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The World Is Us 

Wednesday, Oct 15 2008
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Remember "We Are the World?" No, of course not. You're too young. "We Are the World" was arguably the first of those high-profile celebrity-laden juggernauts of charity, dismissed as BS do-gooderism by jerks and seen as sweet but overblown by others. The song recorded by the project was a big radio hit, engendering its own weird musical category, the "charity single." And in the aftermath, rumors spread around the U.S. that the food and water distributed in Africa as a result of the effort was being stolen by thugs and sold to the starving people for whom it was intended. Edward Miguel, an Associate Professor in U.C. Berkeley's Econ department, says, to no one's surprise and everyone's dismay, that the practice of siphoning off foreign aid for private profit is common, especially in places where it's most desperately needed. Miguel has been studying the problem and has solutions. Of course, the way things are going, it'll be awhile before the U.S. is the one being charitable, but at "The Dark Side of Development: Corruption, Poverty and the Economic Gangster," Miguel takes a look at some better ideas for spreading the wealth around.
Tue., Oct. 21, 6 p.m., 2008

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Hiya Swanhuyser

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