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Tag Archives: Wall Street Journal

Unusual evidence of the intense demand for quality schooling

Every parent knows admissions decision time is incredibly stressful, both for them and for their offspring. The Wall Street Journal reports that surging admissions to the best schools have made it even more stressful, and some wonder whether it’s worth it:

…worries that fewer spots were available in the schools this year after siblings and legacy applicants were factored in, as well as parents’ complaints that some children had been shut out unfairly from some schools.

Posted in In the news | Also tagged , 9 Comments

The case of USAID and the flying suitcases

My Wall Street Journal column today (here is link to ungated version).

Posted in In the news, Military aid | 8 Comments

What aid critics could learn from movie critics

The Wall Street Journal yesterday had an article on “2010: worst movie year ever?”. Movie critics have a way with words that leaves us aid critics in the dust.

Hollywood is fighting a war on numerous fronts, and losing all of them.

And movie critics are even worse at something aid critics are often accused of: much more focus on the negative than on constructive positive suggestions — “just stop.”

Stop making movies like “Grown

Posted in Big ideas, In the news | Also tagged 16 Comments

The coming end to China’s rapid growth

China’s remarkable growth rate is unlikely to last. No country in history has managed to grow nearly so fast for so long.

“China is defying the law of gravity at the moment,” says New York University economist William Easterly, who has tracked economic development for decades. “But that doesn’t mean that gravity is wrong.”

From 1900 to 2000, NYU’s Mr. Easterly says, per-capita growth of all countries ranged between 1% to 3% a year.

Posted in Economics principles, In the news | Also tagged 10 Comments

Thank you, World Cup fans, I now understand institutions for development

UPDATE July 8, 2010 12:10pm: link to a great new article on the spontaneous evolution of rules in the history of football (see end of post)

I learned a lot from the furious debate that followed the post about rules vs. norms, regarding whether Uruguay cheated Ghana.

My original notion was that intentionally breaking the rules to prevent a loss was cheating, and that it was too bad norms prevalent in Football World did not…

Posted in Big ideas, Economics principles | Also tagged , 23 Comments

Hips don’t lie about aid

UPDATE December 14, 2010: The Guardian refers to this post in hosting a discussion of the role of celebrities in development.

I’ll get some grief for celebexploitation on this one… but what the heck..

The celebrity aid phenomenon is not going away any time soon, so one wonders … are there any celebrities doing it better than others?

The Wall Street Journal had an interview with Shakira about her philanthropy efforts.

There are a…

Posted in Badvocacy and celebs | Also tagged , 15 Comments

The “smart power” military-industrial complex takes off

What do Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp, and L-3 Communications Inc. have in common?

Yes, all are top 10 Pentagon contractors. But they are also increasingly winning lucrative government contracts to implement “smart power” or “nation-building” programs—like educating peacekeeping troops in human-rights law, sending anthropologists to Afghanistan to understand local culture, mentoring Liberian prosecutors to combat corruption and crime, and rebuilding airports and government ministries.

Hillary Clinton and others in the administration have helped…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, In the news, Military aid | Also tagged , 9 Comments

How the war on AIDS was lost

There was an alarming article in the Wall Street Journal on the reverses of previous advances in AIDS prevention in Uganda, plus running out of US funding for AIDS treatment.

The war on AIDS is being lost. Here are the facts:

  1. There were an estimated 2.7 million new infections worldwide in 2008; 1.9 million of them were in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The number of people added to treatment each year is also increasing rapidly, but not

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Global health | Also tagged 23 Comments

The iPad and women’s rights

Within seconds of the unveiling of the iPad by Steve Jobs, Twitter lit up with women complaining and/or joking that the name immediately made them think of a certain feminine hygiene product. #iTampon was the #1 trending topic on Twitter yesterday and remains so this morning.

Could this be one of those unintentionally revealing moments that women’s rights in the US has not come as far as we thought? That women did not have enough voice…

Posted in In the news, Technology | Also tagged 29 Comments

The vacuous top and the resourceful bottom in the Haiti crisis

Meeting about Haiti in Montreal on Monday, representatives from 14 donor countries and the European Union came together and committed to a detailed, specific, well-coordinated plan … to come up with a plan.

Chairman of the Conference, Canada’s Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon:

We have a shared vision on the way forward, one plan that ties us all together. … Clear vision, co-ordination and adherence to principles of aid effectiveness will be essential.

Stay tuned for…

Posted in Disaster relief | Also tagged , , 9 Comments