As I see the government coming out with serial reform tweaks (FDI norms, Preferential allotments) and bureaucratic twaddles, I worry that we’re operating far beyond our economic knowledge. Every time the administration releases an initiative, I read different reports with diverse opinions. I worry that we lack the political structures to regain fiscal control. Deficits are exploding, and the government clearly wants to restrain them. But there’s no evidence that the UPA / NDA or the non-aligned rest have the courage or the mutual trust required to share the blame when tough decisions are to be taken.
All in all, I can see why the markets are nervous and dropping. And it’s also clear that we’re on the cusp of the biggest political experiment of our lifetimes. If Obama is mostly successful, then the global skepticism natural to conservatives will have been discredited. We will know that highly trained government experts are capable of quickly designing and executing top-down transformational change. If they mostly fail, then liberalism will suffer a grievous blow, and conservatives will be called upon to restore order and sanity.
It’ll be interesting to see who’s right. But I can’t even root for my own vindication. The costs are too high. I have to go to the keyboard each morning hoping Barack Obama is going to prove me wrong.