PGP for India: The Maximal Government We Have

The Pretty Good Principles (PGP) are fundamentally at odds with the principles that the Indian government currently follows. The intrusion of the government into areas where it does not belong harms the national interest. It is a “maximal government.”

Maximal Government

  • The government is involved in airlines, railways, power generation, oil and natural gas, heavy machinery, telecommunications, education, and so on. These can be more efficiently and effectively provided by the private sector.
  • No protection for the individual. The government is too powerful and the individual has severely limited or no recourse against the government.
  • Very limited freedom of expression. The print media is somewhat free but not totally free. The government still prohibits the publication of certain books and the expression of certain views. Private television is allowed current events programming but private radio is prohibited from news and current affairs programming.
  • People are treated unequally. People get privileges based on their group affiliations – religious, caste, etc.Certain groups are taxed and the proceeds are used for buying the affiliation of other groups.
  • Groups are privileged over individuals. People face discrimination in jobs and public assistance because of their group membership.

This is what we need to change in India.

5 thoughts on “PGP for India: The Maximal Government We Have

  1. govt shud not and cannot get out of the core sectors u mentioned. if that were the case, why have govt in the firsy place. Privatisaion is not the panacea for everything.

  2. As evident from Sarika’s comment role of government is deeply embedded in minds of most Indians. Majority of Indian population still have memories of socialist era , still read and believe Chacha Nehru and Indian politician ( both BJP n Congress ) have done little to change impression of that era.

    Big government and small government is a classical economics problem and its hard to take side and once u take side its even harder to convince others … convincing required concrete results where government wins by giving free fertilizers to farmers who dint under stand what is tax and subsidized oil to taxpayers who think farmers r leaving on thr taxs .

    if you what change explain and convince why government is bad in business to million of employee of Railways .

  3. Sarika wrote, “govt shud not and cannot get out of the core sectors u mentioned.”

    I suppose I should read the above as “the government should not get out of the core sectors you mentioned.”

    Because clearly there is nothing “cannot” about the government getting out of any business. For example, the government can completely get out of telecom and out of airlines — which for now it still meddles in but thankfully there are private sector providers now.

    Think how it was just a mere 15 years ago. Wherever the government is, there’s shortage.

    But those who are raised on a steady diet of socialistic thinking cannot imagine how the free market operates. Just as people in the former USSR used to wonder how on earth can bread be available in the market without the government intervening to tell people where, how much, and when to make bread. They had bread lines, though.

  4. I somehow was expecting this correlation of socialist failure in USSR and triumph of capitalism n market in telecom sector but again this is a dead argument. Cuban still love fidel castro and last financial criss made it clear that all is not well with capitalism.

    I am not into socialism vs capitalism as it seems both have worked very well at sm point of time and still working for some people.

    I agree with you that Government role in some businesses is questionable but still how much and where is not clear and need experimentation.

    But I think it will be more convincing if we instead of fighting government vs private debate give equal opportunity to both over a fixed period to deliver what they tend to promise.

    Current problem with government is not that its into to many things. problem I guess is not delivering what it’s promising. there is no accountability, no independent and measurable parameters of performance. There is no communication betn citizen and government other then rotten party manifesto.

    tell me when PM of nation address nation to tell what he think where we as nation heading and how and why he thing its the right direction and approach?

    That the reason politics is so messy. They keep changing what they r doing, how they r doing and what they promising. There is no final destination , no compass and no map !!!

    Do we know key objectives of current government it is expected to deliver in next 5 years?

    Can we measure how we dealing with Kashmir issue?

    Can we measure what current government did to secure food and energy security?

    can we measure how it spent public money?
    compare to last government ? results obtained?

    Do we have report cards for every government agency state/centre which is publicly shared and discussed on public platform.

    When i was in school we use to have parent teacher meeting where all stakeholder use to discuss how a candidate. Why cant we have same thing for government agencies? I means we have so many private channels wch have nothing to show but BS. they will love be part of it?

    How many common people can understand budget report beyond tax slab and exemptions?

    I guess problem is not big gov. vs small gov or private . As a consumer and citizen i care little who delivered solution, all i care about is if I got what was promised to me t a price which will not cost me my children’s future.