Monday, October 8, 2012
For 12 out of the past 20 centuries, India was the world’s RICHEST “country”
Basically, all I want to note that in 12 out of the past 20 centuries, India was the RICHEST region in the world (there were no "countries" then). In the remaining 8 centuries, it was the world's 2nd richest region. Only in the 19th and 20th centuries – and now – has India not been in the top two nations in the world.
See details here.
Source: Angus Maddison's pathbreaking 2007 book.
I note that these estimates might not be 100% robust but in my view, at the level of aggregation we are talking about here, they are VERY CLOSE to the truth.
Further proof re: India's per capita income by 1750: "people in India had average incomes only 10 percent above those in England before the Industrial Revolution" [Source: Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: a brief economic history of the world, p.44.]
"there is little sign of any great difference in the implied technological sophistication of Europe and either the Indian subcontinent or
East Asia on the eve of the Industrial Revolution." [Source: Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: a brief economic history of the world, p.140.]
"in terms of the major production activity of these societies, agriculture, if there was any technological advantage in 1800 it likely lay with
the coastal regions of East Asia" [Source: Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: a brief economic history of the world, p.142.] [Sanjeev: I'd argue that India was pretty much there, as well]
"When Marco Polo visited China in the 1290s he found that the Chinese were far ahead of the Europeans in technical prowess."[Source: Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: a brief economic history of the world, p.143.]
By 1800, though, "In terms of wages, stature, diet, and occupations Japan, China, and India seem much poorer in 1800 and earlier than Europe." [Source: Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: a brief economic history of the world, p.69.]
"We are today familiar with Europe's recent history of world domination, but the Europeans' rise was not inevitable, and to contemporaries it would have seemed an absurd proposition. As late as 1776 in his Wealth of Nations Adam Smith could write that: 'China is a much richer country than any part of Europe . . . The retinue of a grandee in China or Indostan accordingly is, by all accounts, much more numerous and splendid than that of the richest subjects in Europe.' The economic historian Paul Bairoch has confirmed that, in Adam Smith's day, China still indeed accounted for 33 per cent of the world's manufacturing output, and India 25 per cent, when Europe could account for only 23 per cent. GDP per capita, moreover, was higher in the great empires of the east than it was in Europe." (Terence Kealey, 2008. Sex, Science And Profits. Random House UK, p.26).
The rules of the game changed between 1400 and 1750. Just like big companies that do not change with the times, die, India almost entirely lost its capacity to innovate by around 1750. Others, earlier far behind, rushed ahead. Every Tom Dick and Harry, including Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan went ahead.
India continued to lives in its dreamworld, as confused as Islamic cultures are about their precipitous downfall. Tragically, till today, most Indians REFUSE to recognise that the rules have changed long ago. The competition is no longer the same. It is 10 times tougher.
India can NEVER become No.1 in the world again till Indians realise that they have to play with the new rules.
That means, among other things, discarding caste, stopping the constant religious babble that destroys peace and harms relationships, and the economy. That means building systems that are incentive-compatible.
That India should be doing AT LEAST TEN TIMES better than today is obvious. But achieving that requires a significant change in policies and governance – which have to be radically different to what we have had over the past 60 years.
Unfortunately, none of the existing political parties in India have the remotest clue how to get this to happen.
And so, once again, if you are serious about a very prosperous and successful India, read BFN; join FTI. There is NO other policy known to mankind that can help India achieve its potential; or rather, its natural right.
India has lagged badly since about 1750, as the following graph shows:
[Source: Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: a brief economic history of the world, p.321
"the acceleration of advances in productivity came from the supply side. People responded differently to incentives that had been in place for generations. That difference in response was a dynamic inherent in the institutionally stable private property regime of preindustrial England. The characteristics of the population were changing through Darwinian selection. England found itself in the vanguard because of its long, peaceful history stretching back to at least 1200 and probably long before. Middle-class culture spread throughout the society through biological mechanisms." [Source: Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: a brief economic history of the world, p.259.]
"Japan, China, and India, lagged behind it in establishing bourgeois society through all ranks of the population." [Source: Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: a brief economic history of the world, p.266.]
The Brilliant Indians
Source : http://sabhlokcity.com/2011/02/for-12-out-of-the-past-20-centuries-india-was-the-worlds-richest-country/