Any student of basic statistics soon learns that while some things may appear to go hand in hand (high correlation), they are not necessarily cause-and-effect pairs, or even related to one another in any way. Many people however don’t understand this at all, which is why you have people who blame the software industry for all of Bangalore’s problems, for example. The industry’s job is to generate the best products and services it can, improve its technologies etc, and thus achieve its overall goal of better revenues and profitability. In the process ofcourse, it creates jobs, creates demand for additional services like housekeeping etc. Its job per se is not ofcourse to improve living conditions in Bangalore. Thats why we have a government.
Lots of folks don’t get this though. Which is why we have people like this writing in, and surprisingly, getting published too, in publications like The Economist, of all things.
Nitin at the Indian Economy Blog reports, This week’s Economist carries a letter from a certain Murali Reddy of Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey.
SIR – So, Krishnan Ganesh, one of the proud products of India’s higher-education system, is busy developing tools to help improve the quality of primary education in America by outsourcing teaching over the internet (Face value, June 23rd). Meanwhile, precious little is done to remedy the neglect of primary education in Mr Ganesh’s home country. The commitment of India’s elite towards primary education, especially in rural areas, is bordering on scandalous neglect; funding goes towards supporting tertiary education at the expense of millions of poor children. [The Economist/Unedited Version]