Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Fine Math

Reading this article on the bizarre math for calculating traffic fines in Finland, I could help wondering how such a system might work out in other countries if they could even get to the point of implementing it. It is hard to imagine how the citizenry is not up in arms protesting the inequity - specially those who are hit the hardest by it. As it turns out an overwhelming majority think it is quite okay. When a culture and a people have such an high bar for egalitarianism, it would probably reflect in all areas of civic society making them a great role model for other societies. In considering Finland as a blue print for American society, Robert G. Kaiser writes :

In the end I concluded that Finnish society could not serve as a blueprint for the United States. National differences matter. Ours is a society driven by money, blessed by huge private philanthropy, cursed by endemic corruption and saddled with deep mistrust of government and other public institutions. Finns have none of those attributes.

Nor do they tune in to American individualism. Groupthink seems to be fine with most Finns; con-formity is the norm, risk-taking is avoided — a problem now, when entrepreneurs are so needed. I was bothered by a sense of entitlement among many Finns, especially younger people.

Could not help thinking about India when I read that. We seem to a little bit of both worlds. We are cursed by endemic corruption and saddled with deep mistrust of government and other public institution like America but also have some Finnish traits :  groupthink, conformity and risk aversion. Maybe with a combination like that we can neither be a take no prisoners style capitalistic society and neither can we be egalitarian. 

1 comment:

Sorcerer said...

i agree with you..

we are a rare mix..
we find order in chaos.I think thats the new world order!