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Monthly Archives: July 2009

Some people in corporate India have said that India’s high population is good for the economy. This is not entirely correct, and the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages. I’m not going to name any names here. But I have read a lot of articles where top executives have endorsed high population. Following is a list of downsides and upsides that I have come up with after some research on the web.

1. Higher population leads to lower wages since there are a lot more people willing to do any job. This leads to a decrease in the standard of living. As an example, consider the difference in the salaries of Doctors and Engineers in India and their counterparts in the USA. In India, on average, a software engineer with little experience earns less than US$500/month working 8-10 hours a day. But his indian-origin counterpart in the US earns around US$5000/month.

Walmart is the largest employer in america now, a sales associate (salesperson/sales executive) working for walmart earns around US$8 to US$14 per hour. The average salesperson in India would earn around US$100 per month. This should give you an idea of how big our population actually is.

2. Environmental effects: We like to put the blame on developed nations which is just wrong. We can’t expect only them to act. Just because we’re developing, we should not expect to be exempt from emissions pledge. Why can’t the government spend money for it? its the way of the future. If we don’t make our own green tech, we will have to buy it from some western country later. We’re gonna have to spend money anyway. Developing countries tend to exploit resources more than the developed ones. Laws are not followed in developing countries. You can grease the palms of officials and do what you want to do. India is supposed to be a country that does not pollute as much as the USA, not yet. Thats because a large portion of the population do not have any vehicles. The “major” cities in India (Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata) are the only ones with cars and buses and planes. These so called “major” cities don’t even come close to what you would call a city in the western world. If you take a walk down any busy street in any of these four cities, there is so much pollution that your hair and your clothes start to smell of exhaust fumes. There is a huge amount of pollution concenterated in a small areas.

There is no denying that we are big polluters. Just 10 years, citizens of bangalore had never heard of failed monsoons. Now, they are common.

3. High population leads to low individual respect. If you go to small villages in rural India, you will see that people are a lot friendlier and good to each other. Because there are few people, they tend to stick together as a family and help each other out. There is not much difference in economic status between families there and hence there is cause for jealousy or competition. But in the big cities, you see the evil effects of high population and capitalism. The craving for more and more personal wealth is above all. This is especially dangerous for our country as we have limited resources and people are getting more money minded and they will not mind exploiting these resources for money.

People in USA are generally more polite compared to people in India. They smile, they hold doors for you, they make it a point to wear pleasant, smiling faces. We don’t see that in India. People here are so serious and I see so many people who wear a frown almost always. When your’e stuck in traffic, you see frustrated, angry, jittery faces all around. People are not relaxed here. Life is getting too competitive and complicated and thats showing on our faces.

But go back around 20-30 years ago, and things were much better. People were kinder. Cities were quieter, crime was lesser and life was better. We should aim to go back to those days.

Advantages: Its good for the economy. But we will also end up spending more money for resources that are in short supply. Water, power supply and food costs will all increase. The explanation is that you need to have more young people to support retirees and that old people only suck money out of the system. But one day those young people would have become retirees too. And then you need more young people to support them… we cant keep doing that. There isn’t enough room for too many of us. We can’t eat money.

Advances in science and technology may let us squeeze out whatever little there is, but we can’t do that forever. Its time to address the root of the problem.