Meeting of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Bali, Indonesia, 27 March 2013

We discussed how to build a global partnership … for our development agenda….global ownership of a shared development agenda…. consulted with a range of stakeholders……. a renewed Global Partnership that enables a transformative, people-centered and planet-sensitive development agenda …. partnership of all stakeholders. …in the context of sustainable development ….a single and coherent post-2015 development agenda …. social inclusion and environmental sustainability…

Read More →

I have been reading Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.  Despite being a self-appointed feminist, I feel unqualified to comment on many of the debates around the book. But what inspired me and reminded me of development discussions is Sandberg’s willingness to speak out where there have been so many evasions and euphemisms:

In addition to the external barriers erected by society, women are hindered by barriers that exist within ourselves.

If current trends continue, fifteen years from today, about one-third of the women in this audience will be working full-time and almost all of you will be working for the guy you are sitting next to…If you want the outcome to be any different, you will have to do something about it.

Read More →

Jeb Bush’s new book, Immigration Wars, has attracted attention for its proposal of a second-class status for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, that they could become permanent legal residents, but not citizens.

A former Congressman from Illinois, A. Lincoln, received an advance copy of Jeb’s book and made the following comments. While not attempting to fully resolve the complex problem of illegal immigration, former Congressman Lincoln commented on the proposal of second-class status:

Read More →

From Matt Ridley’s review of new Nassim Taleb book, Antifragile, in Wall Street Journal:

From the textile machinery of the industrial revolution to the discovery of many pharmaceutical drugs, it was tinkering and evolutionary serendipity we have to thank, not design from first principles. Mr. Taleb systematically demolishes what he cheekily calls the “Soviet-Harvard” notion that birds fly because we lecture them how to—that is to say, that theories of how society works are necessary for society to work. Planning is inherently biased toward delay, complication and inflexibility…

If trial and error is creative, then we should treat ruined entrepreneurs with the reverence that we reserve for fallen soldiers, Mr. Taleb thinks. The reason that restaurants are competitive is that they are constantly failing. A law that bailed out failing restaurants would result in disastrously dull food.

Something that is fragile, like a glass, can survive small shocks but not big ones. Something that is robust, like a rock, can survive both. But robust is only half way along the spectrum. There are things that are anti-fragile, meaning they actually improve when shocked, they feed on volatility. The restaurant sector is such a beast. So is the economy as a whole: It is precisely because of Joseph Schumpeter’s “creative destruction” that it innovates, progresses and becomes resilient.

From Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek, quoting Jane Jacobs’ book Cities and the Wealth of Nations:

Nations are political and military entities… But it doesn’t necessarily follow from this that they are also the basic, salient entities of economic life or that they are particularly useful for probing the mysteries of economic structure, the reasons for rise and decline of wealth.

So for example, two important factors in development are technology and culture. Neither spreads primarily at the unit of the nation.

This is the kind of helpful insight that will DEFINITELY have NO impact WHATSOEVER because it is so much more convenient both data-wise and politics-wise to focus on Nations.