Nostalgia kills Logical thinking

Nostalgia is the enemy to logical thinking. And nostalgia is what prompts and afflicts Rohini Nilekani as she exhorts, the way she states it in her column, why the 'state must be brought back in'.

She starts her column by stating, 'Whenever the family travelled together, while most of us would admire the greenery, my father-in-law would sigh ecstatically over the beauty of the giant pylons striding across the fields. To him, they represented the engineering talent and achievements of the public sector, munificently straddling the commanding heights of the economy'.

Surely the picture she paints sounds and seems endearing, but what jarrs it, is what happens almost the same time elsewhere. I guess I was a kid then and I guess I was standing at this snaking line, trying to buy a packet of milk from a booth run by this co-operative union, adept at denying a kid like me the packet I needed, by the time I reached my turn at the counter. So I guess, I went back home, empty-handed. Needless to say, I hated it! So much for the yesteryear state!

When Rohini says, 'There are just too many millions below the scope of ‘efficient’ markets and beyond the reach of most NGOs', and so the state must be the answer, she conveniently forgets the multiple messes the state leads us into, under the garb of social justice. Let it be known, government's never the solution, its the problem.

If you don't believe me, look at the housing mess in the US, brought about governmental intervention, in providing for 'affordable housing'. Listen to Thomas Sowell's explanation, 'Like most wonderful-sounding political slogans, none of these lofty goals was discussed in terms of that one four-letter word that people do not use in polite political society— "cost." No one asked how many hundreds of thousands of dollars would be added to the cost of an average home by "open space" laws, for example. Yet empirical studies have shown that land-use restrictions added at least a hundred thousand dollars to the average home price in dozens of places around the country...

In other words, where the problem was real, local politicians were the cause. National politicians then tried to depict this as a national problem that they would solve. How would they solve it? By pressuring banks and other lenders to lower their requirements for making mortgage loans, so that more people could buy houses. The Department of Housing and Urban Development gave the government-sponsored enterprise Fannie Mae quotas for how many mortgages it should buy that were made out for people for low to moderate incomes. Like most political "solutions," the solution to the affordable housing "problem" took little or no account of the wider repercussions this would entail.

Nostalgia is good on screen, in movies. In real life, its a recipe for disaster. It does no one any good, especially if there's logical thinking to engage in.


Unknown said…
The system makes it slow and out of reach for the majority f the population. All said and done the democracy is the rule of a few money minting firms and brands which dictate what should happen, how and who should do it. But it is far better than socialism where the state dictates and the subjects have to accept it.

Yes in principle it sounds good but the freedom to choose whether the government or products and services is simply logical.
Ray Titus said…
'democracy is the rule of a few money minting firms and brands which dictate what should happen, how and who should do it.'

Suprised you say that. Note this:

'But here's a dirty little secret about capitalism: consumers, not corporations, run the show. If you find something about the marketplace objectionable, it would be more appropriate to blame those who actually call the shots: the ruthless, cutthroat, and disloyal American consumers.

Don't believe it?

Ask a large corporation, Coca-Cola, about the power of consumers when it introduced "New Coke," and the product promptly flopped. Then talk to the owners of the more than 600 Michigan businesses that filed for bankruptcy in 2001 and ask them who controlled their destiny? Then visit the International Supermarket Museum in New York, and view the 60,000 products that have failed in U.S. supermarkets, a convincing testament to what economists call "consumer sovereignty."

Consumers are the kings and queens of the market economy, and ultimately they reign supreme over corporations and their employees. When corporations make mistakes and introduce products that consumers don't want, which happens frequently, you can count on consumers voicing their opinions forcefully and immediately by their lack of spending.'

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