Living constrained lives

The unconstrained two axis graph cannot adequately describe the world we live in. It implies endless possibility. That does not exist.

Suppose for a moment we view ourselves as constrained in whatever we do. How might we represent that?

I would draw a circle around myself:

diag2

You could put a dot in the middle if you like to represent the centre of your being. I haven’t.

But what is clear from a diagram such as this is that the human being is constrained. There is a limit to their potential. This comes from limited ability, limited resources within the world, limited time (we all die, after all), constraints others impose on us, and so on.

It need not depress us. It seems apparent that human beings have, do and will continue to live goods lives in constrained circumstances. The question that economics needs to answer is how that is possible, and how the process of exchange enhances this possibility.

This is the focus of attention for my thinking.

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