Monday, June 22, 2009

Back to the basics

The dangers of being on the top of the food chain is there is nobody to cull the overpopulation of people based on carrying capacity of the space we occupy. I shudder to think of the day when we need to do that ourselves. Close to 40% of the worlds people are in India and China. Yet in India we work on the we 2 ours 2 philosophy. Even at sub 2% growth we are going to run out of space on earth in a little more than 700 years. So we need to get to zero population growth very quickly. Not celebrate more octomoms. There will be attendant issues, but if we cannot manage the population growth forget about controlling the available resources. Like Prof. Bartlett says it is our inability to understand the exponential function that will be our undoing.

In the meantime, voices against urbanization demand we stop building living and working spaces because we destroy the natural resources. Is this possible? How do we fulfil the requirements of growing life on earth without being able to occupy more space on the planet? Becoming cavemen eating berries is not the answer. We cant have 6 billion people go back to sitting around idle hunting for food. We are going to run out of berries anyway. What happens to the economy then? I can understand the argument to get away from the dollar and choosing a more neutral currency. I can even discuss the options of going back to gold (or a widely available valuable metal of you choosing) standard. But barter system living in caves! Thats stretching things bit too far.
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Its not the economy which is directly harming the environment, it is the people and their requirements. But, we cant have the economy that we have by living in caves. So what is the next best thing? Sustainable living.

In my view we need to be able to occupy the land we live and build what we want without upsetting the balance of nature. We can do that only by measuring the amount environmental damage a building or habitation causes and creating an offset somewhere else for an equivelant amount.

The carbon credit system is the first step in measuring damage and allow the creation of offsets. The sustainable living of the future is going to have carbon credit play a major role in it. The carbon miles on a persons card will determine the cost of carrying the person on earth. Sorry to sound harsh but in the near future it will define how valuable a person is when it comes to culling time.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No to bail outs, one more voice

Here is another opinion on why govt should stay out of businesses. The conclusion, you dont make it any better by butting in with a wad of cash. Indian govt can learn some lessons here. Its time to let go of public sector and definitely Satyam. Let it be run by its new owner the way they want. Learn to let go and be a watch dog.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Disingenuous disinvestment

Here is Montek Singh Ahluwalia, a conservative economist, trying to do work in a populist, socialist govt. I would have preferred him as the FM, but the intentions of the govt are very clear in putting a left leaning Pranab Mukherjee as FM. Now back to the planning commission in his second stint deputy chairman, he is willing to set a plan to get deficit down and get govt out of the public sector, but clearly is setting limits and caveats on all.

Now Montek in an interview with CNN IBN has indicated even with disinvestment, govt control of 51% will exist. Why? Frankly I dont want my money going to running public sector companies, however navrathan they may be. Please give me a reason why my money needs to go into making watches or soaps? If I believed in a story I will take equity and invest. I dont think these symbolic lip service attempts at disinvestment is going to help.

Poor audio

Listen to Jim Cramer's opinion on GM. I can draw a parellel with our continued clinging to the public sector units. Government should be out of doing business with tax payer money. No good has ever come out of this, especially in mature sectors. They should only be regulators. The eagerness to jump into everything even if there isnt a systemic risk is too much for fallible human beings running the govt.

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