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The New Mind of the South: A Review

Here is a book that attempts to pick apart the fundamental contradictions of the American South, with mixed success. Tracy Thompson’s The New Mind of the South seeks to find truth in that slice of America that puzzles everyone outside it. I must admit to a particular fascination with the South, myself, both because of its continued importance to American politics and the economy, and also thanks to my personal connections to it.

Out of the Crisis

We are living in a world in crisis. But it’s not too late to save it–and ourselves. It would be difficult to summarize with any accuracy the problems we currently face, as a species. Even just narrowing down to a specific culture or country, the complexities are too numerous to faithfully generalize. But there are definitely trends we can examine, and those trends tell us a lot about where we may be headed if we don’t change course.

Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016: Part 6

Here, I continue from last week’s series on the World Bank’s Poverty and Shared Prosperity report. This time, we get to the part of the World Bank report I’ve been looking forward to the most: policy discussion! Chapter 6 is entitled Reductions in Inequality: A Policy Perspective. Here, we will find out which policies–at least according to the World Bank–are the most effective in reducing extreme poverty and inequality. I am inclined to take them with a grain of salt given that the World Bank is out to promote neoliberalism and encourages countries to liberalize and privatize their economies, often without regard to the consequences.

Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016: Part 5

It’s day 5 of my series on the World Bank’s Poverty and Shared Prosperity report. Let’s dig in. Chapter 5 of the report brings us to Reductions in Inequality: A Country Perspective. This chapter studies five countries, so chosen because of success in fighting extreme poverty and inequality and also because they have disparate characteristics that mean their successes are not all attributable to a handful of common factors. Those countries are Brazil, Cambodia, Mali, Peru, and Tanzania.

Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016: Part 4

Just picking up where I left off yesterday. This week, I’m posting highlights from and commentary about the World Bank’s inaugural Poverty and Shared Prosperity report. Now, I am on Chapter 4: Inequality! Four basic facts about global inequality are produced up front: 1. Global inequality increased from the Industrial Revolution through the 1980s. 2. Global inequality has been falling since the 1990s, and especially rapidly since 2008. 3. In spite of the recent reduction, global inequality is wider today than in the 1820s.

Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016: Part 3

Time to get back to the World Bank’s Poverty and Shared Prosperity report. This time we’re on Chapter 2 of the report: Global Poverty. Global extreme poverty has been declining at an average overall rate of 1.1% a year. Both the share of those in extreme poverty and the total headcounts of those in poverty have been rapidly decreasing since 1990. Digging into the finer details, the “poverty gap” is examined.

Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016: Part 2

Here, I continue this week’s series on the World Bank’s Poverty and Shared Prosperity report. With the overview out of the way,it’s time to get to the report in earnest with Chapter 1: Setting the Stage. Knowing what the two goals set in 2013 are–namely, raising incomes and reducing income inequality in order to bring global extreme poverty down to 3% by 2030–next comes the matter of measuring them. As W.

Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016: Part 1

For at least part of this week, I plan to discuss the World Bank’s recently released report on Poverty and Shared Prosperty. To read the World Bank’s 2016 report on Poverty and Shared Prosperity, feel free to look here. This post will cover the highlights I found up to the end of the Overview section. Consider this a high-level view of the high-level view. What is there to report? Some good news, believe it or not.

Steam's New Game Review Policy

Recently, the Steam video game distribution platform changed the way it handles user-submitted reviews. Reactions have been mixed, to say the least. Users have been able to submit reviews on Steam for several years now. Over time, this feature has evolved to include a number of components. Reviews themselves consist of a thumbs-up or thumbs-down vote, much like YouTube ratings, and then some amount of text. It could be as little as a few words, or many paragraphs.

Diversity in the Tech Industry

Don’t believe the hype: the tech industry isn’t suffering a “pipeline problem.” It’s a culture problem. Facebook released theirannual diversity report last week. In it are some positive changes over last year, but they aren’t much to write home about: women are now 27% of leadership positions (23% last year), and 5% of non-tech employees are now black (vs. 3% last year). Is this good news? Yes, in the sense that it represents forward progress.