The Growing Income Inequality Prabhat Patnaik

Thomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel have just written a paper as part of their work for the World Inequality Report discussing the movement of income inequality in India. And their conclusion is that the extent of income inequality in India at present is greater than it has ever been at any time in the last one hundred years. Their estimates go back to 1922 when the Income Tax Act became operational in India. The share of the top 1 percent of the population in total income at that date was around 13 percent. It increased to 21 percent by the…

Lecture series by Professor C. P. Chandrasekhar on ‘Karl Marx’s Capital & the Present’

The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) organised a series of four lectures by the eminent economist Prof. C.P. Chandrasekhar to commemorate 150 years of the publication of Volume I of Karl Marx’s seminal work, Capital at Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi. First Lecture (on 9 September 2017) The first lecture, titled ‘Capital and the critique of bourgeois political economy’, was delivered on 9th September 2017 at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. In this lecture, Professor Chandrasekhar talks about Marx’s analysis of capitalism as an inevitably transient mode of production in a constant opposition to political economists of that period.…

Winner-take-all Political Funding Jayati Ghosh

It’s true: there’s a lot to be outraged about in India these days. The proliferation of heinous occurrences and very problematic policy choices is alarming, and the misinformation spread through official and unofficial media often makes things worse. All this can induce protest-fatigue and exhaustion from having to comprehend and then confront so many causes for concern and anguish on multiple fronts. This may be why there has (thus far at least) not been enough public outcry about something that will touch at the very core of our electoral democracy and erode it to the point where it could be…

More Public Spending, Not Tax Cuts, for Sustainable, Inclusive Growth Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury

The Trump administration's promise to increase infrastructure spending should break the straightjacket the Republicans imposed on the Obama administration after capturing the US Congress in 2010. However, in proportionate terms, it falls far short of Roosevelt's New Deal effort to revive the US economy in the 1930s. To make matters worse, reducing budget deficits remains the main economic policy goal of all too many OECD governments. Governments tend to cut social spending if they can get away with it without paying too high a political price. But OECD governments' belief that social spending -- on health, education, childcare, etc. --…

Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker awarded Grand Fukuoka Prize

  Thai economist Pasuk Phongpaichit and her husband British historian Chris Baker on Thursday received the Grand Prize of the 2017 Fukuoka Prize, an award established by the City of Fukuoka to foster and increase awareness regarding the value of Asian cultures. It was the first time the prize has been awarded to two laureates. The presentation ceremony which took place at Acros Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall in Japan was attended by His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino, the second son of Japan's emperor Akihito, his wife Princess Kiko and the mayor of Fukuoka City, Takashima Soichiro. Other local and international…

Deras and Evangelicals Jayati Ghosh

At first sight, it seems completely inexplicable: a man convicted of rape of his own young followers in at least two cases and believed to have committed many more; also accused of murder in a case yet to be decided and forced castration of 400 men; who openly flaunts incredible wealth and shamelessly promotes his own family; a tech-savvy “rock star baba” with a penchant for wearing outlandish costumes and heavy jewellery, who is the multi-role hero of several films he has produced—this man presents himself as the religious and spiritual leader of tens of millions. And the bulk of…

The Epidemic of Vigilantism Prabhat Patnaik

My wife and I retired seven years ago after teaching in Jawaharlal Nehru University for nearly four decades, and neither of us gets a pension.The interest on our joint lifetime savings largely sustains us. This entire amount had to be invested in my name because she was not allowed to do so, as her name on her PAN card was grossly mis-spelt owing to a clerical error by the concerned authority issuing the card, an error which has not been rectified by it despite decades of effort on our part (though interestingly her tax payments have never been refused for…