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Monthly Archives: April 2010

Foreign until proven American

Anti-immigration hysteria becomes law in Arizona.

Posted in In the news, Migration | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Well, I’m not as bad a link-baiter as…

I was accused of link baiting in the Skip Gates piece below. I guess “link bait” is the new word for “headline”. Well, at least I would NEVER stoop to the level of the Atlantic magazine:

Did Porn Cause the Financial Crisis?

well, maybe, even this could lead to something good. One of my female friends commented:

priests, cardinals, philandering metro sexual politicians, SEC staffers: what do they have in common. they are

Posted in In the news | Tagged | 5 Comments

Skip Gates blames Africans for slave trade

as well as Europeans.

…90 percent of those shipped to the New World were enslaved by Africans and then sold to European traders. The sad truth is that without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred.

Advocates of reparations for the descendants of those slaves generally ignore this untidy problem of the

Posted in In the news | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Red Sea parts, Development data set free

This week, the World Bank unleashed data.worldbank.org, a website that provides free access to 2,000 indicators about development.

For years, only those who paid high subscription fees could access much of this data. One of us authors had been meaning for all those years to complain about this — how could a public organization like the Bank charge high fees despite the obvious case for a free public good of data on development?! I never got around to…

Posted in Accountability and transparency | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Abe on double standards

Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” Soon it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this, I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty–to Russia, for instance, where

Posted in Human rights | 5 Comments

Oh, NOW I understand why we don’t want to talk about global human rights…

Noor Muhammed was arrested in March 2002 in Pakistan. He’s been charged with helping to train Al Qaeda militants at a training camp in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2000. The only act he’s charged with that occurred after September 11, 2001 is allegedly trying to evade local authorities by escaping from a safehouse in Pakistan in March 2002.

Noor denies that he was a member of al Qaeda, or an “unprivileged alien enemy belligerent” as

Posted in Human rights | Tagged | 7 Comments

Why are we not allowed to talk about individual rights in development?

Individual rights for rich countriesIndividual rights in development discourse
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”“Implementing the strengthened approach to governance … will require …
…careful development of a … detailed results framework, consideration of budget and staffing implications … and further consultations with stakeholders…The specific initiatives needed to fully operationalize this strategy will be outlined in an Implementation Plan…”
Posted in Democracy and freedom, Human rights, Language | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Are aid agency heads chosen for their looks?

A new NBER Working Paper finds that corporate CEOs are better looking than others, i.e. non-CEOs of the same general demographic. Specifically, they look more “competent” to observers than the control group of non-CEOs.  This is the latest installment on the “economics of beauty” literature, which finds that looking good pays off in economic terms in many surprising ways.

Since Aid Watch can never resist a crazy notion, this gave us the idea of running…

Posted in Academic research | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Yes, Cash is Best. Now when will USAID follow its own advice?

These two posters are finalists in a student contest to create public service announcements that tell Americans why giving cash in emergencies is better than giving goods like food, bottled water, or used clothes. (Hat tip to Saundra Schimmelpfennig).

The contest guidelines, provided by the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI), are very clear on why they require entrants to focus on the simple message that giving money is the best way…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Disaster relief | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Can the West learn from China in Africa?

Deborah Brautigam, Associate Professor in American University’s International Development Program, is author of the book The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa (see our review here), and a new blog which digs into current China in Africa issues reported in the press. She recently spoke at NYU and answered a few of our questions.

Q:  It’s my reading of your book that you think Western donors could learn something from the

Posted in Aid policies and approaches | Tagged , , | 17 Comments