Working Hard vs. Working Smart
When people get asked what builds prosperity, the most frequent response is "working hard." That however is not always the case. India has a billion people, most of whom work hard, and most of whom are poor.
What actually builds prosperity is working smart.
America was not born wealthy. It became wealthy through not only working hard, but through working smart. It became wealthy through identifying market needs; through implementing science and technology; through figuring out what people may want and supplying it - while tapping into scientific knowledge and applying it toward that effect.
It is this - working smart - that actually creates prosperity. We have seen a very powerful example of that with China in the last three decades. The Chinese worked as hard under Mao or under Empress Dowager as they do now. Only now, the Chinese are, for the most part, a lot wealthier than they were just 33 years ago.
How did the Chinese do it? Once again, by working smart. They realized that they had a country of a billion hard-working people who were, at the time, very poor. This created an obvious solution: Become the manufacturing shop of the world. So now, China is the world's second-largest economy and has some of its biggest buildings and supercomputers, as well as the biggest vehicle market in the world.
India has all the potentialities that does China; but there is too much bureaucratic red tape and too many people who think that poverty is righteous. I do not see how the latter idea has any currency at all. I've known people from all levels of income, and I absolutely did not find the poor to be more righteous than the wealthy. In fact, the worst abuses I've seen were among the poorer people. And on global scale, we see the worst abuses likewise in the poorer places such as Afghanistan and Somalia and much less so in Scandinavia, Canada or Japan.
The Indians need to do what has worked for others. They need to learn to work smart. They need to identify what people may want to buy, that they can produce, and produce it. The software industry has worked for many people; but there are still hundreds of millions people in India who are dirt-poor. As Chinese people grow wealthier, the low-end jobs will need to go to other countries; and that creates an obvious market potential for India's poor.
Nobody who is not a jerk wants to see people having to live in abject poverty. And to this, there are real solutions. America had one solution: Spontaneous development. China had another solution: Growth through exports. India, Africa and any number of other places stand to learn from both and arrive at their own way to work smart.
The more this is done, the more is there progress against poverty and the better the lives of people all across the board.