The Concluding Part — 3

Education

The material well-being of a nation depends on the productivity of its workers. How much workers produce—the productivity of workers—is a function of how skilled they are in their various occupations, which is directly related to how good their education is. The fundamental determinant of a nation’s prosperity is the quantity and quality of its educational institutions.

India’s education system is arguably the worst among the major economies of the world. That’s not because Indians are remarkably natively incompetent to run educational institutions or have some special handicap that prevents them from becoming educated. It’s because they are prevented from creating world-class educational institutions in India and lack the opportunity to get an education that they are capable of. Continue reading “The Concluding Part — 3”

The Concluding Part — 2

Prosperity is Downstream of Freedom

To understand why freedom matters for prosperity, we have to recognize that nobody is simultaneously all wise, all knowing, and all prescient. Our altruism, rationality and foresight are severely bounded.

Therefore we cannot predict with any certainty what people will figure out if they have the freedom to experiment in whatever field they are naturally inclined to do so. The progress that humanity achieves is a result of trial and error by people who could not have been identified in advance. We get to know of the eventual successes but only ex post; ex ante we can’t. We don’t learn about the failures but we can be certain that there must be many more of them than the successes.

That fact requires the philosophical stance of epistemic humility. We have to be humble because our knowledge is limited, not just about the future but about the past and present too. Continue reading “The Concluding Part — 2”