Human society is changing fast. How can we own the World Bank?
I hope President Obama now appoints someone who is back in the mold of some of the pre-Zoelicck and Wolfowitz presidents: men (or women) who have had a distinguished career, preferably in the private sector, have led a large and complex organization, and are not looking for the World bank presidency as a step back into their party's nomination to another important post. And definitely not someone who comes out of the administration. The World bank has enough trouble convincing people that it is not an arm of the US government. Having an overtly political appointee just reinforces this feeling by the rest of the world.
The World Bank is still an important institution. I hope the Obama administration will not squander the opportunity to find a truly exceptional leader.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012
With regard to the polarization of American politics, I have a couple of observations from 30,000 ft.
I have noted in conversations with my older cousin that as he ages his views become more stridently one way or the other. Everything is black and white. The gray area, which used to be the compromise zone is now considered a "slippery slope" that must be avoided. For the Limbaughs and Becks, who play strongly to this black-and-white view of the world, people like my cousin become very fertile ground. And given the fact that America, on average, is aging, the polarization that we're seeing now might only be beginning.
Recognizing this unfortunate nexus of aged minds and inflammatory speech, we need to find a way to bring the decibel level down. Reasoned discussion needs to become the acceptable norm again, and in-your-face style rhetoric needs to become socially unacceptable. I believe one big step in this direction would be to somehow divorse news programming from the entertainment industry. Almost by definition, the entertainment industry panders to what's most popular. News should tell people what they need to hear, not pander to what they want to hear.