I listened to a very interesting interview with Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati on Radio Economics (via Atanu). One remark by Prof. Bhagwati on writing for the public remains stuck in mind - something I think all of us must internalise and aspire to emulate.
Prof. Bhagwati said
I write for the public. I think you have to carry the public with you - that's part of the way in which you have to operate in the real world. If you don't operate on the public, you can't blame the politicians for responding to the public, which is uninformed. So you have to work at it.An informed citizenry is the keystone to a working democracy, else the politicians will continue to pull the wool over eyes time and again. The only way to force the politicians to raise the level of debate and hold them to what they say and do is to make the public more informed. There are no quick fixes for this - we have to keep at it. The advent of blogs is a very positive development since every one of us can now start writing for the public without the constraint of finding someone to publish it. Blogs have also become a good hunting ground for talent for the mainstream media.
This remark apart, Prof. Bhagwati provides a lot of insights in his interview. Do listen to it (mp3 - 23MB).
Questions covered include: Why did you become an economist and what type of economist would you call yourself? Do you consider yourself more of a free trade economist or a free market economist? How and why did you become so influential in international policy making over the past decades? Do we have a global warming problem? Does the United States have an immigration problem? Where do you see the world economy in twenty years? What economies will dominate and what will be the problems and challenges that will face us?