Sentences to Ponder


The internet had a good day today. Much to consider:

1. Poor kids in Baltimore have it worse than poor kids in Nigeria?

“But why do teenagers in Baltimore and Johannesburg have such a dark outlook? According to Mmari, one could point to a combination of environmental and social factors, including the exposure to violence and a lack of social support, which were found to be less prevalent in the three other cities.”

I’m always hesitant to draw too many conclusions for survey data across cultures (different cultures answer questions differently), but this is definitely worth mulling over. Overall, I find it believable that physical security matters more than material wealth when it comes to wellbeing.

2. Did Hurricane Katrina lead to income gains via migration?

“…strong ties to a place, especially a place with limited economic opportunities such as New Orleans, have adverse economic consequences.  When forced by an exogenous shock to migrate, people are able to choose from a wide range of possible locations to move to, and they seem to choose places that offer them better economic opportunities.”

This of course in no way compensates for the tragedy of Katrina.

3. The incredible shrinking incomes of young Americans

“But there’s something deeper, too. The familiar bash brothers of globalization and technology (particularly information technology) have conspired to gut middle-class jobs by sending work abroad or replacing it with automation and software.”

4. Alcohol, poverty, and self-control in India

“The incentives significantly reduced daytime drinking as measured by decreased breathalyzer scores. This in turn increased savings by approximately 60 percent.”

5. Class prejudice resurgent

“But, ultimately, we don’t need a common conversation; we need a common project. If the nation works together to improve social mobility for the poor of all races, through projects like President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, then social distance will decline, classism will decline and racial prejudice will obliquely decline as well … In a friendship, people don’t sit around talking about their friendship. They do things together. Through common endeavor people overcome difference to become friends.”

Brook’s piece deserves a full post – much I agree with and disagree with….

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.