Feb

28

 Victor,

For month and months I've been meaning to email. I blame two books for the delay…

I've been posting on this year's debate topics since last summer (immigration, foreign aid, terrorism policy) at www.EconomicThinking.org.

Months ago I read Adam Minter's Junkyard Planet, and it's just a great tour of entrepreneurship and innovation in this important corner of the U.S. economy. I think you would enjoy it.

Shifting to the foreign aid topic, I've been trying to catch up on books and research. We had a foreign aid related debate topic ten years ago. Many new new books since (Nina Monk's The Idealist is great).

Someone in my town, Burien (south of Seattle, near Seatac airport), posted a link to a left-wing banana history video, claiming U.S. corporations like United Fruit destabilized Latin American countries, causing today's trouble with migrants at the border. (Plus claiming big corporations dominate the banana industry because U.S. consumers refuse to pay just 10 cents more for bananas from "family-owned" farms)

So… after some research I purchased The Fish That Ate the Whale, a book about the adventures of Sam "the banana man" Zemurrray. It's also a fascinating story of entrepreneurship and innovation. Banana entrepreneurs converted malarial tropical forests and swamps to flourishing banana production, plus built railroads to transport bananas fast to consumers. Politicians and crony capitalists replaced the mosquitos as parasites of the banana ecosystem.

Anyways, I've not managed to write by article or post on these books yet.

But I wanted to write anyway just to say hello.

Also, Economic Thinking programs continue. Lots of great students as usual.

Greg


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