The other elephant (The Economist 4th Nov)


The other elephant

Barack Obama thinks that the rise of India will be good for American jobs. There is another side to the story
Nov 4th 2010

ON THE eve of the 2008 New Hampshire primary Bill Clinton finally gave vent to his fury with the Obama campaign. He dismissed Barack Obama’s message as “the biggest fairy tale” he had ever heard. (“Give…me…a…break,” he roared at the startled crowd.) And he denounced underhand tactics, particularly a description of Hillary Clinton as “the senator from Punjab”.

On November 5th Mr Obama, fresh from his humiliation in the mid-term elections, flies to India accompanied by an entourage of almost 250 businesspeople. His message for the folks back home will be that India could be a goldmine for American jobs. And he will clinch a succession of huge business deals with India—not least a $5.8 billion aircraft sale by Boeing.

Mr Obama’s win-win rhetoric is plausible enough. India is growing at about 8% a year at a time when America can barely manage 2%. It is also set to add 240m people to its working population by 2030. And America produces all sorts of things that Indians crave, from iPads to MBAs to fighter planes.

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