Stories written by Biru Paksha Paul

The Failure of the Happiness Index

My next-door neighbour in upstate New York was an old woman named June. Her husband Herbert was housed in a care centre for the elderly. They had grown-up kids living in different states of the US from where they made rare visits to their parents. June was more attached to my wife and kids. She loved us very much. We used to invite her anytime we had some kind of festivities. As I came to know later, one midnight June had chest pain but did not want to disturb anyone. She braved to drive the car to the nearby hospital, where she breathed her last. My family could not resist a tearful outburst when we came to know that June left us silently. How happy was June living in a country like the US that ranked 14th in the latest Happiness Index 2017?

Is Globalisation Reversible?

Over every summer, I leave the US to visit my village in Nalitabari where I look after construction work and run an online class for the students of mainly upstate New York. This is called globalisation. Sometimes I go to the Garo Hills branching from Meghalaya, or travel by boat on the river of Vogai while responding to important emails or checking my balance after a mobile transaction – a scene beyond imagination in Bangladesh some 30 years back. All thanks to globalisation.

Why Institutions Are so Important for Growth

In 1900, Argentina looked like a promising country with respectable growth. It was queueing to be an industrialised country like many other western European nations. However, financial markets, the legal system, stock exchange, and the central bank were not ready with up-to-date regulations and, more importantly, their enforcement. Argentina turned out to be unfortunate for not being able to keep the pace of other European nations which had better institutions in place. Argentina's per capita income is now USD 14,000, far below the mark of USD 40,000 which it should have enjoyed right now like its other comparable European peers.