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Friday, October 05, 2007

Urban Capitalists Are Here

Summarizing Pew's 2007 survey on openness of people, mostly urban, to free markets, foreign companies, and free trade, Ajay Shah points out that the urban Bharatiya are becoming more capitalists and are more open to free markets rather than to government intervention in dealing with economic issues.

The report also shows sharp changes over the last five years. On page 16, they show support for foreign companies in India went up from 61% in 2002 to 73% in 2007, a gain of 12 percentage points. On the question People are better off in free markets, support went up from 62% in 2002 to 76% in 2007, a gain of 14 percentage points. Most interesting is page 20, where the fraction that believes that government has too much control has risen from 52% in 2002 to 71% in 2007 - a rise of 19%.

If you looked at the rhetoric of political parties in India, you wouldn't think that this was the way the people think. Of course, this is not quite how voters think. The Pew Institute's sampling in India has a 79% urban weightage. [Ajay Shah's blog]

Also, his analysis on how liberal, in terms of economic policies, each country surveyed is shows that the so-called self-anointed open free market economies, mainly the west, are nothing but and most of the so-called closed third world countries are lot more capitalistic and market oriented. At least that's what the people say. But the politicians and economic policies followed by their elites in each country may be quite different as India's economic policies of the last three years show abundantly.