Friday, March 31, 2006

The truth is stranger than fiction

What is the biggest threat to globalisation and an increase in social welfare? You and me!
(NB: The above conclusion did not require any econometric regressions or cointegration. The magic ingredient is common sense, which, in all its assumed abundance, is not very common).

I have tried to create a picture board that gives hints for why we live in the turbulent times of today. By far the most obvious theme is selfishness on all counts and by all people. An absolute lack of the human will to do anything that is not rooted from self-interests. Ironically, Adam Smith's invisible hand falls apart because social welfare within countries and internationally is not increasing as a result (it is also invalidated by the existence of wikipedia). If anything, the world is reliably producing more disgruntled and begrudging people. Fear is alienating neighbours, let alone countries, greed is distorting markets, etc.
The pictures individually reflect:
1. Immigration policy
2. Terror and the fear it generates
3. Protectionism (The picture shows America but old Europe is included)
All pictures are from the economist (

The old line goes: "Nothing is certain in life but death and taxes". I disagree. Accountants have successfully been avoiding taxes for many years and people seem to be cheating death when they survive situations that they feel should have killed them. Medical advances are also cheating death. My line goes "Nothing is certain in life but shit happening on occasion". However, this is not a covert advertisement by pharmaceutical companies hoping to boost their sales of anti-depression medicines. Therefore, I hasten to add that I recommend "taking shit on the chin and moving on with life", because "the numerous beautiful bridges, buildings and precipices are for admiring, not jumping off".

Have a mentally healthy, welfare increasing weekend!!!


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