No More Poor

The Boston Globe recently published an article in which they interviewed Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank.  If you don’t know about this guy, you should – he’s basically the inventor of microcredit, an investment of small loans to the poorest of the poor with no collateral or other guarantees.  Best of all, the whole model came about as a specific solution to the lone sharking going on in a place he was working in Bangladesh.  Such loan sharking is common in certain areas of Asia – The Inheritance of Loss, among other books, describes it quite well.  But with Yunus’ model, microcredit has also blossomed in these same areas.

What is most interesting to me is Yunus’ idea that people don’t have to be poor.  There’s a fundamental principle here that without the restrictions of education, income, politics, and class, everyone would be able to provide for themselves.  I’m not sure I believe that.  Sure, there are facets of economics I don’t understand.  But I don’t understand scarcity.  It’s possible that there’s enough food available to feed everyone in the world currently, even with population on the rise.  Even if it’s possible to redistribute such basic necessities, ultimately the world will have to run very differently for people to regularly have what they need.  Perhaps Yunus’ model of capitalism is the way to start.

Monday mornings are weird.

Monday mornings are always a little disturbed.  No matter how early you go to bed the night before, Monday morning has a sledgehammer fist.  You only hope you’re able to duck in time.  And just like 87.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot, 52% of all dreams between Sunday and Monday are severely creeped out. Fortunately, there are a few clear markers you can use before leaving the house that will let you know if it’s worth it to even go to work, or if you should just crawl back into bed and pretend it’s still the weekend.

1) Your weekend injury is preventing you from getting to work on time.  Whether it’s the fact that the cut on your head is still throbbing or bleeding profusely (Corina) or that you can’t bear the thought of wearing shoes since your feet are still cut up so bad (myself), it’s a sure sign that the gods are against you.  Go back to bed.  Or, if you’re Corina, go to the hospital.

2) Your coffee/breakfast/morning sustenance is interrupted.  Whether you’re out of milk, ‘Mr. Coffee’s dead’, or all the Dunkin Donuts on your way to work have been taken over by terrorists, it’s not going to make for a pleasant day.  If you’re not getting your jump-start, you might as well go back to bed, because any work you attempt in the next 24-hour period is most likely going to be shoddy.  Increase everyone’s productivity with less time on the job.

3) The final check before leaving the house – all clothing is properly arranged over your body.  There’s nothing worse than realizing you’ve stepped outside (or further) only half-dressed.  If you get to the door and you’ve managed to mess up dressing yourself, there’s something seriously wrong.  In addition, at some point throughout the day, you’re going to embarrass yourself or your co-workers or both with your inability to maintain a normal human appearance.  Quit while you’re ahead.  Unfortunately I myself did not follow this simple rule, and did not realize my underwear was on inside-out until I arrived at work this morning.  Let’s hope this is the only faux-pas for the day.  Frankly, I’m not holding my breath.