Explaining Southern California's economy

Obama World Bank nominee is dedicated to health and the poor

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Cli

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim, and US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner listen while US President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on March 23, 2012 in Washington, DC. President Obama announced his nomination of Kim to succeed Robert Zoellick as President of the World Bank.

The best comment on President Obama's nomination of Dartmouth president Jim Yong Kim to lead the World Bank comes from Forbes' Tom Watson, who notes that the Korean-born Kim's career has been all about improving health care for the poor (as well as running an Ivy League university):

[I]t’s his stature as the co-founder of Partners In Health...that stands out. Partners in Health was founded 25 years ago and revolutionized the development world’s view of health initiatives in poor communities, stressing both respect for the poor and the need for strong preventive care. Known for its work in Haiti, Partners in Health pioneered its community-based health model in Russia, Rwanda, Peru, Lesotho, Burundi and other countries. It also works with poor HIV-AIDS patients in the Boston area. 

The World Bank's job is supposed to be the eradication of poverty, but it's often critized for embodying the rich world's perceptions of the poor. Kim's nomination could be interpreted as a effort to break out of this problem while still retaining a primary U.S. role in governing the World Bank. 

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Supercommittee Fail: You didn't seen this coming?

So, you might have heard by now that the Congressional "Supercommittee," a bipartisan effort to overcome partisan gridlock, has succumbed to...partisan gridlock.

This is from USA Today:

Republicans refused to cross their ideological line against increasing taxes. Democrats refused to allow cuts in popular programs that serve the elderly and poor without a compensating growth of government income, especially from the wealthiest Americans.

No one really knew what the Supercommittee was doing, anyway, so the sham of its negotiations — which looked as if they would have high sham potential from the git-go — ended in #EPICFAIL shouldn't shock anyone. But the USA Today report is admirable for starkly stating the core difference between the two sides. 

That said, it's easy to cast the Democrats as pro-tax, in the interest of being pro-poor and pro-old folks, while saying that the Republicans wouldn't raise taxes if the future of the, um...republic depended on it.

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