Monthly Archives: August 2010

The Rise of Asia’s Middle Class

Every good ex-pat reads the local national newspaper to understand both what is going on in the country and what is important.  In yesterday’s Philippine Inquirer, Jong-Wha Lee, the chief economist for the Asian Development Bank, penned an op-ed discussing … Continue reading

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Introduction to a Series of Essays

I am in my final month here, coming to the end of my road after a long trip.  I spent 7 months in the Philippines, two weeks each in Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma, a week in Vietnam, four days in … Continue reading

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Colonizing Africa: The Video Game

The other day I was researching the Berlin Conference for a post I am writing.  A couple of hyperlinks later, I ended up on the page of Henry Morton Stanley, the explorer who helped King Leopold II take control of … Continue reading

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The Blame Game in Manila

One surefire way to get respect from the international community is to admit to your mistakes and take the blame failures.  But while Hong Kong breathes fire just thinking about the incompetence of the Filipino police and the weak national … Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Policy | 2 Comments

An Unfortunate Black Mark for the Philippines

By and large, the Philippines is a peaceful and safe place for tourists.  As long as foreigners like myself stay away from the parts of Mindanao controlled by Islamic fundamentalists like Abu Sayyaf and separatists like the Moro Islamic Liberation … Continue reading

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Defining Poverty in the United States

People ask me all the time about whether the United States has any poor people.  When I tell them that 15-20% of the country lives below the poverty line, they can’t believe it.  That is because the federal poverty line … Continue reading

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Democracy in Africa: One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

According to the Economist, the growing sophistication of election rigging dictators is a good sign: Citizens plainly like to vote. Even the most authoritarian leaders now feel obliged to hold elections. Presidents Bashir and Mugabe, as well as Meles Zenawi, … Continue reading

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Develop Economies Learns to Dive

As I wrap up my time in the Philippines, I will be taking time to experience the more laid-back elements of the Flip Side.  I spent the last week diving in Apo Reef in Dumaguete, one the world’s second-largest contiguous … Continue reading

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Factories in Africa and China’s Special Economic Zones

Magatte Wade, an African entrepreneur and columnist for the Huffington Post, has a vision for the future of Africa that entails becoming a manufacturing powerhouse.  African countries have abundant human capital and low-cost labor.  The current manufacturing giant, China, has … Continue reading

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The Aid Paradox Explained

In his review of Dambisa Moyo’s opinionated book Dead Aid, economist Jagdish Bhagwati describes the history of aid policy over the last half century and explains why, despite good intentions, it has probably done more harm than good: Many activists … Continue reading

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