Foreign Aid

Less Money, More Impact

December 15, 2011
http://www.flickr.com/photos/katkamin/6462625847/

This week, renowned blogger Matthew Yglesias argued that moving away from a physical currency would make the US economy recession proof. He points out that a time-tested approach to ending recessions is cutting interest rates, since "when rates fall, business investment, homebuilding, and durable goods purchases all rise and next thing you know everybody’s back to work." The problem is that currently the US has interest rates are already near one percent, and any drop below zero would lead "people [to] just withdraw money and store it in shoeboxes." That is, unless taking cash out of the bank was not an option. In this case, argues Yglesias, a negative interest rate would incentivize those with money in the bank to invest, make purchases and spend the country out of recession as they have in times past.

Democracy Promotion: Done Right, A Progressive Cause

  • By
  • Rosa Brooks,
  • New America Foundation
December 14, 2011 |

By the beginning of the Obama Administration, democracy promotion had become a rather tarnished idea, and understandably so. Like Islam or Christianity, much blood has been shed beneath its banner. It may be true that democracies don’t go to war with one another, but they certainly go to war, and their wars kill people just as dead as the wars undertaken by illiberal regimes. Anyone on the political left can tell the story: During the Cold War, the United States fought endless proxy wars and engaged in a great deal of overt and covert mischief, all in the name of democracy.

I’ve Got My Eye on You

  • By
  • Jamie Holmes,
  • New America Foundation
December 14, 2011 |

Call 2011 the year of the biometric ID. Once the territory of high-security enclaves and spy novels, identification by iris scan, fingerprint, and other unique physical features has now become de rigueur around the world—especially in India, whose program to ID every citizen has been the subject of almost giddy reports about the technology's potential to democratize society. The New York Times described India's biometric database as "building real citizenship" for the first time. Wired emphasized how biometrics can finally bring the disenfranchised into the formal economy.

Israel's Chilling Relations with the U.S.

  • By
  • Jonathan Guyer,
  • New America Foundation
December 6, 2011 |

The Israeli government has come under criticism from both the Obama administration and American Jewish communities over the past week – the latter focused on a bizarre advertisement campaign aimed at the US diaspora.

Making Lemon-aid

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
November 7, 2011 |

When the G-20 met in Cannes last week, protesters naked but for green Robin Hood caps gathered elsewhere on the French Riviera to demand a financial transactions tax -- a payment made on each bond or stock purchase, which in theory would tame the excesses of banks and hedge funds and claw back some of the costs of the mess they have made of the global economy.

The Accidental Capitalists

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
November 14, 2011 |

As the Occupy Wall Street protests drag on into their ninth week, the movement has spawned global "occupations" from Rome to London, Toronto to Santiago, Hong Kong to Taipei.

Counting Our Blessings

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
November 22, 2011 |

It's been a tough year, and one in which a lot of people around the world might be struggling to find things to be thankful for. In the United States, unemployment remains stubbornly high, growth stubbornly low, and good sense on Capitol Hill stubbornly absent. European debt, meanwhile, looks about as secure as a Las Vegas mortgage. But look more broadly at the state of the world and there's a lot going right -- so give that thanks and pass the gravy.

Doing More with Less

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
November 28, 2011 |

Last week, the Global Fund, the world's largest multilateral source of financing for the fight against AIDS, made a grim announcement: its donors had cut their funding by $1.6 billion, a big enough bite out of the organization's budget that the fund would be bankrolling no new AIDS treatment projects until 2014.

Trickle-Down Economics

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
December 5, 2011 |

As the U.N. climate change meetings meander on in Durban, South Africa, with little sign of major breakthrough -- and soon after news that the last year saw the largest rise in carbon emissions in history -- it is a good time to think about how to deal with some of the impacts of a global warming that appear increasingly inevitable.

How to Improve the Advisers

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
December 6, 2011 |

Two things are clear about U.S. policy toward Afghanistan. First, we are steadily withdrawing our combat troops over the next two years. Second, we have no plan for ensuring that the place doesn't fall apart afterward.

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