William Easterly: The Tyranny of Experts

From Google+

William Easterly talks about a problem with our philosophy of foreign aid: We focus only on satisfying the material needs of the people we’re trying to help, but ignore the cultural/political/economic situations in those countries that is causing the abject poverty. He calls for aid organizations to emphasize individual rights before supplying aid.

I thought what he laid out also has bearing on our own domestic politics. He doesn’t talk about this, but when we look at our social programs, this is also what they are doing. They satisfy physical needs, but ignore the fact that the governments in the areas where they supply assistance are infringing on people’s rights, particularly their commercial rights.


Mary Eberstadt: How the West Really Lost God

From Google+

I thought Mary Eberstadt made an interesting and thorough case for why religious Christianity is on the decline in the West. She says it’s not what a lot of the critics of Christianity think is the cause (the progress of rational thought), but rather has a lot more to do with the popularity of marriage (the lack of it), and the lack of formation of nuclear families.