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Latest editorials - This global business was set up in 2001 to advance economic development anywhere through the support of business investment projects - not the political or economic manipulation of markets by government intervention.

Regardless of good intentions, politicians and government bureaucracies demonstrably create harmful market distortions and then accept no real accountability for such bad outcomes. Markets weed out failures, instead of rewarding, expanding, and prolonging them into larger and eternal failures.

January 9, 2009 - Investment in China - The global recession presents a fork in the road for the direction of economic change in China. It's time to take a fresh look at investment commitments and planning assumptions, and explore strategic alternatives.

December 20, 2008 The Obama transition team is already being lobbied by economic development organizations with a huge Christmas wish list to cash in on any new stimulus plans. Be careful what you wish for. It's not without costs.

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December 19, 2008 - Governor Blagojevich has decided to fight. His continued arrogance and poor judgment in office is staggering. more>

Even in Illinois, where political corruption is rarely regarded as newsworthy, this is a disgraceful affront to the ethical standards which should be expected of even the lowest public official.

He should resign now, with no plea deal. If he continues this fight, there should be no mercy. He can reconsider his judgment over many years in jail.

November 24, 2008 - Bailing out the Big Three and other failures

What is "too big to fail?" Too small to rescue? Why can't government reinforce the market to restore confidence, rather than subvert it?

A modest proposal - give the money to people who can actually afford to buy new cars now, and leave them free to choose which brands (foreign or domestic) and models in which to invest. Their good credit can leverage the investment to have a far greater positive impact on the whole industry.

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Editorial Policy Links to recent editorials Featured Links
The purpose of this editorial page is not to offer daily commentary as in newspapers or blogs about the hot topics of the day, but rather to periodically offer commentary about issues of enduring importance to sustainable economic development as driven by corporate growth and investment decisions.

November 5, 2008 - updated for the election results. October 2, 2008 - Why the founder of this small business supported the McCain-Palin ticket in the 2008 US presidential election. Many peers in the economic development profession favored the Democratic party and their liberal government social programs and industrial policies which, despite good intentions, produce poor results at unjustifiable costs. The road to waste and more economic problems is paved with good intentions and increased government spending.

Conservative links

Too bad that he lost

This doesn't mean "green" topics or partisan political debates. The focus is on things which can be done to have an enduring and positive impact on the people and world around us - whether in our own local communities or in places so remote that we hardly even learn of their existence in school or in news reports unless there is a disaster or crisis.

In short, the focus will be on finding solutions rather than complaining about problems as though they were insoluble or always somebody else's fault.

The focus is on good news about which we want to share our own observations in the hope that they will contribute in some way to further progress.

September 18, 2008 - Support the Central Asia Institute - why this is important as a long-term strategy rather than a short-term crisis response.

We first called attention to this organization several years ago, before the earthquake which devastated many villages in northern Pakistan, and before the popular book came out about their work.

If you have ever seen the popular movie, "Charlie Wilson's War", you may have noticed the message at the end about the fact that the USA quickly went back to ignoring Afghanistan and Pakistan as soon as the Soviet forces withdrew - after more than a decade of war and misery in the region for millions of innocent people and refugees. We spent a fortune on weapons, intelligence, and military responses but walked away from the "end game".

We are at risk of making the same mistake again. It took generations to create these problems, and we need to keep our focus on how to fix them for future generations - not just until the next crisis.

Please support the good work in rural northern Pakistan and Afghanistan by the Central Asia Institute.

OpEd Policy

In general, this website is not intended to become a forum for the presentation of views by others, nor to publish comments about our views (such as the typical "letters to the editor" or blog reply function).

In short, we will selectively share content which we feel advances economic development as a positive force in the world, but publishing articles is not our real focus. Our focus is to help good things happen by working directly with corporate executives on the growth plans for their companies.

Related links: see our prior comments repeated below about the Nobel Peace Prize as awarded to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank of Bangladesh in 2006, and to Wangari Muta Maathai in 2004. These comments were published within days of their selection to help draw attention to their work as an example for others.

The nature of their local work to empower ordinary people to work together to improve their own lives is very analogous to what Greg Mortenson has done by listening, learning, and working with villagers to support their own school projects and other local initiatives rather than imposing solutions on them.

If you haven't read the remarkable book "Three Cups of Tea", about Greg Mortenson and his work setting up schools in remote villages, you should do so.

Buy the book. Tell your friends about it. Get your library to feature it - not just store it. Tell your children about it, and how they can help other children. Tell their teachers and friends about it.

Directory Links

We maintain a selective Humanitarian, Charitable, and Philanthropic Community Services directory for convenient reference. This is not an endorsement by us of their work, or vice versa. It is just a tool for sharing information about many useful resources.

Regional directories

Our website includes many reference directories for specific regions, including South Asia. Please inform us of any obsolete links or other directory changes, and suggestions for relevant additions are always welcome.

The book is inspiring, but please keep in mind that this is not crisis response work. It needs to be sustained to transform lives over time - long after the book sales and publicity may fade away.

For those who may not yet be familiar with The Christian Science Monitor, it is an excellent objective source of independent global reporting. We have no affiliation with it, but respect it highly.
Green Belt Movement : Kenya

Congratulations to 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai of Kenya for her contributions to sustainable development, democracy and peace.

Her inspirational lecture was also broadcast through the Worldview program of Chicago Public Radio, where an audio clip is available, which is well worth hearing to capture the passion of her many years of commitment to this cause. It is an exceptional lecture on development and the linkages between environmental issues and democratic governance and peace. A full transcript is on the Nobel website.

The Nobel Lecture, December 10, 2004. "A Sustainable Environment and Peace", by Laureate Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement (biography). There is a special website about her work at

The above audio clip requires RealPlayer 8 or higher Transcript

Congratulations : to Grameen Bank, Bangladesh - and to economist Muhammad Yunus

Congratulations to 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded to promote local economic development and alleviate poverty through microcredit programs.

These enabled small groups of poor people in Bangladesh to access unsecured loans in very small amounts for their own self-help business efforts which would not be possible through the traditional bank loan processes. This made it possible for many poor people to find their own path out of poverty through their work and savings, rather than rely on high-cost sources of capital or continuous government aid, social programs, or charity. This development model has been repeated elsewhere as an effective approach to poverty reduction challenges, and adopted by various non-profit charitable organizations as a way to leverage the economic impact of their limited resources.

The Nobel Lecture by Muhammad Yunus in December 2006 was a very interesting presentation on the larger theme of how we can create the world we want rather than accept problems such as poverty as though they were inevitable and insoluble. Similarly, the 2004 Lecture was very inspiring whenProf. Wangari Muta Maathai of Kenya won it for her Green Belt Movement's contributions to sustainable development, democracy and peace. It is noteworthy that in both cases women have taken the lead role in transformation of the societies around them by small-scale initiatives at the local level which have had a great cumulative impact by unleashing the potential of people who governments and businesses have not adequately respected or served.

One of the interesting concepts promoted by Muhammad Yunus and others is the idea of "non-loss" companies with a clear social purpose as their main objective. In short, they are managed like for-profit business ventures, but are not managed for profit maximization, but rather to maximize the desired social impact of their work.

This differs from the typical nature of "non profit" organizations, which may similarly focus on trying to achieve good social outcomes, but perhaps more from the perspective of raising and distributing money or other benefits as charity rather than by managing the process for demonstrable results as in a business venture.

In other words, a non-profit may measure activity (how much it has given away and to how many) rather than results (what has been changed to achieve sustainable social or economic progress beyond immediate crisis-response). This concept of business-like social ventures has started to catch on with philanthropic business leaders who want to achieve lasting results, as reflected in some of the resources listed in our Humanitarian / Philanthropy directory.

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Last modified: 12/20/10