In an old article I just came across, Kaushik Basu writes:
There is a story of a prospective school teacher who was asked during an interview by the principal of a conservative religious school, “Is the earth flat or round?”
The hapless teacher looked around at the faces of the interviewers for hints and, not finding any, settled for: “I can teach it flat or round.”
The trouble with a lot of our economic policy advisers is that they are like the school teacher.
They try to gauge what answers will make them popular with their political bosses and then give them the advice they seek.
This may be good for the advancement of their career but is not good for economics or for the country in question.
Indeed. The rest of Basu’s piece is about India’s stupid labour laws, which, along with the license raj, have stopped India from becoming a manufacturing superpower. How long will we continue to keep ourselves poor in the name of good intentions?