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Stimulus Packages and Democracy

The US government is paying $3,500 to $4,500 to citizens to sell their old oil guzzling cars and buy new fuel efficient ones. As per CNN, 500,000 cars have already been sold under this scheme and GM workers' shifts restored due to increased demand. Buyers are being given vouchers that they can use as down payment and dealers are being reimbursed within 10 days.

If India implements a similar stimulus package, there will be a rigged lottery for allotting vouchers, with the “lucky” allottees paying a significant premium to get them. Dealers will not be reimbursed for 10 months, and only after paying “processing charges”!

In a way, the Indian system is better. In the US, it is only the buyers, dealers and manufacturers who are benefiting. In India, many more “stakeholders” will. That's democracy.


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