you are receptive to change and don’t stick to irrational logic just for the heck of it!
Prior to this editorial, I’ve written a couple of more editorials on the American President, Barack Obama. In those editorials, I have been extremely appreciative with respect to his historic win; and more than anything else, with his win that had actually made the American citizen the real winner. I had also been extremely candid with my appreciation towards him, not just for him becoming the President but the arousing reasons that made him so. For the uninitiated, I wrote that he demanded change from his fellow Americans, not simply with respect to the economic outlook or foreign policy, but in something graver; he beseeched them to realise that in the hardships of today should not be forgotten the intensity of the American character of past. This is not to miss how enamoured I was with his outstanding speeches.
But then, that’s history now as President Obama is already a few months old in the White House. And since then, much water has flown under the bridge. In these past few months, he has made statements that have been contradictory to his own earlier statements that had earned him this office. Sometime in mid March, Mr. Obama was heard appealing to the developing nations to join hands with America to counter recession. He said, and I quote, “As aggressive as the actions we are taking have been so far, it’s very important to make sure that other countries are moving in the same direction, because the global economy is all tied together.” This statement came just before the G20 meet, which was held in London a few weeks back. Further on, he also said that he would use the London forum to “make sure also that we are not falling into protectionist patterns” in reaction to the global recession. Well, coming from him it sounds pretty strange, simply because he was the one who was hailed to the White House campaigning for protectionism, with his illogical disposition towards outsourcing, particularly with respect to India. In fact, in my editorial dated January 22nd, 2009, for the same magazine, with respect to his campaign against outsourcing, I had categorically stated that for all the gallery motivating speeches, Mr. Obama would fail double time on this particular issue of outsourcing. When I said that, I was definite; but that it would come so soon from him, was something I was not expecting.
Well, there isn’t any doubt that the entire world is going through one of the worst economic slowdowns. It is also true that one America alone cannot counter this slowdown and truer that all nations have to necessarily build a common consensus and then act upon it. Along with these two truths, there is another truth for which the developed world has always maintained a delusive conspiracy of silence. And that is the fact that if the world economy has to recover, China and India would have to play a cyclopean dominant role. And this is where I differed with President Obama’s illogical heretic rationale of protecting American jobs by arresting outsourcing. In fact, the truth is that it is outsourcing which can create jobs in America. The logic is pretty simple and rudimentary. It is a universal fact that outsourcing reduces operating costs of large American corporations by a large extent (in some cases, cost savings are to the extent of 90%), depending on the processes outsourced. While on one hand, the cost thus saved adds on to the thinning bottom lines of these large corporations, on the other hand, the jobs generated in developing countries like India expand employment as well as disposable incomes. With increasing disposable incomes, geographies like India, which have huge population base, become more vibrant and open up new opportunities in the form of markets for the very same American corporations, making them even more profitable. And ever increasing demand from markets like India not only results in an upsurge in production, but also in the expansion in employment opportunities domestically, in America.
The same thing happens with respect to China as well. The more China sells its goods in America, the more jobs get created in America itself, in the longer run. So, however patriotic ‘protectionism’ may sound, the truth is that it cannot provide meals to an average American who has lost his job. And as I wrote in my previous editorial, I reiterate again that it is high time for America and the developed world to realize that the future markets lie in India and China to some extent. And the developed world cannot continue to write these two off as they have been doing all this while. No doubt, this slowdown has come as a big learning for the west to look at these markets more seriously than what they have been doing till now. From the balance sheet perspective, all this while, India and China’s significance was acknowledged through mere lip service and tokenism, but this would invariably go through a transition.
All in all, this economic slowdown has come as a huge opportunity for India, and there cannot be a better time to consolidate our position in the global market! And Mr. Obama, I still appreciate you for the fact that unlike your predecessor, you are receptive to change and don’t stick to irrational logic just for the heck of it!
- 23 April 2009 |
- Arindam On America