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Economics of misinformation January 26, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in india, media, politics, rant.

I am not surprised by the results of this survey.

The surveys says :

Instead of asking people about actual economic policies, the survey gave them two fairly worded policy options and asked the people to choose one.

And then it appears that in order to find out whether people support foreign investment or not, they are given these options.

Support: Govt. should allow, foreign companies to come into our country since they bring more capital and technology..

Oppose: Govt. should not allow foreign companies to come in our country because they exploit us and take profits away

If that is how you word your survey, it would require a fool to support foreign investment. What, may I ask, is fairly worded about it ?

When 26% of the entire population believe that reforms have benefitted only the rich as one of the tables suggest, the headline is that “Everyone agrees that reforms have benefited only the rich”. 26 is not equal to 0.

Mr. Yogendra Yadav, don’t tell us to opine what you think and what you we should opine.15 years back if you had asked the general public whether the government should run telecom and ban private cell phone companies, a huge majority would have said yes. What else do you expect when generation after generation is brought up to believe that to have a secure government job is everything. I want to visit your house and see what consumer appliances you use – Kelvinator/LG ? A BSNL net connection or Airtel/Sify.

And all this when barely 3% understand what reforms really mean ? What percentage of the population understands the meaning of “downsizing the government”. I would think that would be less than 3%. Did you explain it to them ? If so, in what words ? Reading stuff like this, I am sometimes inclined to stretch so far as to say that we should consider teaching economic history of the world and free-market economics in our high schools even at the cost of some Trignometry/ calculus/English. While each and every individual who consumes goods and/or has purchasing power is a cog in the machine that the economy is, barely a handful have an idea how economies work even in the most elementary terms.

Some of those in the Indian media should just shut shop. Or not handle subjects when you can’t do it competently. Just stick to Abhishek-Aishwaraya, the item girls and SRK-BigB- in a country of a billion, you will (unfortunately) find at least a few million underemployed who will keep your shop. running.



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