Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Abheek Bhattacharya discussed Governor Palin's recent speech in India in The Wall Street Journal today, essentially saying she was spot-on in her assessment of the important link between India and America. Her address, he asserted, succeeded in "bolstering her foreign-policy credentials."
Sarah Palin did a fine job bolstering her foreign-policy credentials in a speech in New Delhi this month. She hit the right notes discussing the common democratic values and the similar geopolitical outlook that tie the U.S. with India. And she hailed New Delhi economic reforms that were launched 20 years ago and have deepened the bond.
"The relationship between our countries could shape the course of the next century, tilting it in the direction of free people and free markets," she said.
The former Alaska governor also addressed how free-market reforms could inform energy policy. "My vision for a free and prosperous America has much to do with energy," she said. That vision, on one side, involves getting out of the alternative-energy fad. Ms. Palin echoed recent reports from Scotland that show how this fad makes energy, and hence business, more expensive. For every green job created, nearly four other jobs are lost.
The other side of her vision involves developing the natural resources in America that regulations, like bans on offshore drilling, have "stymied." In a time of high unemployment and high inflation, unlocking the country's mineral wealth can both create jobs and provide larger supplies of oil and gas to ease high energy prices.
India offers a lesson here. The past 20 years may have seen some of the country's entrepreneurial energies getting tapped, but a web of regulations keeps its natural resources untapped. Besides hindering expansion in a number of infrastructure sectors, these regulations -- many in the name of environmentalism -- enable cronyism, as rent-seeking bureaucrats skew the playing field to favor a few businesses. They also leave India at the mercy of foreign energy sources.
Americans ought to get acquainted with these problems, if they aren't already. Rising demand from emerging economies in India and China makes energy security all the more crucial, said Ms. Palin.