Essay about The Elephant and the Dragon by Robyn Meredith

928 Words 4 Pages
Robyn Meredith tells a complex and very important story of two formerly dirt-poor nations. China and India have transformed much of their economies to produce vast amounts of wealth and to lift hundreds of millions of people out of desperate poverty, which is about all they have in common. China is worlds ahead of India despite its politics. India is democratic but its history British Colonial rule has in some ways hindered their growth. While one would expect China to be a big version of North Korea, and India to be the most Western of the Asian nations, it has not worked out that way.
Mao drove China into desperate poverty by crazed policies, such as the Cultural Revolution, which sought to suppress higher education in China.
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They succeeded in creating this ideal but its protection based economy has lead to economic stagnation and poverty for decades. India has been very slow to abandon socialism due to its fears from colonialism. In did not start to move toward the free market until the 1990s, and still its reforms have been incomplete and often sporadic. In a giant, multi-party, multi-ethnic democracy, with vast numbers of poor (who will always lean toward socialist policies,) it is very difficult to pursue a consistently free-market friendly policy. Some policies have worked and continue to build support for more open policies in the future. Meredith describes India as the brains of the information and service industries — call answering, computer programming, research and development, data entry, biotech, etc. They have far more workers who are far better educated and who will work for far less at a higher skill level than almost any country. And there's a long and very competitive line in India for these jobs: "When EDS began hiring for its call center in the Mindspace complex, 6,000 people applied for just 110 jobs with a starting salary of $250 a month, or $3,000 a year, for college graduates." No wonder the United States will lose about 3.3 million jobs to "off-shoring" by the year 2010 (Meredith).
Meredith points out that the outlook is not as rosy as many predict. While these economic surges have lifted hundreds of millions out of

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