Confused economics

Tom Friedman has this theory in his book Lexus and Olive Tree that two countries which have McDonalds will not go to war with each other, the idea being that in a globalized economy countries are interdependent and cannot sacrifice prosperity over war. But you try to apply this to Pakistan and you get confused on the direction they want to move.
Yesterday there was news of Pakistan deciding to import sugar from India due to economic pressure. Even as recent as last week, there was a ban on import of sugar from India as it would hurt sugarcane growers and mills. Low rainfall caused the sugar prices to rise and imports from UAE and Thailand were not able to meet the demand. Now it is expected that Pakistan will buy three to four lakh tonnes of sugar from India.
But then all is not so sweet regarding trade between the two countries. In the same breath Pakistan announced that films made or developed in India is in list of banned items even though there is an economic need for importing movies.

According to the Import Policy Order 2005, the banned items include any “cinematograph film wholly or partly exposed or developed in any Pakistani or Indian language, with or without a sound track and depicting Pakistani or Indian way of living either silent or dubbed, or in which leading roles have been played by Pakistani or Indian actors or actresses”.[Pakistan bans import of films made in India]

This means Pakistanis will have to rely on movie pirates to see Meera kissing Ashmit Patel in Nazar. This is so sad since the movie was made by Mahesh Bhatt, a Pakistani lover and Bollywood apologist.
Now both the countries have Prime Ministers who are economists who understand the value of trade. But the wall of hatred erected by Pakistan is so strong that even free market forces are unable to pierce it.

  1. The list of banned items also include a whole range of military weapons, which means the Pakistani Army can no longer buy machine guns, sub-machine guns and automatic rifles from India to kill Indians.
  2. Siddharth Varadarajan notes that US bombed Yugoslavia and India and Pakistan went to war over Kargil, even though they all had McDonalds.

16 thoughts on “Confused economics

  1. If writers like Friedman would spend more time analysing why globalised economies (read american) and their underdogs ( read UK) feel the need to constantly attack other countries and act like the Big Brother that has not been called for, war would become less popular.

  2. Friedman is a fool,an embodyment of American ignorance and arrogance.The world is flat is full of crazy,sick metaphors.BTW,he himself corrected his theory on Mcdonalds by introducing something called the Dell’s theory dogscrap.
    Shashi Tharoor had written abt The World is Flat in his column in The Hindu sometime back.Tharoor never writes things straight out(typically UN man),but this one was quite interesting.I dont have the link here.

  3. Vikrant, A war is necessary because countries (read Afghanistan) provided sanctuary to a terrorist (read Osama bin Laden) and an organization (read Al-Qaeda) hijacked four planes and crashed them into buildings resulting in the death of thousands of innocent civilians. I don’t need a Friedman to convince me that.

  4. It is important to include the cause as well as the effect to have a discussion on any event. It is easy to justify any event or deed (read war) by manipulating the window of observation ;).

  5. I agree with P@L. Also, as important as that is, the point is the training was provided by americans. I am not looking at the last 4 years, Im referring to American history. America would do a lot better if the taxes were not being comitted to first training then catching terrorists.

  6. According to Osama bin Laden, he attacked United States because of the US presence in Saudi Arabia. US had to intervene because of the invasion of Kuwait by the mass murderer Saddam Hussein. Sorry for not extending the window of opportunity this far.

  7. and yet Saddam and fellows Iraqis had been trained by US to throw off Iran in the 70’s. Without US, Saddam may not have had the power and resources to attack Kuwait.

  8. “The Soviet Union and her satellites were the main suppliers of arms to Iraq following the 1972 signing of the Soviet-Iraqi Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. France was another important supplier of weapons to Iraq during the 1970s. The United States, the world’s leading arms exporter, did not have normal relations with Iraq from 1967 (due to the Six-Day War) until 1984.
    Soviet-Iraqi relations suffered strains in the late 1970s. When Iraq invaded Iran in 1980, the Soviet Union cut off weapons sales to Iraq and did not resume them until 1982. During the war, the People’s Republic of China became a major new source of weapons for Iraq, with increasing sales from France, and to a lesser extent the United States, the United Kingdom, and Egypt.”

  9. Yeah may be Tharoor is bad/fool or whatever.Doesnt mean that you have to be prejudiced about anything and everything he writes.
    Too bad you dont have the decency to comment on what Tharoor has written.

  10. Anon, in your comment i did not see any decency. So I am just reciprocating the feeling. If you want to debate an idea, try to write something without using profanities. When you have matured to that level, please leave a comment.

  11. Shashi Tharoor is one of the finest minds currently operating in the Indian media. If you want to read him on friedman, log on to — and while you’re there, check out any of his columns in the Hindu and newsweek. The man’s a genius, and delightful to read as well.

  12. VVK, I don’t think he is the finest mind in Indian media. I have read his columns and books. He is not a genius and not a delight to read.
    See, it is so easy to write a comment without substance.

  13. Yep Tharoor is a fool.A real fake.Thats why he reached his current position in UN.Thats why The Hindu and other silly,not-at-all-respected newspapers carry around his column.Thats why a few(very few) of his books are best sellers.The Great Indian Novel is pure crap,not at all knowledgible writing.India;From Midnight to Millenium and Bookless in Baghdad doesnt even deserve to be taught at kindergarden.
    Keralites are fools too.Thats why the Gulf Boom happened.They should have stayed at home,enjoying the poverty here,like the Biharis and Kannadigas and many others.They should have done all kinds of riots based on riligion,caste etc.They should have still practiced Sati.They should have stayed illiterate like the rest.They should have stood first in female foeticide.
    The Communists are even bigger fools;while the rest of the polity is interested in the Ambani Tug of War and “Who is God?Murthy or Premji?”,see what they are doing?And for whom does they stand for!
    BTW,Mr JK Nair is a very intelligent gentleman.A true genious,by all standards.Not-at-all a pseudo-intellectual.Very caring to the poor of India.What a service he is doing for them from his AC room in the US of A!He is doing all this not because of inferiority complex and insecurity he feels when he stands among his White American pals.A true Indian Nationalist that he is;this guy is not at all morally bankrupt!!
    Next Plato,he is.Or Gandhi?Such learned stuff he writes!

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