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PowerLinks 05.19.14

The 8 worst places in the world to be religious Daniel Burke, CNN Among the most worrying trends, according to the State Department, are “authoritarian governments that restrict their citizens’ ability to practice their religion.” Swiss Voters Defeat $24.65 Minimum Wage by a Wide Margin Melissa Eddy, New York Times The proposed rate — considerably higher than elsewhere in Europe and more than double the $10.10 President Obama has sought in the United States — found little support in a national referendum, with 76.3 percent opposed, according to initial results released by the government. Continue Reading...

The Power of the Personal and the Temptation of the Planner

In his latest column, David Brooks examines the limits of data and “objective knowledge” in guiding or directing our imaginations when it comes to solving social problems. Using teenage pregnancy as an example, he notes that although it may be of some use to get a sense on the general drivers of certain phenomena, such information is, in the end, “insufficient for anyone seeking deep understanding”: Unlike minnows, human beings don’t exist just as members of groups. Continue Reading...

PowerLinks 05.16.14

Kasper versus Kasper Samuel Gregg, Crisis Magazine Book-tours can be risky affairs. There’s always the chance you’ll say something during your tenth radio interview of the day which you retrospectively wish you’d phrased differently. Continue Reading...

Why Does No One Believe Extreme Poverty Has Declined?

Would you say that over the past three decades (since about the mid-1980s) the percentage of people in the world who live in extreme poverty — defined as living on less than $1.25 per day — has: A) Increased B) Decreased C) remained the same The right answer is B: extreme poverty has decreased by more than half. Continue Reading...

The False Notion Of ‘Checking Your Privilege’

Students attending Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government have a new mandatory class: Checking Your Privilege 101. This is, in part, a response to the conversation started by Princeton’s Tory Fortgang, who wanted to be known by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin (which happens to be white.) Reetu Mody, a master’s degree student is thrilled by the Harvard’s new class and describes it thus: The substance of the training, while still under discussion, is to prepare students to understand the broad impact of identity on their decision-making and to engage them in constructive tools for dialogue,” Mody says. Continue Reading...