Re “Janet Yellen” [Jan. 20]: You wrote an article about one of the most powerful personalities in the world. And, because and only because this personality is a woman, we know all about how she fell in love and how lucky she was to have a husband who took care of their baby — and even more so because it is so unbelievable that he washed the dishes. If the personality had been a man, you would have written long-windedly about his years spent in college, how he was perceived by his fellow students and his career proper.
Hungry for More
Re “How to Feed 800 Million People” [Jan. 20]: Today, India struggles with high poverty, inflation, unemployment, fiscal deficit and interest rates. The cure for this would be a judicious mix of policy measures to improve investment and education. Perhaps targeted poverty-alleviation programs too. However, India’s $20 billion expenditure on the National Food Security Act (NFSA) is an indulgence and an invitation to corruption with which the country already struggles. India needs sustained improvements in productivity, and the NFSA does little to serve this cause.
Food for Growth
Re “A Bad Diet” [Jan. 20]: Nobel Prize — winning economist Robert Fogel showed how better nutrition, by contributing to greater human stature, strength, energy and longevity, was a major driver of economic growth in Britain through the Industrial Revolution and beyond. If NFSA is well run, poor Indians will enter the mainstream of India’s economic growth and stand on their own feet. The NFSA is not a handout but a high-yielding investment in human capital!
How much can private enterprise achieve, and when is state intervention necessary? Michael Schuman argued that India should hold back with centralized food aid and let private enterprise develop. It was fascinating then, in the very next article, to see Rana Foroohar stating as a matter of course that millions of private-sector workers in the U.S. would have lost their jobs had it not been for the intervention of the Fed.
Not a Real Threat
Re “Biits and Ballots” [Jan. 20]: Nobody in South Africa would argue with our prospects for reform, not even the African National Congress (ANC) government, because they have no intention of reforming their lucrative gravy train — they are loving it. But for Ruchir Sharma to say the ANC’s “most plausible challengers are breakaway factions of the ANC” shows a lack of study or interest in the real situation. These factions combined will not get 10% of the vote!
Sandton, South Africa
Due Credit to China
Re “Make or Break for China” [Jan. 13]: Whatever its shortcomings, there is something to be learned from the Chinese model. This is a system that has not only sustained stellar economic growth, but also lifted millions of citizens out of poverty. It is unsurpassed in recorded history and cannot be waved aside or derided. It is not a fluke or a flash in the pan as we are forced to believe.
Headlines to Follow
Re “A Global Monitor” [Jan. 13]: I assumed the referendum on Scotland leaving the U.K. would be a bit more newsworthy than three sentences. I would be delighted to read something more insightful.
Kevin F. Campbell,
Sunshine Coast, Australia
Your report concludes that “the secessionists will almost certainly lose.” Everything on the ground says you are wrong. The Yes Scotland campaign has the big idea, is winning the TV debates and securing important defections.
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