Tag Archives: poverty

“Exploding misconceptions”

Yesterday’s shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several others prompted a furious Twitter debate about whether or not the incident was “terrorism.”  MSNBC’s @keitholbermann believed so, as did several others, including @sumner, who asked “If this isn’t terrorist activity, what is?” Others chose to call not the incident but the alleged shooter, Jared Lee [...]
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Nick Kristof & a few do-gooders

Nicholas Kristof is among today’s great writers.  I was instantly mesmerized when he transitioned from daily reporting in China to the New York Times op-ed page. Just consider this excellent piece “Cassandra Speaks” written in March 2003 on the eve of the Bush invasion of Iraq.  It thoughtfully questions the wisdom of the invasion, using [...]
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The SNL foreign aid revolution

Like so many highly trained comedians these days, Kenan Thompson has choices. He could be working in a Manhattan office tower… oh wait, he does. This clip from last night’s Saturday Night Live captures what’s wrong with the rampant idealism put forward in D.I.Y. foreign aid. I’m all for idealism, within reason. Can we make [...]
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Pakistan postcard part four: Smell

Part four of my five-part postcard of impressions of my Pakistan visit… smell…. Smell It brought tears to my eyes.  As soon as the astringent yet sugary scent that wafted through the Marriott Karachi hit my nose, my stomach tightened: someone was cooking onions. I hate onions.  There’s no real explanation for it.  I just [...]
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Clinton Global Initiative 2010: Things that made me go “hmmm…”

Poverty: A man or a woman? This year’s CGI kicked-off with “girl power.”  Specifically, the need to educate them, protect them, respect them, prepare them and empower them.   Among the ideas tossed around at this week’s do-gooder conclave that made me go “hmmm”: Technology: Cherie Blair who heads up her own foundation for women wants [...]
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It’s the markets, stupid

The take-away from day two of CGI is that development has moved on from the question of whether it’s okay to profit from the poor.  Today’s CGI nugget: embrace the market. That’s where the opportunity, as Bono has declared, to “Make Poverty History” lies. Or, to put it in Clintonian terms: It’s the markets, stupid. Read [...]
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Inside the poverty puzzle: a plug for slum tours

A year ago today, I landed in Mumbai, India’s bustling business capital.  I traveled there to spend time with 1298, a for-profit ambulance company that set up operations in response to the city’s lack of emergency care.  That’s right, India’s largest commercial center doesn’t have ambulances.  Mumbai simply lacks the capacity and resources for such [...]
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Rwanda: Progress or Democracy?

Rwanda is on everyone’s mind again.  Sixteen years after the country suffered through a civil war and endured the nightmare of a genocide, we’re once again concerned about the tiny east African nation, no bigger than Maryland.  This time our concern is over the country’s “democracy” in the hands of president Paul Kagame, who won [...]
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Should food be a right?

Today’s NYT runs an off-lead story “Looking at Aid, India Asks, Should Food Be a Right?” It’s a rich piece that lays out the challenges of a government continuing a food distribution system to feed its poor, or perhaps developing a different system that doles out food coupons or cash, versus a government conceding to [...]
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The Billionaire’s Giving Pledge: A letter to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett

Dear Bill and Warren: Congratulations.  Getting 40 of the world’s wealthiest to sign away a significant amount of their fortunes is a tremendous feat.  As a non-profit worker who has struggled to drive in donor dollars from this target group, I’m impressed, though not surprised.  None of us are. Not surprised because very few of us have your [...]
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