The Optimist

The Optimist

Don't Mess With Taxes

Sorry, Tea Partiers -- taxation isn't the source of America's ills, and your income has more to do with dumb luck than hard work.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

Democracy Inaction

Why representative government can't solve the world's other social problems.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

The Civil War That Killed Cholera

Why the best ideas for fighting some diseases may come from poor countries, not rich ones.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

Seismic Inequality

Rich countries have gotten very good at keeping people alive in earthquakes. But that doesn't mean poor countries should try to emulate them.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

¡Viva la Recesión!

Are bad economies good for democracy?

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

Iron Curtain Call

Mikhail Gorbachev helped end the Cold War. He also did more than anyone else to end the rest of them.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

Corps Concerns

In an age of globe-trotting American college kids, ubiquitous Internet access, and cell phone networks that reach even sub-Saharan cattle herders, does the world still need the Peace Corps?

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

Invasion of the Alien Cattle

Why does the United States allow more foreign cattle to immigrate than it does people?

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

The Poor Are Getting … Richer

It really is getting better -- even for the bottom billion.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

Fiber Cons

You don't need to be superfast to be super-competitive -- but try telling that to the governments sinking billions into fiber-optic networks.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

After the Break Up

Sudan has 99 problems, but secession isn't one.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

Big Is Beautiful

Financial access is key to helping the world's poor -- and tech-savvy big banks, not microcreditors, are our best hope for providing it.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

Great Expectations

The biggest problem with post-disaster relief efforts like Haiti's is the unreasonable ambitions we have for them.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

Forget the Aftershocks

Plenty of factors are holding back Haiti's development, but last year's earthquake isn't one of them.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

Publish or Perish

Private contractors cost taxpayers worldwide untold billions in corruption, inefficiency, and mismanagement. But the solution isn't getting rid of them -- it's showing the rest of us their paperwork.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

Let There Be Light

How a new kind of bulb will transform the developing world.

Charles Kenny |

The Optimist

What Resource Curse?

Is it really true that underground riches lead to aboveground woes? No, not really.

Charles Kenny |