Latest Story

Racism in America

March 23, 2015
By
Racism in America

I. Introduction In August of 2014, a police officer shot dead Michael Brown, a black teenager from Ferguson, Missouri, blowing the lid off a debate about racism in America. Protesters filled the streets, yelling “Hands up, don’t shoot.” The hashtag “#blacklivesmatter” began trending on Twitter. A few weeks before, bystanders filmed a police officer in Staten Island choking to death Eric Garner, an African-American man who’d been arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes. When the grand jury chose not to bring charges against the officers responsible for the deaths of Brown and Garner, many Americans sadly shook their heads. This isn’t the first time the deaths of young black men have sparked a national conversation about race. In 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager in Florida. On New Years Day in 2009, a police officer shot Oscar Grant, a 23 year-old black man, point blank while on top of him at Fruitvale Station in Oakland, California (a film was later made about his death). But unlike in those incidents, the conversation stemming from Ferguson has continued long past the shooting, in part due to a string of stories of overt racism around the country....

Read more »

Travelogue: India

February 26, 2015
By
Travelogue: India

As I mentioned in the last post, I decided to figure this India trip on the fly, refusing to make any concrete plans that might hinder my freedom to do whatever I wanted. The day before I left, I ordered a copy of the Lonely Planet India on Amazon...

Read more »

The Freedom of Winging a Trip

February 5, 2015
By
The Freedom of Winging a Trip

In this post, I’ll take a detour from the travelogue to talk about the benefits of winging it. After the wedding, people began to go their separate ways. The people with jobs prepared for their flights back to their homes where they would return to being productive members of...

Read more »

Travelogue: Nepal, Part 1

January 6, 2015
By
Travelogue: Nepal, Part 1

On December 3rd, 2014, I flew to Nepal by way of Istanbul for a wedding in Kathmandu. I’d spent the last week writing papers and preparing to leave school a week early for the trip. My flight was at 11 PM, so I had to leave for airport at...

Read more »

Some Countries Just Can’t Catch a Break: A Review of the Theories

November 6, 2014
By
Some Countries Just Can’t Catch a Break: A Review of the Theories

In the last post, I explained the concept of “least developed countries” and discussed some of the characteristics shared by the 48 countries that bear the label. In this post, I’ll review a few different theories for why some countries are so much poorer than others. In Why Nations...

Read more »

Why Do Some Countries Have It So Bad?

November 4, 2014
By
Why Do Some Countries Have It So Bad?

Open a newspaper today and you’ll be bombarded with a panoply of terrible news. Ebola is ravaging West Africa, with a projected 10,000 new cases per week and the possibility for 1.4 million people infected in Sierra Leone and Liberia alone. Two decades ago, those same countries were embroiled...

Read more »

Free Trade is Good for Global Development

June 3, 2014
By
Free Trade is Good for Global Development

This is the fourth in a series of six posts about the trouble in America today and policy solutions going forward.  The first post is about income inequality, the second introduces the basis for my policy recommendations, and the third presents economic policies.  In this post, I will address policies related to international trade. I...

Read more »

Simple Economic Solutions to Big Problems

May 9, 2014
By
Simple Economic Solutions to Big Problems

“My business, Miss Taggart?” said Midas Mulligan. “My business is blood transfusion—and I’m still doing it. My job is to feed a life-fuel into the plants that are capable of growing. But ask Dr. Hendricks whether any amount of blood will save a body that refuses to function, a...

Read more »

How to Get America Back on Track

April 25, 2014
By
How to Get America Back on Track

Introduction In my last post, I discussed the unfortunate state of affairs in the United States today. From a pre-industrial agrarian economy controlled by wealthy landowners, to an era of industrialization marked by the creation of a middle class and a period of prosperity, and ultimately a post-industrial phase...

Read more »

The Convergence: America’s Long Arc of Development

April 8, 2014
By
The Convergence: America’s Long Arc of Development

The following is a four-part post about the phases of the economic development of nations – pre-industrial, industrial, post-industrial – and a discussion of the current state of affairs in the United States and the world. Part I: How Countries Develop For all of their differences, countries, and even...

Read more »

The Ethical Obligations of Writing About Poverty and Conflict

December 1, 2013
By
The Ethical Obligations of Writing About Poverty and Conflict

I. A Long Way Gone The other day I finished reading “A Long Way Gone”, the autobiography of Ishmael Beah, a child soldier during the country’s civil in the 1990’s. After his village was attacked by the rebel army known as the RUF (Revolutionary United Front), Beah remained in...

Read more »

Do For-Profit Schools Give Low-Income Children A Real Choice?

November 19, 2013
By
Do For-Profit Schools Give Low-Income Children A Real Choice?

Before reading this, please take a minute to donate to the Ravindra Ramrattan Memorial Fund.  Ravi was killed in the terrorist attack at Westgate Mall in Nairobi on September 21st.  You can read about his story on this blog.   Bridge International Academies, a chain of low-cost private primary schools...

Read more »

The Sad Aftermath of the Nairobi Attack

October 27, 2013
By
The Sad Aftermath of the Nairobi Attack

Last month, terrorists from the group al Shabaab attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, killing 67 people. In the wake of the devastating event, Kenyans rallied together in a showing of national unity often missing in this deeply divided country. Outside Kenya, the world expressed its sympathy and offered...

Read more »

A Tribute to My Friend, Ravi Ramrattan

September 23, 2013
By
A Tribute to My Friend, Ravi Ramrattan

This weekend has been difficult. I found out yesterday that a friend was killed in the senseless, horrible attack in Nairobi. He was a great person and meant a lot to many people. He had a profound impact on so many people’s lives that I would not even begin...

Read more »

Thoughts on the Nairobi Terrorist Attack, Pt. 2

September 22, 2013
By
Thoughts on the Nairobi Terrorist Attack, Pt. 2

In the last post, I gave a brief history of the events leading up to this horrible terrorist attack. Now, I want to talk about why this is happening now. If you were to Google “Somalia” anytime in the last six months, you might be surprised to see mostly...

Read more »

Thoughts on the Nairobi Terrorist Attack, Pt. 1

September 22, 2013
By
Thoughts on the Nairobi Terrorist Attack, Pt. 1

This weekend a dozen gunmen stormed the Westgate Mall in the Westlands neighborhood of Nairobi. Armed with AK-47s and grenades, they killed 70 people and injured 150 more. As I write this, a former colleague at Bridge is in the hospital and my friend Ravi is still missing. Waiting...

Read more »

The Hult Prize: Food Security in Urban Slums

March 12, 2013
By
The Hult Prize: Food Security in Urban Slums

A few weeks ago, I competed in a social enterprise business plan competition called the Hult Prize.  The competition is ambitious in scale and scope, giving a broad mandate to competitors and rewarding the best ideas with the chance to win $1 million in seed funding.  This year’s challenge was...

Read more »

M-Prep: Democratizing Education Achievement

February 11, 2013
By
M-Prep: Democratizing Education Achievement

Help M-Prep, friends of Develop Economies and cool social enterprise, get to the Unreasonable Institute by supporting them! Anyone who has worked in the education sector in Kenya knows about an exam called the KCPE.  It stands for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education, and it is the most important exam...

Read more »

Develop Economies Is Published, Makes $200!

January 26, 2013
By
Develop Economies Is Published, Makes $200!

A little more than a year ago, someone from Gale Cengage publishing emailed me to ask if I would be willing to allow them to publish a blog post I had written many moons ago, titled “Why DIY Foreign Aid Amateurs Are Necessary.”  It was a response I had...

Read more »

Develop Economies is On Hold

December 31, 2012
By
Develop Economies is On Hold

Given that it has been almost two months since my last post, I owe my loyal readers an explanation for my conspicuous absence and the dearth of posts since the summer.  I am currently in graduate school, pursuing a master’s degree, and have had to put down the Develop...

Read more »

Technology Sea Changes: Re:Char and Kiva Zip

October 7, 2012
By
Technology Sea Changes: Re:Char and Kiva Zip

Product design is all the rage in poverty alleviation, and has been for the past few years.  By applying the principles of lean manufacturing and waste minimization to the challenge of designing products for people living on less than a dollar a day, we can now create stripped-down products...

Read more »

The Problem of Rural Education in the Philippines

August 31, 2012
By
The Problem of Rural Education in the Philippines

Note: The following post is from March 2, 2010.  I posted it on my original blog, joshweinstein.wordpress.com, and is, for some reason, popular among people doing research on education in the Philippines.  In the hopes of directing some of that traffic toward this site, I am re-posting it here....

Read more »

What “Why You Should Travel Young” Misses

August 23, 2012
By
What “Why You Should Travel Young” Misses

In an article titled “Why You Should Travel Young,” Jeff Goins makes the case for seeing the world while you are unencumbered by the responsibilities of adulthood.  Career, marriage, children – these all stand as barriers to experiencing the wide world.  For the most part, I agree with a...

Read more »

The Promise of Social Impact Bonds

August 13, 2012
By
The Promise of Social Impact Bonds

Over the past few weeks, social impact bonds have received a lot of attention.  That is because New York City has partnered with Goldman Sachs to run a pilot program aimed at reducing recidivism among inmates at Rikers Island prison.  But first, a little background on social impact bonds....

Read more »

The Intangible Wealth of Nations

August 9, 2012
By
The Intangible Wealth of Nations

A few months ago, the White House released its “New Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa,” which contains four key bullets summarizing its approach.  The first, and most important, goal is one that has been a pillar of American foreign policy for decades: “Strengthening democratic institutions.”  The State Department has tried...

Read more »

Why Poverty Persists in America, pt. 2

August 6, 2012
By
Why Poverty Persists in America, pt. 2

The other day, I talked about the first of the four reasons why we cannot end poverty in the United States.  Now I will talk about the other three. Single parenthood is another challenge.  According to Edelman, poverty rates among families led by single mothers is an astonishing 40%....

Read more »

Why Poverty Persists in America, pt. 1

July 31, 2012
By
Why Poverty Persists in America, pt. 1

There are four reasons, says Peter Edelman, author of “So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America”: With all of that, why have we not achieved more? Four reasons: An astonishing number of people work at low-wage jobs. Plus, many more households are headed...

Read more »

The Idea of Travel as a Search

July 23, 2012
By
The Idea of Travel as a Search

That is what Ilan Stavans and Joshua Ellison posit in the their essay, “Reclaiming Travel,” featured on the New York Times philosophy blog, The Stone. The literary professor from Amherst and editor of a literary journal lament the packaging of travel and its reduction to a commodity, rather than...

Read more »

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Linkedin button