Friday, February 22, 2008

Current Research Interests

So as of late, I am trying to link what we call "development" in the US to international development. That is to say, what local governments do to promote growth in their communities, i.e. promote business ventures, encourage tax deductions and go to trade fairs, etc. I am arguing for further decentralization, suggesting that in Latin America (which is what I know most) that the process is incomplete because local governments in general don't collect their own revenues. They for the most part, allow for fiscal federalism, or this balance to receive finance for local projects from the national level. This makes the world much more corrupt because many national governments play partisan politics--or they favor spending to party strong-hold municipalities. This only continues the bad pork barrel politics that we know so well.

Anyone have comments on these topics?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Mayonnaise Jar

From C. Soto

When things in your life seem
almost too much to handle,
when 24 Hours in a day is not enough,
remember the mayonnaise jar
and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class
and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly,
he picked up a very large
and empty mayonnaise jar
and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students
if t he jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them
into the jar.
He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open
areas between the golf balls.

He then asked
the students again
if th e jar was full..
They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand
and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else
He asked once more if the jar was full.
The students responded
with an unanimous

The professor then produced
two cups of coffee from under the table
And poured the entire contents
into the jar, effectively
filling the Empty space between the sand.
The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor,
as the laughter subsided,
"I want you to recognize that
this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things -
God, family, children, health,
friends, and Favorite passions --
things that if everything else was lost
and only they remained,
your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter
like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else --
the small stuff
<>"If you put the sand into the jar first,"
he continued,
"there is no room for
the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time
and energy on the small stuff,
you will never have room for
the things that are
important to you.


Pay attention to the things
that are critical to your happiness.
Play With your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.
Play another 18.

There will always be time
to clean the house
and fix the disposal.

"Take care of the golf balls first --
the things that really matter.
Set your priorities.
The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand
and inquired what the coff ee represented.

The professor smiled.
"I'm glad you asked".

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may
seem, there's always room for
a couple of cups of co ffee with a friend."

Please share this with
someone you care about.


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