Bhoo wears the thinking cap!

As if that is possible!

India: socialistic, USA: Capitalistic – is the image changing?

Posted by bhoo on December 11, 2006

I am not a political commentator.  I do not have very strong opinions either on these matters, but this is very obvious to my eyes, that I cannot but write about it.

I have observed in India that the general portrayal of rich people in India is that of bad people – you cannot become rich without bending law kind of a feel – and rich is taking away wealth from the poor kind of a thing.  I have felt that India leans towards being a socialistic democracy.

In the recent times, that has changed – with rich people – the likes of Narayana Murthy and Azim Premji – adorning the riches, there is increased respect for rich people, and I think there is a general adoration for those who make money, compared to those who do not, and it is not a default image of a “crook” for those who are rich.

On the contrary, I have always felt that the USA has a capitalistic outlook – there is respect for those who make money.

But, in my recent visit, I am hearing so much of negative comments about “Rich is becoming richer, poor becoming poorer”,  “Burgeoning CEO’s salaries”, “More than 40% of entire country’s income goes to less than 10% of the population”.  It is there in every media – newspaper comments, TV shows, radio shows, everywhere.  Of course, Iraq war was a bigger discussion in these 4 weeks in all media, but this was there, and whatever was commented about these matters was generally negative about those who are rich!

One of the people that I visited even asked me – “software engineers seem to make much more than others in India – is that creating a civil unrest, like there is a fear of such a thing in the USA?” – I do not believe there is any thoughts in those directions in India – or am I cocooned to notice that?

A friend gave an explanation – in the last handful of years, the number of scams exposed in the USA is enormous, compounded with economy not doing very well – it is creating a situation that lends itself to such general feelings.  He says, the underlying core is still strong in the USA.

Somehow I seem to hear these things more in the United States, than in India!

Is India becoming more and more capitalistic, with USA becoming more and more socialistic?  Some political commentator, I am sure is looking at this. 

This is just an observation from a naive onlooker!

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