India and the U.S.
Business Week runs a long, balanced article on India’s economy and its relationship to the United States.
For all its R&D labs, India remains visibly Third World. IT service exports employ less than 1% of the workforce. Per-capita income is just $460, and 300 million Indians subsist on $1 a day or less. Lethargic courts can take 20 years to resolve contract disputes. And what pass for highways in Bombay are choked, crumbling roads lined with slums, garbage heaps, and homeless migrants sleeping on bare pavement. More than a third of India’s 1 billion citizens are illiterate, and just 60% of homes have electricity. Most bureaucracies are bloated, corrupt, and dysfunctional…
If India manages growth well, its huge population could prove an asset. By 2020, 47% of Indians will be between 15 and 59, compared with 35% now. The working-age populations of the U.S. and China are projected to shrink. So India is destined to have the world’s largest population of workers and consumers. That’s a big reason why Goldman, Sachs & Co. (GS ) thinks India will be able to sustain 7.5% annual growth after 2005.
For Discussion. Is American education in math, science, and engineering strong enough to enable future workers to compete with those from India?