Ep. 130: Demystifying GDP

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In recent times, the GDP has become less of an economic measure and more of a political tool. Economist Rajeswari Sengupta joins Amit Varma in episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain what the GDP is, what it is good for, what it is not good for and what the fuss over this figure in India is all about. This episode has immeasurable value.

Also check out:

  1. Rajeswari Sengupta's writings.

  2. GDP – A Brief but Affectionate History -- Diane Coyle

  3. Gross Domestic Problem -- Lorenzo Fioramonti

  4. The Power of a Single Number -- Philipp Lepenies

This episode is powered by Storytel: https://www.storytel.com/in/en/
Use the link storytel.com/ivm to get a 30 day free trial as opposed to a 14 day free trial.

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Ep. 129: Budget. Bollywood. Badmaashi

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Like cricket and cinema, the annual budget brought out by the central government has become a national obsession. Vivek Kaul. the Shah Rukh Khan of Economics, joins Amit Varma, the Govinda of Podcasting, in episode 129 of The Seen and the Unseen to demystify the budget. Much fun is had. Blockbuster guaranteed.

Also read:

  1. The Sholay Redux -- Vivek Kaul

  2. Easynomics: Why high-income tax hurts -- Vivek Kaul

  3. How ₹1.7 trillion has gone missing -- Vivek Kaul

  4. The State of Our Farmers -- Episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil)

  5. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State -- Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)

  6. All Hail Public Choice Theory -- Episode 121 of The Seen and the Unseen

  7. India's Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra)

  8. Economics in One Lesson -- Henry Hazlitt (free pdf link)

  9. The Law -- Frédéric Bastiat

  10. Marginal Revolution University 

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 128: India = Migration

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India is a nation on the move, and migration is in our DNA. Economic historian Chinmay Tumbe joins Amit Varma in episode 128 of The Seen and the Unseen to present the rich history of migrations into, out of and within India.

Also check out:

  1. India Moving -- Chinmay Tumbe

  2. The Story of Our Ancestors -- Episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph)

  3. Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon -- Patanga

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 127: Our Colorful Past

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Indian history is wild fun. Historian Manu Pillai joins Amit Varma in episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen to regale him with stories from his latest book. The subjects discussed include caste, gender, narrative manipulation, mad elephants and men blown out of cannons.

Also check out:

  1. The Courtesan, the Mahatma and the Italian Brahmin -- Manu Pillai

  2. The Deccan Before Shivaji -- Episode 98 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai)

  3. When Gandhi was Mohandas -- Episode 104 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha)

  4. Being Mahatma -- Episode 105 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha)

  5. The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel)

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 126: Building Sports Ecosystems

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Can India ever be a sporting nation? What will it take to get there? Joy Bhattacharjya, who started up Kolkata Knight Riders, brought the u-17 Football World Cup to India and is CEO of the Pro Volleyball League, sure thinks so. He joins Amit Varma in episode 126 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his passion and vision for Indian sport.

Also check out:

  1. Bindra's Wishlist (2005) -- Amit Varma

  2. Opportunity, Choice and the IPL (2008) -- Amit Varma

  3. The IPL is Here and Here Are Six Reasons to Celebrate It (2019) -- Amit Varma

  4. Netherland -- Joseph O'Neill

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 125: The Importance of Finance

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People often talk of the world of Finance as a giant casino, where sociopathic bankers gamble with the livelihoods of real people. Economist Ajay Shah joins Amit Varma in episode 125 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why this is a misconception, and why Finance is at the heart of our progress.

Also check out:

  1. Why I Loved and Left Poker -- Amit Varma, from his poker column, Range Rover.

  2. Zombie Firms and Creative Destruction -- Episode 118 of The Seen and the Unseen.

  3. Futures Markets in Agriculture -- Episode 12 of The Seen and the Unseen.

  4. The Indian Financial Code

  5. Poker and Stock Markets -- Episode 47 of The Seen and the Unseen

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 124: Religion and Ideology in Indian Society

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What is the role of religion in Indian society? What is conservatism like in India? Suyash Rai joins Amit Varma in episode 124 of The Seen and the Unseen for a wide-ranging free-wheeling chat on these subjects.

Also check out:

  1. The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel)

  2. What is Libertarianism? -- Episode 117 of The Seen and the Unseen (w David Boaz)

  3. You're From the Mutton Lobby -- Episode 49 of The Seen and the Unseen (Amit Varma solo, on our political discourse)

  4. Every Act of Government is an Act of Violence -- Amit Varma

  5. The Three Languages of Politics -- Arnold Kling

  6. ये लिबरल आख़िर है कौन? -- Episode 37 of Puliyabaazi (w Amit Varma on Hayek)

  7. Ayodhya: The Dark Night -- Dhirendra K Jha and Krishna Jha

  8. Sacred and Secular -- Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart

  9. A Godless Congregation -- Amit Varma

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 122: The 2019 Elections

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Elections in India are madly complex, and defy simple explanations. Sadanand Dhume joins Amit Varma in episode 122 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the Age of Modi, and what these elections mean for India, the BJP and the Congress party.

Also check out:

  1. Sadanand Dhume's bio and archives

  2. The Questions That Election 2019 Leaves Us With -- Amit Varma

  3. Beware of the Useful Idiots -- Amit Varma

  4. Amit Varma's writings+podcasts on DeMon, in one twitter thread

  5. The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- ep 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel)

  6. Modi's Lost Opportunity -- ep 119 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Salman Soz)

  7. The BJP's Magic Formula -- ep 45 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prashant Jha)

  8. Rajesh Jain's Journey to Dhan Vapasi -- ep 94 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajesh Jain)

  9. The Paradox of Narendra Modi -- ep 102 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shashi Tharoor)

  10. Why Both Modi and Trump are Textbook Populists -- Amit Varma

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Ep. 121: Public Choice Theory

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Governments consist of people, and people respond to incentives. For this reason, there is no better way to understand government than through the tools of economics. Episode 121 of The Seen and the Unseen is a rerun of an old episode of The Pragati Podcast, in which Amit Varma introduces Pavan Srinath to the mindblowing insights of Public Choice Theory.

Also check out:

  1. What Does It Mean to Be Libertarian? -- ep 64 of The Seen and the Unseen

  2. Public Choice: A Primer -- Eomonn Butler

  3. Politics Without Romance -- Amit Varma's monthly column on Public Choice for Bloomberg Quint

  4. Parkinson's Law -- C Northcote Parkinson

  5. The Calculus of Consent -- James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock

  6. Bureaucracy and Public Economics -- William A Niskanen

  7. Urban Governance in India -- ep 31 of The Seen and the Unseen

  8. Restaurant Regulations in India -- ep 18 of The Seen and the Unseen

  9. Of Endings and Beginnings -- Amit Varma's goodbye editorial for Pragati

Ep. 120: Resisting State Injustice

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Conventional wisdom holds that there are three ways to respond to injustice by the state: we may leave, complain, or comply. Philosopher Jason Brennan joins Amit Varma in episode 120 of The Seen and the Unseen to argue that there is a fourth option: to resist.

Also check out:

When All Else Fails -- Jason Brennan

The Milgram Experiment 

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 119: Modi's Lost Opportunity

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Despite being a Congress spokesperson, economist Salman Soz was hopeful in 2014 that the Modi government would be good for India. As the title of his new book indicates, that turned out to be quite The Great Disappointment. Soz joins Amit Varma in episode 119 of The Seen and the Unseen to elaborate on the many economic failures of the Modi government. He also tackles tough questions on the Congress party.

Also check out:

  1. The Great Disappointment -- Salman Soz

  2. India's Lost Decade -- Ep 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra)

  3. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State -- Ep 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)

  4. The Bad and Complex Tax -- ep 74 of The Seen and the Unseen ( w Shruti Rajagopalan)

  5. The Fraud of Indian Education -- ep 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra)

  6. The Importance of Cities -- ep 108 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Reuben Abraham & Pritika Hingorani)

  7. The State of Our Farmers -- ep 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil)

  8. Beware of the Useful Idiots -- Amit Varma

  9. A Manifesto for Progress -- Amit Varma

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 118: Zombie Firms and Creative Destruction

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The Indian economy has the seeds of a horror film, with zombies stalking the landscape. Air India is one. Jet could have been another had it been rescued. Economist Ajay Shah joins Amit Varma in episode 118 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain the importance of creative destruction, and why failing firms should be allowed to die. Also discussed: price controls and market failure.

Do check out:

  1. Making Sense of Airline Troubles -- Ajay Shah

  2. Lessons from the RCom Mess -- Ajay Shah

  3. A Great Churning -- Ajay Shah

  4. Bankruptcy Process and the Utilisation of Assets -- Ajay Shah

  5. Using the Bankruptcy Code for Privatisation -- Ajay Shah

  6. What Happens to Private Airlines When Air India is Privatised? -- Ajay Shah

  7. The Price is Right -- Amit Varma

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 117: What is Libertarianism?

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In a sense there have always been but two political philosophies: liberty and power.” David Boaz. author of The Libertarian Mind, joins Amit Varma in episode 117 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain what libertarian thinking stands for, and to bust some of the misconceptions around it.

Also check out:

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 115: The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva

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The ideology of Hindutva dominates our political and cultural landscape today. How did it begin, and what is it precisely? Aakar Patel, author of the forthcoming book Our Hindu Rashtra, joins Amit Varma in episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen to shed light on three important Hindutva thinkers.

Also check out:

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 113: The Geopolitics of the Bangladesh War

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The formation of Bangladesh was neither inevitable nor a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan. Historian Srinath Raghavan joins Amit Varma in episode 113 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe the geopolitical forces that shaped those events of 1971.

Also check out:

  1. 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh -- Srinath Raghavan

  2. The Blood Telegram  -- Gary Bass

  3. Uncle Sam in South Asia -- episode 93 of The Seen and the Unseen, with Srinath Raghavan

  4. Understanding the India-Pakistan Conflict - episode 111 of The Seen and the Unseen, with Srinath Raghavan

  5. The formation of the Mujibnagar interim government

  6. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's speech at the UN 

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 110: Reporting Venezuela

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Venezuela is a country blessed by nature but cursed by politics. Journalist Alexandra Ulmer joins Amit Varma in episode 110 of The Seen and the Unseen to share her insights from her years as a reporter there.

Also check out:
Alexandra Ulmer's homepage 

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

Ep. 109: Plato (or Why Philosophy Matters)

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Should we care about philosophy in these modern times? Philosopher Rebecca Goldstein joins Amit Varma in episode 109 of The Seen and the Unseen to argue that we should -- and Plato's Dialogues illustrate why.

Also check out:

Plato at the Googleplex  -- Rebecca Goldstein

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 108: The Importance of Cities

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India is rapidly urbanizing – and the Indian state seems to be in denial about it. Reuben Abraham and Pritika Hingorani join Amit Varma in episode 108 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss what India needs to do to prepare for its urban future.

Also check out:

India’s a Land of Cities, Not Villages -- Reuben Abraham and Pritika Hingorani

How cities, not states, can solve the world's biggest problems -- Robert Muggah and Reuben Abraham

Reclaim the Sky  -- Episode 11 of The Seen and the Unseen, on FSI

Why Are Our Cities So Messed Up?  -- Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen, on Urban Governance

The Gateway to Our Cities  -- Episode 21 of The Seen and the Unseen, on Slums

The World is Getting Better  -- Episode 101 of The Seen and the Unseen, on Human Progress

Order Without Design  -- Alain Bertaud

Triumph of the City  -- Edward Glaeser

Young Rural Women in India Chase Big-City Dreams -- Ellen Barry

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 107: An Economics Ramble

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Host Amit Varma is joined by Vivek Kaul and Kumar Anand in episode 107 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the economic landscape of the day. Subjects discussed include the interim budget, the minimum income guarantee, the jobs crisis and how good politics leads to bad economics.

Also check out:

-Here Is Why the Indian Voter Is Saddled With Bad Economics -- Amit Varma

-Politics = Bribery -- Amit Varma and Kumar Anand

-Show us the money: Will Rahul Gandhi’s MIG-19 fly? -- Vivek Kaul

Budget or Fudget?: Read This and Decide -- Vivek Kaul

-India budget: Will India buy Narendra Modi's story of hope again? -- Vivek Kaul

-The Indian State Is the Greatest Enemy of the Indian Farmer -- Amit Varma

-The Business of Doing Business -- Reshu Natani and Kumar Anand

-DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State -- ep 85 of The Seen and the Unseen

-Rajesh Jain's Journey to Dhan Vapasi -- ep 94 of The Seen and the Unseen

-The State of Our Farmers  -- ep 86 of The Seen and the Unseen

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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Ep. 106: Stubborn Attachments

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In his latest book, Stubborn Attachments, Tyler Cower lays out a moral vision for the future. He joins Amit Varma in episode 106 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why future lives matter as much as present ones, and why our priorities should be centered around sustainable economic growth constrained by negative rights.

Also check out:

Stubborn Attachments by Tyler Cowen.
Marginal Revolution.
The Marginal Revolution University
Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit.
The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android
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