Poor People Unite!

"What the world needs is an economic superpower that represents the interests of the world's poor: Call it Pooristan."

In theory, there are almost 200 sovereign countries in the world. In practice, however, only a small handful of countries-the United States, the rich nations of Europe and East Asia, and possibly China-truly have the power to determine their own fate. Almost all of the rest are at the mercy of these economic superpowers, which set the rules of the game and rig them in their own favor. What the world needs is an economic superpower that represents the interests of the world's poor: Call it Pooristan. Stretching from sub-Saharan Africa to central and south Asia to the islands of the Pacific to the Americas, this mega-state would include all those people the economist Paul Collier calls "the Bottom Billion." But rather than see this vast population as a burden, Pooristan would recognize it as the world's greatest untapped resource.
What the world needs is an economic superpower that represents the interests of the world's poor: Call it Pooristan.
Whereas so much of today's divided developing world is plagued by war, whether between states or within them, Pooristan would establish a Pax Pooristana, enforced by a civilian-led multinational volunteer army. Like the Roman and British Empires before it, Pooristan would constitute a vast zone of free trade and migration that would eventually give rise to a polyglot culture. Just as London gathers the world's most impressive financial minds and Silicon Valley attracts extraordinary tech talent, sprawling cities like Lagos, Nigeria, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, would be transformed by the influx of talented "foreigners"-fellow Pooristanis-searching for opportunity. Yes, there would be ethnic conflict, particularly early on. But competition between groups would take the form of friendly economic competition, not bloodshed. To be sure, any state of this size would have to be extremely decentralized. Different regions and provinces and cities would pursue radically different policies. Yet no Pooristani would be prevented from settling anywhere within the borders of Pooristan.Clearly, Pooristan won't emerge in our lifetime. But as long as poor-country citizens are barred from the rich world, they need to think seriously about joining forces. The great advantage the big emerging markets have over small submerging markets is their bigness. China doesn't have as high a proportion of Ph.D.s as South Korea or the United States. But it has a huge absolute number. That makes an enormous difference. A large absolute number of skilled professionals means you can create economic agglomerations (like London and Silicon Valley) that can serve as engines of economic growth. More often than not, immigrants and foreign capital fuel these engines-the key reason open economies beat closed economies every time.So why do we need Pooristan? A few microstates like Singapore and Mauritius have flourished as free-trading entrepots at the crossroads of major trading routes. Resource-rich Dubai is trying to beat the world's financial centers at their own game. But for every Singapore or Dubai there is a Central African Republic or a Laos-tiny, poor, often landlocked countries racked by disease. For these countries, their only real resource is their people. As Lant Pritchett argues in his brilliant book Let Their People Come, we could free all trade in goods and services and the economic benefits to the developing world would be pretty modest. That's because, to their credit, key rich countries have already lowered their trade barriers dramatically since the Second World War.What would make a huge difference for poor countries would be slightly more labor mobility. Every year, rich countries send roughly $70 billion in development aid to poor countries. But if the number of immigrants from poor countries in rich-country workforces increased by just 3 percent, those workers would send $300 billion in benefits to poor-country citizens and their families back home. And yet rich countries are growing ever less inclined to reduce immigration restrictions, often for good reasons. To understand the end result, think about what would happen if residents of riot-scarred inner cities were banned from finding jobs anywhere else. Pritchett calls the world's least fortunate countries "zombies." Because their people are trapped by the lack of economic prospects, they are the equivalent of the living dead.Pooristan would change all that. It would allow the poor to break out of the little prisons that masquerade as nation-states. And eventually the world's rich would clamor to get in.
Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

Keep Reading Show less
Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

This election cycle, six women threw their hat in the ring for president, but is their gender holding them back? Would Americans feel comfortable with a woman leading the free world? Based on the last election, the answer is a swift no. And a new study backs this up. The study found that only 49% of American men would feel very comfortable with a woman serving as the head of the government. By comparison, 59% of women said they would feel comfortable with a woman in charge.

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which measures attitude towards women leaders, evaluated the attitudes of those living in the G7 countries as well as Brazil, China, India, and Russia. 22,000 adults in those 11 countries were surveyed on their attitudes about female leadership in 22 different sectors, including government, fashion, technology, media, banking and finance, education, and childcare.

Only two countries, Canada and the U.K., had a majority of respondents say they would be more comfortable with a female head of state. Germany (which currently has a female Chancellor), Japan, and Russia were the countries least comfortable with a female head of state.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

Keep Reading Show less
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.