Nepali Times
Economic Sense
Freedom to market


In a globalised world it's not just the markets that are global, it's also the means of protest. There's a certain homogeneity in not only the ubiquitous outlets of Starbucks and McDonald's, but also the protests in Spain, Greece, western China and now, Toronto. The black mask protestors at the G20 Summit who said they were covering their faces to hide their identities perhaps took a leaf from the book of the protestors in Gaza. And baton-wielding cops know just what to do when faced with protests in their countries, at least in part by learning from the experience of others. In this sense, there is little difference between Kathmandu, Dhaka and Toronto.

Protesting has become fashionable and the way resources are mobilised for protests, one wonders if they end up supporting the market. The money that goes into slogan printed T-shirts, the expenses of mobilising supporters (including travel), and the biggest contribution of protestors Ė to increase the TRP ratings of mostly privately owned media. Whose interests are such protests supporting?

Left-wing shenanigans always take advantage of such protests, be it at Davos or Toronto. But the time has come to consider whether these movements have outlived their utility. The reality is, to think that socialism is going to re-enter the global economic sphere as a viable model, is just wasting time. Market-led models have had more lasting impacts on economic growth, leading more and more countries, including former bastions of socialism, to adopt the same. But the challenge is now more to redefine the role of the state, sovereignty, political boundaries and market regulations. The focus is more to ensure global monopolies are not created and that there is a level playing field for all players in the market.

This also means reconsidering the laws relating to the freedom to travel. A Nepali company should be able to compete with an American company for a contract in South Africa, but the Nepali company should not be asked to wait for three weeks to get a visa. In that time, the US company can take the next flight, do its pitch, and seal the contract! It's more important to create meaningful pressure in these summits for access to markets than go on about how markets are irrelevant. If the gaps between high-income economies and low-income economies are to be narrowed, then the shackles on movement need to be loosened. Imagine if the citizens of Singapore or the UAE were governed by the same visa regulations as Nepalis. Would they manage economic growth of that magnitude?

It's also worth perusing Gurcharan Das's 'Dharma of Capitalism'. If individuals and nations, especially high-income ones, are not going to change the way they look at spending, then disparities will never cease. The spending on pets in the US is nearly half the GDP of the entire African continent and the turnover of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, a high-end brand stable, is equal to the GDP of Nepal. The economic crisis was created by greed. Some see greed as the driver of capitalism but we need to continue to take advantage of the benefits of the market economy while distinguishing between profit and profiteering. The next world order will surely depend on how we can make markets work for all, or many will continue to see the G8 and the G20 as simply the Greedy Eight and the Greedy Twenty.

Romancing power, courting a constitution, MENAKA GURUSWAMY

Elusive unity, PRASHANT JHA
Chhi-chhi to chichi, RABI THAPA
Is it ok to cheat in football?, PETER SINGER

1. keeping them honest
Geez!! what is wrong with this beed? lets do some facts check here...

beed's claim: The spending on pets in the US is nearly half the GDP of the entire African continent

According to the reports..US spent only USD 45.5 billion on pets in 2009

The total GDP of africa is over 1,180 billion i.e. almost 1.18 trillion ..

the difference is not just few billions dollars....First, the claim is not believable at all and second the writer should have checked his facts as it barely takes 5 mins to search online.....

i cant believe this guys calls himself an expert in economics when he first believes the nonsense and second forgets to verify the claim...

 mr. artha beed has been writing nonsense and garbage like these and has been getting away??? it's high time nepalitimes does some due diligence on the writing of these so called beeds...

2. Artha Beed

@ Keeping them honest...thank you for pointing out the mistake...agreed...sorry for the big mess up!

I had some stuff that crossed....oil imports in US is half of African GDP and the pet industry is 15% of South African was to give a perspective

I was about to put up this comment too...

thanks once again...


3. keeping them honest
no...i dont think there is any perspective here...oil consumption in the US is highest in the world and it imports majority of its it would be half of African GDP...anyone who follows business and economics would believe this...but your claim is utter non-sense...and its not the first time..

around a month wrote that nepal needs to change the peg to 100 INR =150 INR....again, anyone who follows economics will know you are talking nonsense and don't have any idea of how it will affect our export and import..

again..few weeks made some bizzare numbers about indian masons working here and remitting money to india...

its not just one off incident...your claims are absurd and you don't verify your claim with data....and you are the one harping the policymakers about need for quality data...walk the talk bro, and when there are data learn to use them....

4. DG
Visa.-Why not Nepal  take the initiative to remove the visa for tourists from targeted countries for three months as an experiment without the conditionality of reciprocity for the coming Tourist Year?
Also allow Indians to come with their cars freely ,unrestricted for a month  for week-ends and holidays .
Compassionate Capitalism is a word coined by N R Narayanmurty." It is about bringing the power of capitalism to the benefit of the large masses. Its about combining the power of mind and heart,the good of capitalism and socialism. ..Swedish model that combines private ownership of the means of production with an elaborate welfare system is a good example of this."Its about putting the interest of society ahead of one's own interest.
Corporate leaders should not be greedy.They should gain trust of the general public by their actions.They should behave like an ethical trustee of the enterprise.

5. santosh
Financial strength is the most thing that was, is necessary to prove ourself better. For that four pillar of financial planning should be used in advanced. They are:
a.Saving and Investment
b.Real State
c.Health Care
d.Legacy Building.
Then this or that problems we have been facing will end .

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)