Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
So perhaps the public does not need to be persuaded that development matters, but needs instead to be convinced that aid makes a difference. Even so, it seems reasonable to say that we should use every argument at our disposal for aid: we should appeal to the public’s self-interest as well as their moral values, and we should at the same time set out the evidence that aid works.
The most popular critique of aid in recent years, Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo, does not challenge aid on the grounds that the plight of the poor is not our concern. It is a poorly argued book in many other respects, but it would be wrong to accuse Dr Moyo of callous indifference. Indeed, all the famous aid sceptics, from P. T. Bauer to Bill Easterly, explicitly accept development as the objective: they simply question whether foreign aid is a good way to achieve it.
The aid that was used to prop up Mobutu in Zaire during the Cold War may have served a foreign policy interest, but it did little or nothing to reduce poverty and raise living standards in that country. Money used today to buy food aid may be a convenient subsidy for American and European farmers but if we bought the food locally we could feed twice as many people with the same money and at the same time support the growth of sustainable agriculture in developing countries. The more we use aid to support our strategic and commercial interests, the less effective that aid is likely to be in the fight against global poverty, in which we have an important long-term interest.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Why the revolution will not be tweeted.
by Malcolm GladwellOCTOBER 4, 2010
At four-thirty in the afternoon on Monday, February 1, 1960, four college students sat down at the lunch counter at the Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. They were freshmen at North Carolina A. & T., a black college a mile or so away.
“I’d like a cup of coffee, please,” one of the four, Ezell Blair, said to the waitress.
“We don’t serve Negroes here,” she replied.
The Woolworth’s lunch counter was a long L-shaped bar that could seat sixty-six people, with a standup snack bar at one end. The seats were for whites. The snack bar was for blacks. Another employee, a black woman who worked at the steam table, approached the students and tried to warn them away. “You’re acting stupid, ignorant!” she said. They didn’t move. Around five-thirty, the front doors to the store were locked. The four still didn’t move. Finally, they left by a side door. Outside, a small crowd had gathered, including a photographer from the Greensboro Record. “I’ll be back tomorrow with A. & T. College,” one of the students said.
By next morning, the protest had grown to twenty-seven men and four women, most from the same dormitory as the original four. The men were dressed in suits and ties. The students had brought their schoolwork, and studied as they sat at the counter. On Wednesday, students from Greensboro’s “Negro” secondary school, Dudley High, joined in, and the number of protesters swelled to eighty. By Thursday, the protesters numbered three hundred, including three white women, from the Greensboro campus of the University of North Carolina. By Saturday, the sit-in had reached six hundred. People spilled out onto the street. White teen-agers waved Confederate flags. Someone threw a firecracker. At noon, the A. & T. football team arrived. “Here comes the wrecking crew,” one of the white students shouted.
By the following Monday, sit-ins had spread to Winston-Salem, twenty-five miles away, and Durham, fifty miles away. The day after that, students at Fayetteville State Teachers College and at Johnson C. Smith College, in Charlotte, joined in, followed on Wednesday by students at St. Augustine’s College and Shaw Uni
Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell?printable=true#ixzz1DmCPzayp