America’s Presidential Election

Harsh and I have co-authored a piece on America’s presidential election:

Early next month, Americans will decide whether to re-elect Democrat Barack Obama as President or vote in Republican Mitt Romney instead. Reports of America’s decline have been greatly exaggerated—it remains the world’s most powerful nation, although it does run the risk of being eclipsed by China in a couple of decades. With the global economy still struggling and tensions in the Middle East still high, a presidential election in the US is bound to have far-reaching consequences beyond American shores. A Romney victory will be better for economic growth in America and will weaken the renewed global allure of interventionist or authoritarian state capitalism that is more likely to end up in crony, rather than competitive, markets.

More here.

Economic Freedom Is Necessary For Political Freedom

Harsh and I have co-authored a piece on which political parties gain and lose from India’s economic liberalization:

…Indians are not politically free. Those wielding power and influence can manipulate and coerce their fellow citizens with impunity because of the abject poverty that plagues the vast majority of Indians. It is commonplace for politicians to dole out freebies at election time that include everything from loan waivers to colour televisions and laptops. That citizens unthinkingly barter their vote for short-term material benefits reflects their economic weakness, makes them susceptible to coercion and degrades democracy.
The use of money and muscle power during election time is well documented—the media, which is also heavily dependent on government advertisements, has been known to be paid off to manipulate the public discourse by certain political parties and candidates for public office.
More here.