Monday, January 29, 2007

A Great Article

There is a wonderful article on BBCNews today regarding the effect of globalization in Bangalore. While Bangalore is growing at staggering rates, the development of the infrastructure isn't keeping pace. The article touches on that as well as just how big the IT boom is here. One thing to take note of is the shanty towns at all the building sites that they discuss. I'll try to take some pictures of what they mean. The people who build the fancy and expensive high rises can't afford rent here, so instead they live in tents made from tarps at the building sites. I see at least a dozen on my way to and from NCBS. It's really heartbreaking.


Kathrin said...

That's crazy, you should buy property there, and sell next year, perhaps make a profit? So actual Indians live poorly, while the rest of the world takes their land, just like Thailand, and everywhere else there's money to be made.

E(Liz)a(Beth) said...

Yeah, it's really sad. I can't help but feel guilty as I drive around with my Western wealth.

Vivek said...

You haven't seen India how it was two decades ago. In the days of the socialist era, it took ten years to get a telephone connection and the only good jobs were either in nationalized banks or in some other part of the civil services. Entrepreneurial spirit was always being stifled by bureaucratic red tape.

Since economic liberalization in 1991, India's population has grown by slightly more than 250 million. In the same time however, the middle class has grown by more than 400 million. That more or less translates into 150 million fewer poor people in India.

The people you talk about living in the shanty towns, they're often migrant workers from the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. The Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 5,000 they make her per month each is far more than what even a family could make living on their farm. True, cost of living is more here, but the price of food and other basic needs really doesn't change much from the village to the city.

You shouldn't feel guilty about western wealth. If anything, western wealth is driving India forward. I strongly suggest reading the book, "India Unbound", by Gurcharan Das. Even though it was published around the year 1999, it captures the essence of India in the past decade.

And most of these people becoming millionaires through housing and other markets are Indians, not foreigners stealing Indian wealth. If you think of the U.S. even 100 years ago, there were really opulent millionaires and then there were the proletariat who had shanty towns all across Central Park in NYC and the big industrial fields of the northeast. The middle class emerged only halfway through the 1900's. India is going through that same phase. Give India another half a century at least.

India already meets two of the prerequisites for being a successful, modern country. It's a vibrant democracy and the law and order situation is strong. Capitalism will provide the third prerequisite, in due time.

georgen said...

India has been deemed one of the biggest growth areas for IT. Unfortunately, law I believe restricts you from buying property there. I would check into it.

E(Liz)a(Beth) said...

Well, even if law didn't restrict it, finances would. We are, unfortunately, not in the wealth bracket where we could purchase something. Alas! And as Vivek said, it's better than the money stay in the hands of Indians. It's their country and they should benefit from it. (Isn't that magnanimous of me? I wonder if I'd make the same statement if I did have enough money.)

Brad said...

Capitalism. Democracy.

I remember learning something about those when I was in school long ago. I remember that both of them sounded quite nice. One day, I would love to travel to some place where either of them are practiced.