Corrected development history of the United States

What if US development happened in line with approaches today? Here would be some landmarks along the way to success: July 4, 1776

"We hold these time-bound Development Goals to be self-evident"


Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper ratified by the 13 states


Development takes off based on micro-credit to women to produce handicrafts

January 1, 1863

Lincoln issues Proclamation on Mainstreaming Non-Coercive Labor Practices


US Civil War ended by international humanitarian campaign #LEE1865: rebel warlord to face the International Criminal Court.


Postwar Reconstruction led by Toms Shoes’ Buy One, Give One program for barefoot Southerners


Maxwell House and Folgers receive Fair Trade certification


Donor programs focus on reintegration of former child soldiers into the labor force

August 28, 1963

Martin Luther King Jr. gives “I have a framework” speech


China's American Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) opens its market to  I LUV NY  T shirts

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If Christopher Columbus had been funded by Gates

America was discovered accidentally by a great seaman who was looking for something else, when discovered it was not wanted, and most of the exploration for the next fifty years was done in the hope of getting through or around it.  -- Samuel Eliot Morison

What if the Gates Foundation had been involved?

(1) Gates Foundation announces the Reach the Indies Fund

(2) Columbus gets funding to test Going West approach

(3) Rigorous Evaluation design filed in advance  to test effect of Going West on Reach the Indies

(4)  October 12, 1492.

(5)  Rigorous Evaluation finds no effect of Going West approach on Reach the Indies

(6) Rigorous methodology means Evaluation not permitted to include any ex-post outcomes of Going West  not filed in advance in the design (3).

(7) Going West approach declared ineffective, funding ends.

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Rigorous ex-post evaluation finds no evidence that Olympics produces Olympic medals

Using data conveniently available from the Peruvian, Ecuadorean, Bolivian, and Chilean Olympic trials, the study compared athletes who just made the Olympic team with those who just fell short. This rigorous regression discontinuity design allowed the study to identify the effect of Olympic participation on Olympic medals. The study found on average zero effect of Olympic participation on Olympic medals. This study found no evidence that the Olympics produces Olympic medals.

It is hoped that national sports federations will follow more evidence-based policies in the future regarding the Olympics.

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Come fund-raise for us! We promise to make it nearly impossible

Imagine trying to fund a development research institute the Development Research Institute which includes at least some people obviously including the present author who seem to go out of their way to annoy, contradict, and insult every important and unimportant constituency in development. Maybe they'll like self-deprecating humor. Could you possibly raise funds for these people? To keep them in business? Wouldn't that be incredibly fun? Now's your chance to find out. We are recruiting a new Assistant Director of Development for us and our sister organization Africa House (Development means here not what it usually means in our posts, but "raising money.") Please apply, or send us the names of your highly qualified friends who are too shy to apply. The links are all there, but if you want to discuss informally or just offer advice, please email Liuba Grechen at

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