. If crops were damaged in Maharashtra, Onions grow throughout the country and one of the most easiest to produce, the failure of one state cannot have this big an impact. The last point in conjunction with point two appears more possible.

      • It does trickle down as well. As capital moves to India, people get richer, their diets change causing supply concerns and the prices go up. Economist.com says nearly 220m Indians have started regularly eating meat, eggs, drink milk etc. Add to that our agriculture industry is still in the past with not much or none at all of foreign investment or technology allowed. Our country has to streamline the agriculture industry, raise productivity, improve storage etc.

        Many economies in Latin America have begun to tax foreign investment and even repatriation to it’s shores to curb inflation.

        And one state can have an impact since Mah. produces 40% of the output. I don’t know how much of that was damaged but it will obviously raise prices.

        However corruption in India is so high that all these could be just excuses. It’s probably the politicians playing games.

      • The 220 mn who eat milk and diary products are the burgeoning middle class which is most certainly impacted by pricked bubbles. But, anyone below or even APL would not. Their status has remained the same in the last decade, if not worsened. Probably Maharashtra did impact the food rise, and as you rightfully say, the damn Netas can conjure up anything!

  6. Anything is possible Ninad. But, the whole point is that the PM is probably the most aware of the possibilities, feigns not much knowledge which in turn leaves us smarting!!

  7. Dear Sharmila,

    At a time when my mouth is watering and my sight firmly glued to the red cherry why are you so bent on making me shed precious tears for the onion? Don’t you realize that the Cricket World Cup is what is the real thing, the real issue here? Please don’t forget that I’m Mr. Kalmadi’s mentor too. Secondly did anyone ever die because he couldn’t afford to eat onions? Come on let us think big and do ourselves and the nation a favor. And please don’t bother the PM when he already has so much on his plate, onions too.

    Hope you will understand.

    Union Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution – Govt. of India.

    • Ha Ha! Welcome back Melwyn. Your presence was greatly missed. Where were you?Quite an apt comment and one that would leave us smarting for the right reasons Mr Minister!

  8. Thank you Sharmila. I missed being here too and the loss was definitely mine.

    I feel inflation has ceased to be a big issue anymore, at least for the urbanites. The rural folks are left with a lot of more important issues to contend with. To combat the situation the Govt. must invent ways to put more money into the consumer’s pockets. That I imagine would be the ideal situation.

    • Real money to be put back in pockets will take a few years, as real money is measured in progressive terms of the economy.. The people who are hit hardest by inflation are the ones who need to keep within a shoe string budget which includes the rural populace.

  9. Wow…! They are doing a Great Job…
    Your PM is such a Kind and Wise Guy…Who is giving an opportunity to his own countrymen to get out of the rut to be more versatile and innovative…lol…
    Think for a second…
    How many new recipes will come out from some brainac’s minds and new cusine will be at your service for a change…who needs to stick with that same ol’ Onion Uttapam or Chicken Do Piaja or Piazza …whatever…! 🙂
    Did they not find out a substitute for Sugar…!?
    Some day we all can have Sweets without Sugar…lol..
    Don’t we have Soy Milk instead of Real Cow milk…!
    The Gas price hike will encourage R & D experts to make Automobiles run by everything else but Gasolene…wow..! How about water…!? We have Hybrids already…now we will get some Hydrolics…! How about that…!
    Hmm….The list can be endless… 🙂

  10. Muraliraja Says:

    Sharmila,
    Good post.
    I have read/listened/spoke enough about inflation, petrol & onion prices.
    My senses developed some kind of allergy towards the word “Price Increase”
    Planned to keep mum. But, looks like fate has a different plan.
    My company has decided to increase the prices of all the products we sell.
    Now my task for next 2 months is to make my customer accept this nominal price increase! (Yes! Wherever we (Trader, Mfg., Politician) mention the word “price increase” we prefix it with the word “nominal” even if the actual increase is 100%)

    “One often meet’s his destiny, on the road he takes to avoid it.”

    • That is so right Murali. Destiny always has a different plan for us and for dreamers like me, it shocks the living daylights out of me. Good luck with your attempt to getting the customer to accept the price rise! Nominal sounds good.

      • Muraliraja Says:

        Agreed! For Dreamers(me too, full time) destiny is an alien word. Looking forward for the day to beat the hell out of destiny.

  11. A very apt post on this subject from my favorite American humorist:

    Several months ago, during the worst of the Gulf oil spill disaster, I wrote on this blog that I invested in BP stock. BP stock dipped to about 27. Today it is nearing 47. I didn’t time the bottom right, but I averaged down and came out ahead.

    Normally it’s a bad idea to invest in individual stocks because everything you know about a company is based on lies from management. And you can’t know if a competitor is about to release a killer product next week. And Lord knows what games any particular company is playing with its accounting. There’s simply no way to have enough information about a typical company to make an informed investment.

    BP was different. Everyone understood that the stock’s direction would be entirely determined by the oil spill, and almost everything about that situation was in the news. For once, it was a level playing field, at least as far as raw information.

    You might argue that someone close to the ground, such as an engineer or Coast Guard official might have been better informed. But that’s unlikely. I’m pretty certain that no engineer knew for sure what solution would work, or how soon. And clearly no one knew how much oil was going where. It was also fairly obvious that estimates about the size of BP legal settlements were little more than guesses.

    In such a case, anyone who has experience in big organizations, and pays attention to world events, had an advantage in analyzing BP stock. You would have known that the wall-to-wall media coverage would generate more fear in investors than the facts would support. You would know that in any complex situation, lawyers will exploit uncertainty, so eventually BP would have the upper hand. And you would be aware of what I call The Adams Law of Slow Moving Disasters, which states that engineers can always solve slow moving disasters if they have society’s support. The spill was slow enough to qualify.

    Still, this was more of a gamble than an investment. I’m probably just lucky that things went in the direction I predicted. But it made me wonder – and this is the point I was leading up to – whether the only smart way to invest is in entire countries as opposed to companies.

    The economy of an entire country moves because of large events that the media will generally cover. For investors, it can be a more level playing field. For example, I don’t know where Microsoft will be in ten years, but it’s a good bet that India will continue getting richer.

    There’s plenty of uncertainty in the economy of countries too, of course. Japan and Ireland are good examples of that. But it seems to me that in general, information about the economy of an entire country will always be superior to information about an individual company. And events will happen slower in entire countries. Terrorist attacks and natural disasters are the exception, but they rarely change the long term prospects of a country. (You could argue that 9/11 killed America’s economy. That’s the only exception I can think of.)

    Investing in countries isn’t a clean process at the moment. Often the best you can do is to buy an index fund that is over-weighted with the largest companies in a given country. But I assume that problem will be solved in time.

    My prediction for today is that twenty years from now the common form of investment will be in entire countries. And following China’s model, entire countries will start to operate more as for-profit entities. That means the big democracies of the world will evolve into “management” models in the longer run. Some degree of transparency and oversight will be the only safeguards against despotism. Someday voting will be seen as an inefficient relic of the past. In the future, citizens will laugh at the idea that uninformed citizens voted for leaders based on who looked good on television.

    Scott Adams

    • Interesting. Adamn speaks of management of countries like India. A discussion we once had as to why it is important to corporatize the politics of India. I again believe that better management leads to better transparency and richer economies. Scott is right, this is the only way to avoid despotism. Voters should vote for Managers not idiots who sound great because of the teleprompter.

      • In my last 25 years of working life I have found that different classes of people get persuaded in different ways.

        An employee, a trader, a manufacturer, an industrialist, a clown, an actor or a politician, each type has different trigger that fires.

        Our politicians are cold blooded in a sense.

      • In my opinion it already is…Govs are like big corporations…the difference is….many small corporations prevail under that one Big Umbrella…Every political party and every politician is a subdivided corporation in its own…
        Pms and Presidents are like CEOs…who have their own agenda are more worried about their chair and benefits other than their countries and countrymen…period..
        Recent inflation is the proof of it…who spins what at what level is a riddle for a ‘common man’…That’s it…! lol…

      • The core requirement for a company is a separate legal entity identity which is missing in a party. The party and the party members are deemed to be one and the same unlike a Company which has perpetual existence. Can Congress exist without Sonia. Try chucking her out. Congress will break into 100 parts and the original identity lost. ( Not that it still has it! ) Then, corporations big and small show high levels of transparency because they are governed by Company Law regulations. Does that happen even to any extent in the Government despite the Laws.

      • Sharmila, MonaLisa,

        This was not always the situation in the country.

        Here is an extract from an event in the Indian parliament, in 1958:


        On a hot summer day in 1954, senior Congress MP Seth Govind Das moved a resolution in the Lok Sabha for a total ban on cow slaughter. When Nehru rejected it out of hand, Das had the temerity to say that a “large majority of the party” was in favour of the resolution.

        Whereupon Nehru retorted, “I would rather resign than accept this nonsensical demand”.

        On April 29, 1958 Nehru stunned the Congress Parliamentary Party by making his desire to resign formal.

        For the first and last time he read at a party meeting, a written statement. Its substance was that he had not taken his decision in a hurry, that he had already written to the President and was now approaching the party that had done him the honour of electing him its leader. He explained that a prime minister’s “continuous and unceasing work …much of it routine, left little time for quiet thinking. I feel now that I must have a period when I … can think of myself as an individual citizen of India and not as prime minister”.

        For a brief moment there was deathly silence, and then loud shouts of “No, no”.

        Source: Inder Malhotra (for IE)

  12. Anand Khare Says:

    There was too much hue and cry over one Kg onions being sold at price of one liter of petrol. Government has increased the price of petrol to set things in order. Who says Government doesn’t work.;).

  13. Reader,
    That ‘no….no’ shows his popularity…however that seems like a collective mistake today…wouldn’t that have been better if he resigned that day and someone more efficient one would have lead the country then…!? History could have been different…

    • MonaLisa,

      I doubt politics in those early days of freedom was about popularity. It was more about nationalism. Those who became cabinet ministers were not in it for the salary or revenue streams.

      Nehru’s resignation is ditto what Gandhi did when Subhash Chandra Bose was elected the Congress president in the ’30s.

      Bose believed in an armed rebellion against the Englishmen while Gandhi believed in non-cooperation. Gandhi resigned when Bose got elected. Bose resigned to get Gandhi back.

      I don’t think that element of service to ideals exists anymore anywhere in any democracy today. Ill-informed voters hardly know what they are voting for!

  14. Reader,
    I think voters do know what they are voting for…A bigger Thief vs A smaller or new thief….thats what has remained in Democracy…
    Many of us knew that the current president is a novice and not fit and perfect candidate to deal with the messy situation Bush Admin is leaving behind…but everyone was so fed up of Bush Admin that they opted in for A Democrate…Too bad Hillary had to take second position…but those are the games played at higher level…the strong lobbies/lobbiests decide the CEO of their choice…as their monies are always at stake on A Dark Horse…
    Situation before wasn’t different …that it shows by resignation of a certain person over the other…the ways were different …thats all…! Emotional Blackmail was more in practice then…than anything else…Now…everything is there in practice…whatever works…! 🙂
    Popularity did play a role…Nehru was publicized and made popular in public’s eyes….otherwise Sardar Patel would have been PM instead…Gandhi played a big role using his veto power in it as Nehru Family’s money were there into congress…on a condition by Motilal Nehru…that his son gets the Lion Share…see…! nothing has changed much..

    • American politics is founded on a unique history unlike any other in the world. While India and other colonies struggle with histories of invasions and oppression, America has only a short history of less than 500 years mainly racist.

      Its ironical that the Southern Confederacy of democrats who lost the famous civil war against the republicans of Abe Lincoln have chosen a black president of African origin. Democrats have a history of 300+ years of racism including their support for KKK – the white supremacy crusade.

      Indeed, politics in both the countries has come a long way today.

      Incidently, this fate is predicted for all liberal nations by Henry Ford Sr. in his book, The International Jew- The World’s Foremost Problem

      • KKK wasn’t just supported particularly by one Party….it was supported by both major parties time to time…

      • You didn’t get my point.

        The Ku Klux Klan – movement for white power – was driven by an Inquisition type model of the church in the middle ages. (A model that does not sanction saint-hood to the likes of Teresa because they are woman!)

        Hill Billary becoming president was very remote. She doesn’t even have the same voice in her party as, say, Sarah Palin, even though Hill is in power and Sarah is just a detractor.

        The democrats are divisive and devious as compared to Bush and his fraternity.

        During the Eisenhover presidency after WWII, the Russian communists made in-roads into US politics through the democrats. America has never been the same again. The name ‘Democrats’ is a misnomer. The party actually supports everything except democracy.

        I make fun of Bush and his Oil cartels, but if I was asked to voice a preference I’d pick him and his businessmen any day for the pride of American capitalism.

  15. Lakshmi Jag Says:

    Sharmila…do you think the supply gateways opened because the Prime Minister took action. Somehow it is hard to think that such a brilliant economist is really silent. Maybe he speaks a silent language which sometimes can be more powerful than useless rhetoric. Politics is not an easy science, I think we have to give credit to him as he is not corrupt like the others, as far as my limited knowledge goes

    • Lakshmi – Narasimha Rao spoke silence in 14 languages. Manmohan speaks inaction with multiple qualifications. I too would like to believe he is the odd man out in the regiment. But, there is little point in being Mr Clean when the house he lives in is filthy, which is the saddest part. I do have the highest regard for the man as an Economist, but as a PM , not really because he lacks leadership skills which is vital in a managerial role. Maybe he did say something and thats why there was an impact, but, maybe more because Sonia said it.

  16. omg…! you think so…!? I am quite surprised..

    • Why surprised?

      Producers and manufacturers of goods who create real value for money need resources and support, not supervision and governance.

      Bush, with all his comedians, was lassez faire for Americans and interventionist for other countries.

      One quick test to know if your president and his party are good for you is to see the opinions of the rest of the world: If the Arabs, Russians and Chinese are quiet, then be sure Americans are being compromised overseas.

      On Hill and Sarah:

      Whenever I hear the name Hill, her Bill is also there somewhere.

      Whenever I think of Sarah I also think of the French President and the spoof phone call.

  17. 🙂 🙂 omg….!

  18. Alright…! Time to go now…when sudden silence on your end… 🙂
    You have a good one…

    • MonaLisa,

      Theres always a lull of about an hour.. leaving for office and back online… its usually your closing time!!!

      Have good night see back with the sun!

  19. Aishwarya Says:

    I learnt two new words today. Plutocracy and oligarchy/plutarchy.
    I would like to dedicate them to our ruling party who played a key role in me looking up the meanings.:)

  20. What fun!! Thanks Aish… important words..

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