(Christian Science Monitor, August 7, 2007)
We’ve seen enough pictures to become desensitized — vast slums crawling with rats, emaciated dogs and starving children, creeks of sewage trickling through the streets. We’ve heard the pleas — emotional appeals about helping our less fortunate brothers and sisters; about making a difference. But still the problem of wrenching poverty across the globe persists. Maybe a different approach is needed. Instead of tugging at heartstrings, let’s look at the issue in a cold, detached and heartless way. Let’s look at it from the standpoint of someone who gets paid to focus on collective utility, not individual suffering. In other words, let’s look at it like an economist.