Mark Barnes Columnist

One of the first things you learn when you first start scrambling, is that, when you start sliding — as surely you will — the way out of it is not caution, not braking. You must accelerate, to get forward thrust, to get you out of trouble, to get you back on the road. The economy is no different, particularly when you are negotiating tough terrain, as we surely are. We must spend to grow, that’s not a debate. The challenge is to find something so pervasive, so necessary, that there is no question about its priority in our world, where investment resources are scarce and the queue is long. In short, it must be a popular project. It must be aimed at the upliftment of the most poor and vulnerable in our society, and it must create an asset, not a dependency. In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a $20bn project to install 111 million more toilets by 2019. Project "Clean India", as it is called, has not only been a success in its own right, but has had any number of obvious...

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