“The Internet? Is that thing still around?” – Homer Simpson
The links just keep piling up…
A good article on CCTs in Latin America from the NY Times (in January). It always struck me that one of the strengths Bolsa Familia and Progresa is that they evolved organically and so ended up being particularly well suited to the contexts they ran in (i.e. states that we capable enough to give out money, but not so capable that they could effectively undertake more complex social tasks without significant issues). If you’re Sweden, provide social services; if you’re Mexico give out money. Which raises an important question in a time when CCTs are flavour of the month: how well will they transfer? Particularly to places where state capacity is very very low (say Papua New Guinea). Places where the state might even struggle to give out cash reliably. And where health services and the like are often wholly absent absent, meaning that money alone won’t help in these areas. I’m not saying CCTs couldn’t work in these contexts, just that we shouldn’t assume they will.
Owen on why we should give aid. Interestingly, most politicians feel the need to justify aid in terms of enlightened self interest, but when they’re surveyed the public in most developed countries are usually happy giving aid for solely moral reasons.
Paul Krugman on affirmative action for conservatives.
And Krugman again explaining why he doesn’t think speculators are to blame for the current food price spikes (one, two). Demand, according to Krugman, is exceeding supply primarily for natural reasons.
Which is a handy segue to this great John Quiggin piece on whether the Earth will be able to feed its people in a world where there are quite a few more of us. Short answer: yes, if we make the right choices.