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Views from the Center

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President Bush in Latin America: Democracy, Social Justice and a Dollop of Aid

President Bush is going to Latin America, and that has inspired a round of commentary in the mainstream press. A New York Times editorial urges the President to focus on democracy, human rights and social justice, and applauds the recent doubling of U.S. aid to the region. Democracy and social justice and a dollop of aid (the current budget of $1.6 billion is barely 1 percent of spending by Latin governments on health and education) are good things.

Fragile States and Climate Change: Things Fall Apart

**This post is co-authored with CGD senior fellow David Wheeler
Today's Washington Post column by David Ignatius finally inches popular understanding in the U.S. a bit further in the right direction on why climate change could be so costly to human society. It isn't just the direct costs of seawalls and more destructive hurricanes that climate change will bring. It's the risk that institutional arrangements to deal with those costs will not be resilient and will collapse under the resulting pressure--so that, as Chinua Achebe suggested about post-colonial West Africa, things do literally "fall apart".

Picturing Global Inequality: Some Preliminary Figures

Thanks to our friend Nick Seaver for posting on the Huffington Post one of the figures we created after playing around with some of the available stats on global income inequality. The idea was to get a very rough sense of what global income distribution looks like: Is it a bell curve? Where might an average American fit?