1. You Decide: Save the People or Save the Planet #StopTheMyth
2. New York Times: The End of the ‘Developing World’
BILL GATES, in his foundation’s annual letter, declared that “the terms ‘developing countries’ and ‘developed countries’ have outlived their usefulness.” He’s right. If we want to understand the modern global economy, we need a better vocabulary.
Mr. Gates was making a point about improvements in income and gross domestic product; unfortunately, these formal measures generate categories that tend to obscure obvious distinctions. Only when employing a crude “development” binary could anyone lump Mozambique and Mexico together.
It’s tough to pick a satisfying replacement. Talk of first, second and third worlds is passé, and it’s hard to bear the Dickensian awkwardness of “industrialized nations.” Forget, too, the more recent jargon about the “global south” and “global north.” It makes little sense to counterpose poor countries with “the West” when many of the biggest economic success stories in the past few decades have come from the East.
All of these antiquated terms imply that any given country is “developing” toward something, and that there is only one way to get there.
It’s time that we start describing the world as “fat” or “lean.” ...
3. Huffington Post: The Paradox of Africa's Growth
... So why is Africa's job growth so weak while its economic growth outlook is just fine, even robust? The reasons are structural in nature and three-fold.
First, much of that 'robust' economic growth in the past decade in Africa has been driven by export of commodities or natural resources. ...
... Second, while Africa needs investments in sectors such as infrastructure, technology and education, much of its finances keep leaking out to the rest of the world. ...
... Third, there is no industrialization, not even in agricultural production, taking place when it should. ...
4. The World Post: Amartya Sen: What India Can Learn From China
The implication of your most recent book is that while democracy, as in India, prevents the worst man-made famine such as we've seen in China during the Great Leap Forward, it does not do well at all in building "human capability" -- literacy, rights of women, basic health care or effective public services and infrastructure.
Both China and India are characterized by rapid GDP growth, widespread corruption, inequality and the princeling problem -- 30 percent of India's parliament members are "princelings"
Yet, as you point out, "China made enormous progress -- even before market reforms -- towards universal access to elementary education, health care and social security." After dismantling and then starting to rebuild its safety net, 95 percent of Chinese today are covered by a publicly funded health care system."
And none of this is to speak of physical infrastructure -- the energy grid, bullet trains, roads, Internet access, sewage systems, etc.
You conclude quite decisively that "Indian democratic practice has failed."
What is the key differentiating factor between India and China with respect to building "human capability?" ...
... The family is integral to Indian culture and business. Nearly 85% of all companies in the country are family businesses - and these include big conglomerates such as Tata, Reliance and the Wadia Group.
"In other businesses, what is important is competence and profit. That is the measure of success. But in family businesses it's different," says Mr Bahl.
"What is important is that you are together, that you're working together and living together.
"You care for the reputation, you care for the principles of your forefathers and success or profit or that kind of yardstick is not paramount." ...
6. NewJersey.com: Opinion: Muhammad Yunus reaveals social business as powerful weapon against poverty
Muhammad Yunus pioneered microcredit loans to the poor without requiring collateral, empowered poor women worldwide and won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition. Through his newest innovation, social business, Yunus has declared all-out war on the nefarious blight that is poverty.
The objective of social business is to augment healthcare, housing and financial services for the poor, education and nutrition for malnourished children and safe drinking water for all, and introduce renewable energy, such as solar power, to the poor.
Yunus realized that, like cancer, poverty is a multi-layered systemic malady whose cure requires a holistic approach. Microcredit loans alone are not the panacea. To obliterate poverty, microcredit must be bolstered with multi-pronged assaults against all of its components.
Existing business models focus on making a profit and have failed to mitigate poverty. Free-market capitalism is thriving worldwide, yet half of the world’s population lives on $2 a day or less. Centuries of experience have demonstrated that government alone cannot eliminate poverty. Trickle-down economics practiced by charities administered through aid agencies and non-governmental organizations fails when the money supply dries up. International agencies, such as the World Bank, set up to assist developing nations, focus solely on economic growth as the antidote for poverty.
Mixed models that conflate a non-profit model with some profit are inherently antithetical. To those who say, “Why can’t social business investors take some profit, such as a 1 percent dividend?” Yunus’ response is: This is like someone trying to quit smoking asking, ‘Can I take just one puff occasionally?’” Yunus argues that someone willing to take a small profit can be persuaded to take zero profit.
Yunus concluded that poverty cannot be eliminated through economic growth or philanthropy; it has to be targeted exclusively. ...
... As it turns out, soft power may be far more effective. In particular, educating future leaders here in the U.S. could be one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to spread democracy that we have. In 2008, about one in five of the 3.3 million foreign students enrolled worldwide were studying in the U.S., and while that’s still a tiny share of the planet’s 7 billion population, foreign-educated students have an outsize impact on their home countries. Not least, a lot of them end up in very important positions. As many as two-thirds of developing country leaders in the middle of the last decade had studied abroad. A few years ago, a State Department list of senior government officials worldwide who had studied in the U.S. included more than 40 presidents and about 30 prime ministers. The full total may be more than 200. ...
8. Business Insider: Two Simple Charts Show Why China Is Losing Business To Its Emerging Market Neighbors
9. Conversable Economist: Latin America: Modest Progress on Inequality
10. Associated Press: Mexico to Trump Japan as NO. 2 Car Exporter to US
CELAYA, Mexico (AP) — Mexico is on track to become the United States' No. 1 source of imported cars by the end of next year, overtaking Japan and Canada in a manufacturing boom that's turning the auto industry into a bigger source of dollars than money sent home by migrants. ...
11. "Immigration Myths Debunked" | LearnLiberty
... This book is not an attack on aid from rich to poor. It is an attack on the unthinking philosophy that guides so much of that aid from poor taxpayers in rich countries to rich leaders in poor countries, via outsiders with supposed expertise. Easterly is a distinguished economist and he insists there is another way, a path not taken, in development economics, based on liberation and the encouragement of spontaneous development through exchange. Most development economists do not even know they are taking the technocratic, planning route, just as most fish do not know they swim in a sea. ...
13. Mashable: 5 Organizations to Support on World Water Day
In honor of this year’s World Water Day, a number of organizations are working on forward-looking clean-water initiatives.
These initiatives are helping protect our planet's water supply in a variety of ways, from providing water-filtration systems to inventing dynamic clean-water technology. ...
14. Atlantic Cities: Air Pollution Now Linked to 1 out of Every 8 Deaths in the World
According to a new report by the World Health Organization, air pollution is the cause of 7 million deaths a year worldwide, and is the single largest environmental health risk in the world today.
The staggering number — one in eight of all deaths, globally — is more than double previous WHO estimates of those killed by air pollution. WHO says that there is a stronger link between pollution and cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart disease, and between air pollution and cancer, than previously thought. ...
15. USA Today: Blindness rates plummet in developed countries
Blindness is not a thing of the past, but rates have plummeted in developed countries in the past two decades, thanks largely to the spread of cataract surgery, a new study shows.
Visual impairment that falls short of blindness also has become less common in places such as the USA, Canada, Western Europe, Australia and Japan, says the report published Monday by the British medical journal BMJ.
The international research review, which includes Eastern and Central
Europe, shows rates of blindness dropped 50%, and rates of moderate to severe visual impairment fell 38% overall from 1990 to 2010 in 50 countries. Declines in the USA and Canada have not been that big, but rates already were low by international standards in 1990, the analysis shows. ...
16. Huffington Post: This Invention That Uses Aquarium Pumps Could Save 178,000 Babies Each Year
A new invention uses fish tank aquarium pumps to save the lives of babies in the developing world.
In an effort to battle the high cost of medical equipment, a group of Rice University students developed an affordable machine to help premature babies breathe. Machines called bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (bCPAP) devices help struggling babies born prematurely by breathing for them, but the machines cost thousands of dollars and are, therefore, too expensive for many hospitals in developing countries, according to Rice News.
The design team at Rice invented new bCPAP machines by using affordable aquarium pumps -- making them a fraction of the cost and easier to maintain than the traditional machines. The device costs about $350 to make, while the cost of traditional bCPAP machines used throughout hospitals today is about $6,000, according to CNN. ...
The World Health Organization has declared its South East Asia region polio-free.
The certification is being hailed a "historic milestone" in the global fight to eradicate the deadly virus.
It comes after India officially recorded three years without a new case of polio.
The announcement means 80% of the world is now officially free of polio, although the disease is still endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. ...
18. Business Insider: Bill And Melinda Gates Think These Are The Most Important Charts In The World
19. Applied Methodology: Thoughts About Norm Borlaug on the 100th Anniversary of His Birth
Norman Borlaug would have been 100 years old today. He has been called "The Man Who Fed The World," and "The Father of The Green Revolution." Norm Borlaug was the first plant pathologist to be awarded a Nobel Prize (1970) - for contributions to world peace. For all of use who are fellow plant pathologists, his work has been particularly inspiring. ...