Blog Archives

Jaywalking in Guatemala

As a visitor to Guatemala, I’ve often heard cautions from Guatemalans to be extra careful crossing the road because cars have the right of way and might run me over.  Although cars give very little regard to pedestrian safety, there

Posted in Development, Public Finance

Eradicating diseases through individual efforts

There are many diseases that have been basically eradicated from rich countries because they are easy to cure with modern medicine, but they persist in poor nations for the lack of money for basic treatments. For example, I’ll be taking

Posted in Development, Health

The end of the efficiency-equity curve

In rich nations, inequality dramatically dropped during the first decades of the 20th century and although inequality has been creeping up again over the past half century (especially in the US) it has remained lower than it was during most

Posted in Development, Public Finance

Double miracles: corn & nixtamalization

Corn (called ‘maize’ in European English) is a miracle grain that is more productive than any other under a wide variety of ecological conditions. Only sugar cane, rice and potatoes (both kinds) rival corn at producing the most calories per

Posted in Development

1% of Indians pay income tax

The BBC’s Justin Rowlatt wrote that India published income tax data this year showing that only 1% of Indians paid tax in 2013, while 2% filed a tax return. He quoted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying: publishing the data

Posted in Development, Public Finance

Millionaire Superheroes: the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

Justin Rowlatt at The BBC celebrates the 50th birthday of IR8, a strain of rice developed by the IRRI in the Philippines that more than doubled rice productivity. It is thought that IR8 saved many millions of lives and transformed

Posted in Development, Millionaire Superheroes

One way power corrupts is by reducing social constraints

Brian Resnick warns that Trump would be a terrible president not because the enormous power of the presidency would corrupt him, but because it would merely give him more freedom to reveal his true personality.  As if we haven’t seen enough

Posted in Development, Public Finance

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