Monthly Archives: January 2009

Myrdal’s Drop Kick Solution

Everything can be put into a graph. Humans constructed the graph to see things more plainly–the reality of it all. We can look at data sets, we can stare blankly at the numbers before our eyes… And we think to ourselves….Damn. There has to be an easier way. Numbers, and mathematics, statistics, data…Life. We gather data like we gather our life-long memories, or day-to-day actions in our minds. But the big picture says it all, doesn’t it?crisis

Hence, the graph.

I will randomly on this blog show you how your life can be easily explained by some theory of economics. Whether it’s through supply and demand or discount rate, I’m going to try and put it into something we can all see, and say to ourselves, “Well. I’m a policy maker in every personal decision I make, and with good empirical evidence put into something I can easily understand, I can decide how I wish to live my life.”

Cumulative Causationimages2

Thank you Gunnar Myrdal. Your theory, though extremely ambiguous and whether we believe it all or not (which I do), has shown me how to drop kick a problem before it causes another, solving my own personal life issues in practical ways. 


Our dear Swedish Economist embedded the idea of the  “vicious cycle” in less developed countries. We learned that there were many other factors that were involved other than demand and supply.  

             We’ve often thought in economics that the idea of an equilibrium was what we really were working for.This theory was meant to stabilize economic factors. But sometimes working towards an equilibrium is an impossible way to handle our lives. It might work in chemistry, or what we wish to pay when we buy bread, but why work for consistency and bliss (the equilibrium) that may never in fact be possible? I can’t remember the last time when I didn’t have one single problem with my life.

Buddha has told us, “Every man in his life has 83 problems. Why work at our lives thinking we need to solve all of them?” An equilibrium is bliss, and in our day to day lives, no matter who we are, perfection for the human being has been impossible. What makes us think our markets could be that way? And if there’s good coming out of the market, why stabilize it? I’ll always want more of a good thing!

cumuleffects_blocks2Nonetheless, I’m not one for waiting around to see if good comes naturally. I don’t try to solve all of my problems, but I can easily see when one causes another, and another, and another. Which gives me my 83+ problems.

Myrdal’s theory shows us that when there’s an inequality, or problem in relation to it, it produces “backwash effects” and “spread effects.”n1a4fig21When there is poverty, there are no savings. When there are no savings, there is no investment. When there is no investment, there is no productivity. When there is no productivity, there is no way to make money. When there is no way to make money, there is poverty. And the cycle continues.

I now want you to think of any abusive relationship you’ve ever had. Whether it’s been a friend, a boyfriend, girlfriend, business partner, coworker, boss, family member… Any relationship that you have felt unjustly minimized for any reason.cycle_of_abuse

It starts with one problem, and it leads to another, and another…etc.. and you find a vicious cycle driving you into the ground, jaded, angry, or perhaps, lost for what to do. This is when policy MUST happen.

I say this with the best intentions. Drop kick. You have to have a loud, boisterous, value judgement. You can’t weasel your way out of a problem with subtle adjustments. They’ve got to be large, and you have to be willing to risk anything on that vicious cycle to turn it around, and have it work its way up again. Not to an equilibrium of bliss. All we want to see is spiral that goes upward, and continues in that direction.

So, when you have a dilemma, and things just keep getting undesirably worse, and your life becomes more unbearable in that situation, you must find a way to drastically change it, or you’re digging yourself a pretty hole to hell.

We only have one life. Put your problem in a graph, and see how to fix it.indian-growth-graph-best1


The Light of a Bottle of Intelligent Wine.



Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to Wine” was the source of this blog’s title. The possibilities of life to chase flows of ups and downs, with an irresistible urge to reach the perfect equilibrium, haunts our very essence. The humanism in our visions of perfection is so peculiar, and, as I see it, frankly impossible– considering the constant wonder and change that we experience every second of our waking and dreaming lives.   wine2_fullThe source of this blog is the brimming curve: the point at which things spill over… Lines, waves, trends, ellipses, emotions, slopes… The way the world works is always found at some brim or curvature of a glass, exactly where the spillovers of what we can and cannot predict are found. 

Economics, development, human nature, mind, heart, culture, and the simple action of being alive will all be discussed in this blog. Finding a way to connect these elements is reality. Crises, war, passion, pain, hunger, and our capacities to understand them; this is what the unbounded waves of life bring us. We can choose to see them periodically barrel in and wash away, or we can run out, splash around, and try to grasp the liquid that wraps around our bodies and finds its way through our fingertips.


As for the wine, Pablo Neruda embodies it as a desirable woman–the beauty in her curves, the spirits of her hair, the illumination of love, passion, and a wild rumble in his soul. Maybe in this effort we, too, can find ways to embrace the world that “illuminate our senses, the earthly splendor of life.”