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  • Yurman’s First Law of Economics

    Posted on April 28th, 2009 schell 4 comments

    Okay, our topic today might more correctly be named ‘Yurman’s First Law of Nanoeconomics’ or ‘Yurman’s Proposition re Personal Finance’ or ‘Yurman’s Identity’, but none of those sing, and the last is just plain confusing. So with full deference to greater minds, I’m taking license and going with the original title.

    Yurman’s First Law exposes an underlying predictability in an otherwise unpredictable and unavoidable component of personal finance: cash flow.

    If you assimilate only one theorem, this one will serve you well. It was first proposed in the mid 70s by my dear friend, artist, artisan, ascetic, musician and thinker, Bruce Yurman. Through the years since, it’s proven itself to me often enough that I felt it deserved to be formalized, with credit to Bruce for his insight.

    Now more than ever, the last thing any of us needs is another financial surprise. Yurman’s First Law exposes an underlying predictability in an otherwise unpredictable and unavoidable component of personal finance: cash flow.

    Yurman’s First Law of Economics states simply that expenses equal income [-$ = +$].


    Bruce’s example was his transportation — a VW bus which must surely have been the prototype for all those that followed. He observed that, for any given sum of cash which might find its way into his hands, a repair to his bus costing an exactly equal amount would become immediately necessary: Earn $60 for playing a wedding = brakes fail on the way home = brake job @ $60; Sell a piece of handmade jewelry @ $150 = second gear stops engaging = transmission work @ $150, and so on.

    This law is so reliable that, once familiar with it, one begins to see it occurs naturally in a wide range of scenarios. Here’s a more contemporary example: $100 for freelance coding = swine flu pandemic = antiviral meds @ $100.

    I hope you find Yurman’s First Law of Economics as useful in projecting personal cash flow as I have, and that you benefit in these challenging times from the heightened state of awareness.   §§§


    4 responses to “Yurman’s First Law of Economics” RSS icon

    • Ben from Odessa

      Good idea…do not live beyond your means (something most tribal societies must live by daily)…or micro-managed sustainable lifestyle (something the hippies flirted with so many years ago) Not an easy task in what has developed into a hyper predatory debtor’s society, which seems to have evolved through mindless over consumption, corporate media, stupid individuals and of course conservative economic policy: Reagan era forward.

      But make no mistake, as Bush II exited, we witnessed the largest shift of wealth in several decades…needed or not to keep the wheels greased…nevertheless, the average working American just got ripped off by the wealthiest of the ruling class…we will be paying fees and losing services for a long time to come. And, of course the ‘new’ administration will be compliant also, status quo of the professional administrator class will do as they are told, that is our system at work, for better or worse.

      Live local, live by a small footprint & by utilitarian values, and this great heist will not be much of a burden. We are now growing our own organic garden, have cut our consumption and have decreased our debt (the goal is for elimination) But we have only a few working years left, so we have to be vigilant. I don’t know how political you like to get Bob, but this is my two-cents from the old neighborhood, Ben.

    • The word from the top is that it’s all about transparency.

      Go for it, Ben.

    • Ben from Odessa

      Wont bore you with another rant, but that ‘transparency’ thing sure did not last very long…of course I am disappointed, but not surprised. It also appears they will not be rescinding much of the ‘Patriot Act’ any time soon. So, even though we can’t see them, rest assured we can sleep at night knowing they are watching (us) out for us. So thoughtful.

      Have been playing a little bit,lately it’s been the Tele and Charvel ( not as sustainable as acoustic, but I gotta go with the mood)…it had been so long on the Charvel, I forgot why I disliked the floyd/rose bridge so much…soon as I stepped up my string gauge, the old nemesis was revealed…what a pain in the ass…but it is paid for, as they say, and I still like some of the sounds that guitar makes.

      So how have things been going, any new projects on the burner? Heading south any time soon?

    • @Ben — Playing is good. Be advised, though: fighting a bad instrument can put you off the whole thing.

      I’ve been concentrating on drums lately. Less math required and a good aerobic workout… at least the way I play.

      As for heading south: I don’t believe I have the necessary documentation–not if I plan to return anyway.

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