Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Quick Look Into FLG's Dark, Twisted Mind

FLG came across a couple of articles today during his morning reading.

First, Gail Collins:
Today, let’s take a look at the privatization craze and the conviction that there is nothing about molding young minds that can’t be improved by the profit motive.

Then, there was this article, "Good Intentions Versus Good Policies."

And in both cases, FLG said, outloud mind you, "You were saying something about best intentions. What's the matter? Oh, you were finished? Well, allow me to retort."


The Ancient said...

1) I thought that City Journal review was too harsh.

What is it that you liked/disliked?

2) Picking on Gail Collins is like kicking a small dog.

FLG said...

I haven't read Banerjee and Duflo's book, but I agree that the review was harsh. I just had that damn best intentions line in my head.

The Ancient said...

I won't try to re-create my previous post on Guy Sorman's review, but I said it was "too harsh".

What did you like/dislike?

FLG said...

Oh, and I said it was too harsh as well.

I haven't read the book, but this does strike a nerve given my focus on time horizons:
"The authors’ intention is to bypass grand ideological debates about the origins of poverty or the rationale for international aid. Such debates, they argue, do nothing to improve the present living conditions of the poor. Instead, they prefer to instruct us how to act now, for the benefit of approximately 800 million poor people globally—those living on less than the equivalent of $1 daily. Immediate improvement is possible, the authors maintain, if we select programs that actually work."

That said, I'm sure there are better ways to allocate money and design programs that can have a material benefit to the global poor. I guess what I am saying is that given the depth of the poverty, short time horizons may be justified.

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