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Month: July 2012

Why Poverty Persists in America, pt. 1

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 now by a single parent, making it difficult for them to earn a living income from the jobs that are typically available. The near disappearance of cash assistance for low-income mothers…

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The Idea of Travel as a Search

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 a unique experience marked by uncertainty.  A cruise ship, like a guided tour through a historical site or an all-inclusive stay at a resort, is a known entity where the only…

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The Top Three Social Enterprises in the World

The Top Three Social Enterprises in the World

A year ago, I was sitting at the iHub in Kenya, analyzing thousands of payments made by parents of students at Bridge International Academies, trying to identify potential leading indicators of withdrawal, when Kentaro Toyama, the founder and director of Microsoft Research India, stopped in to give a lecture titled “ICT or Development: Why it’s so hard to get rich and help the poor simultaneously.”  His thesis – that it is actually very, very difficult to be both financial and…

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Kenya Enacts Bad Immigration Policy

Kenya Enacts Bad Immigration Policy

Today, the Nairobi ex-pats are riled up about a new policy restricting immigration for young and low-skilled workers in Kenya.  Here is the story: Kenya has shut the door on foreigners seeking permits for jobs that pay less than Sh168,000 per month or Sh2 million per year (USD $24,000). The move, which marks a major labour market policy change, also bars foreigners aged 35 years or less from being issued with work permits. The changes are contained in fresh regulations that Immigration…

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Dambisa Moyo: Right and Wrong About China in Africa

Dambisa Moyo: Right and Wrong About China in Africa

Dambisa Moyo recently wrote an op-ed in the New York Times asserting that the surge in investment by China in Africa has been a positive development for the continent.  A lot of people take issue with Moyo’s oversimplification of highly complex problems, sweeping generalizations, and lack of analytical rigor.  I tend to agree with many of her points, as I have discussed in this blog, with the exception of a few critical assertions. First, Moyo, the development economics pugilist who…

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What Do I Think of Agriculture Development? Pt. 3

What Do I Think of Agriculture Development? Pt. 3

The following is part three of a three-part post on agriculture economic development.  Read part two here. Aid, as I have discussed in this blog, is one of the three D’s of foreign policy: defense, diplomacy, and development.  It is the hearts in the phrase “winning the hearts and minds.” Being so, the work is certainly not borne entirely, or even at all, out of altruistic motives.  Instead, it is one way of winning sympathy and gratitude from people whose…

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