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  1. #691
    Anymore games on my PC, and I'd *never* get any work done, lol. But have fun with it, Pirran.

    Mmm, Starbucks. Reminds me of "McWorld" or the idea of McDonald's being just about everywhere. I ended up writing my paper about the seemingly good intentions leading states had out of the Bretton Woods conference, installing international institutions such as the IMF and WTO, which were meant to open markets and "help" developing and weaker states industrialize and prosper, but ultimately led to worsened conditions in these countries, based on political theory by John Ikenberry and Lloyd Gruber. Faced with complete exclusion, developing and weaker states took part in these institutions, and all have become worse off because the leading states push free-market democracy on them in a short time span, which no democratic state today has ever accomplished. I found a lot of really good sources, too, which recorded the increasing amount of global inequality, especially in regards to GDP per capita. Apparently, the IMF among other organizations has been releasing results based on overly-optimistic, inaccurate data.

    The great powers and the superpower (U.S.) need to realize that not everything can be solved with free-market democracy, and they need to stop "guiding" the supposedly helpful organizations like the IMF, World Bank, and WTO to this end. Of course, from their perspective, if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

    I heard about this thing called microcredit (idea of Muhammad Yunus) that started in Bangladesh, in which regular people dispense small loans (from $12 to a couple hundred dollars) to the poorest of the poor to start small businesses (crafts, dairy sales, etc.). Apparently it has an amazing success rate and only 1-4% of a default rate... So, contrary to banks' beliefs, apparently the poorest of the poor *can* pay back loans.

    Anyway... how's *that* for off-topic?!
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  2. #692
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rinoa Hawkeye View Post
    The great powers and the superpower (U.S.) need to realize that not everything can be solved with free-market democracy, and they need to stop "guiding" the supposedly helpful organizations like the IMF, World Bank, and WTO to this end. Of course, from their perspective, if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
    Truth. People also forget that it took United States approximately 800 years to gradually develop the cultural mind-set necessary for a democratic society. We cannot expect other countries to do the same overnight what took us 8 centuries. Also if a society is to develop a free market democracy or whatever it'd have to be within their own cultural context in which it makes sense to them.

    During my time in Kenya, I've heard that many countries preferred working with Peace Corps over other similar organizations and the reason is PC often take time to ask their host countries what it is that they need and want as opposite to coming in and telling them what they need. If that's the case, too bad we didn't apply same approach in other... "diplomatic dealings."

    I heard about this thing called microcredit (idea of Muhammad Yunus) that started in Bangladesh, in which regular people dispense small loans (from $12 to a couple hundred dollars) to the poorest of the poor to start small businesses (crafts, dairy sales, etc.). Apparently it has an amazing success rate and only 1-4% of a default rate... So, contrary to banks' beliefs, apparently the poorest of the poor *can* pay back loans.
    I've heard of those - they have been around for few years now. The concept is great and it makes sense - do it from bottom up through people themselves instead of doing it through outsiders from top down. I do not recall names but I've read about few organizations that charge a quite high interest rate which is somewhat counter-productive. There is one organization (whose name escapes me) that doesn't charge any interest at all. If anybody is interested in looking into helping third world folks via this method, I'd advise them to do their homework - find out what potential loanees have to do.

    Anyway... how's *that* for off-topic?!
    More off the topic is, more I love it

  3. #693
    Yeah, actually the one that started it all and doesn't charge interest is the Graemer (sp?) Bank. I read up on it awhile ago... It was started up in 1976 by that Yunus guy. Also, if people are interested in giving microcredit to people in need, I've heard that www.kiva.org and www.microplace.org let you select the people you want to donate to, and you get paid back in 6 months to a year. It's kind of cool to know that someone can set up a business for the rest of their lives on a couple bucks from you.
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  4. #694
    P...P...P...P...PIE!!!!!!!

    *runs away very fast*

  5. #695
    Quote Originally Posted by Rinoa Hawkeye View Post
    I heard about this thing called microcredit (idea of Muhammad Yunus) that started in Bangladesh, in which regular people dispense small loans (from $12 to a couple hundred dollars) to the poorest of the poor to start small businesses (crafts, dairy sales, etc.). Apparently it has an amazing success rate and only 1-4% of a default rate... So, contrary to banks' beliefs, apparently the poorest of the poor *can* pay back loans.
    Fun fact: women are in general better at handling microcredit and setting up shop.

  6. #696
    Yeah, I read that, too... something like 80% or higher of the borrowers were women. I think their reasoning was that women are more likely to share the money with their families and be altruistic (although you can insert the cries of "sexism!" here any time you want).
    * Join the Guild of Blade and Rose *
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  7. #697
    Quote Originally Posted by Rinoa Hawkeye View Post
    (although you can insert the cries of "sexism!" here any time you want).
    SEXISM!

    no i don't actually mean it, but you just tempted me to say it

  8. #698
    Well, my computer has been down (not really the computer itself, but the ISP to be precise) and so I have been visiting the library and found some books in a new genre for me: mystery/ crime. I usually go for fantasy fiction (dragons, swords, elves, etc.) but I have really been enjoying this mystery stuff. Of course some of the mystery novelists use supernatural elements to a greater or lesser degree, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by the crossover.

    I've missed you all. It's good to be back..... Now if only work will let up.....

  9. #699
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    And you've been missed.

    Come back whenever you can :) Meanwhile enjoy reading! I've been reading a bit - I forgot the author's name but I enjoyed his Saxon novels (Last Kingdom, Lords of the North, or something like that lol)

  10. #700
    PIE!


    just breaking the silence, tis my job you know

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