Income rise weakens Trump case for radical reform

September 13, 2016

U.S. census data showed household income jumped in 2015 while poverty dropped, the first sign of recovery in the metric to show up since 2007. Evidence that Obama's programs are working will help Hillary Clinton's pitch for incremental change against Trump's radical economic populism.

Review: The politics of anti-inequality

April 24, 2015

Anthony Atkinson's "Inequality" is a UK-centric manifesto to help the poor and restrain the rich. The Oxford academic's specific proposals are mostly sensible, but they dodge serious questions about the role of the welfare state and the balance of national and global justice.

Global poverty needs a post-industrial definition

August 29, 2014

Criticism is mounting against the $1-a-day threshold, a legacy of industrial-age thinking that equated penury with calorie deficiency. That’s too narrow. Being unable to afford education, medication or old-age security counts as deprivation. So does exclusion from modern jobs.

Review: China gives Africa handy investment lesson

June 6, 2014

Howard French’s new book paints an unflattering picture of the PRC’s heavy involvement in Africa. But China’s presence is not all bad. At a minimum, it gives African governments and businesses a benchmark for other offers now that the continent is attracting Western interest too.

Obama doesn’t even name banker to run World Bank

March 23, 2012

Nor is Jim Yong Kim a seasoned diplomat. He’s a disease fighter and president of Dartmouth, where his tenure was marked by budget struggles. Kim’s medical background and Korean birth may mollify critics of America’s monopoly on the top job. But he’s got his work cut out for him.

Review: U.S. can’t afford to forget the little guy

September 27, 2013

Occupy Wall Street failed to ignite much indignation about the widening gap between poor and rich. The documentary “Inequality for All” makes a strong case for action. But Robert Reich, ex-Labor Secretary and chief protagonist, doesn’t explain why the public isn’t outraged.

Review: Buffett clan puts up a good food fight

October 25, 2013

The Oracle of Omaha has made billions and his farmer son is helping give them away. In “Forty Chances,” Howard Buffett chronicles efforts to end world hunger and bad philanthropic habits. It’s hard at times to relate to the plight, but reassuring to know his family is on the case.