Category Archives: Economic Development

What is Poverty?

I was stunned, but not surprised, by an article in VOX from Dylan Matthews titled, “Paul Ryan Loves Talking About Poverty, But He Keeps Getting the Basic Facts Wrong.” Paul Ryan has been speaking out recently on the topic of … Continue reading

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Population Spiral: The Dearth of Denmark

We’ve written before about the Malthusian myth of overpopulation and its devastating consequences (see list of posts below). John Stonestreet’s recent article comprises a splendid companion piece; it’s worthy of your attention. Demographics and ‘Do It for Denmark’ The most unlikely … Continue reading

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Want to Help the Poor? Ask the Right Question

For several generations the “social service” model defined the nature of helping the poor in the Global South and elsewhere. In this model the development industry provides relief and development “services” to aid the poor. Development workers go into poor … Continue reading

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Women Made the Transformation Possible

Earlier we have written about the Mennonites of Paraguay’s Gran Chaco. Here’s another part of this mostly untold, remarkable story: the work of the women. The unlikely success of this community of immigrants, their transformation of that hostile land, was … Continue reading

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Singapore: The Fruit of Virtuous Leadership

It’s fashionable to consider “overpopulation” as a blight on a nation’s economic prospects. Ever since Malthus, elites have soberly warned us that too many people on too little land guarantees hunger and poverty. The recent death of Lee Kuan Yew is a fitting occasion to point … Continue reading

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Vision and Technology Turned Desolation Into Abundance

Abundance can come from the most unlikely places. In the 27 years I worked for a relief and development organization, I heard two clear messages too often: From impoverished indigenous peoples the message was, “We have no resources, we are … Continue reading

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Commerce, Roads, and Mennonite Obedience to the Cultural Mandate

In our previous post we pointed out that community existed before the creation in the three-in-one God. Here we will pursue a further dimension of that truth as it was lived out in the Mennonite communities of the Gran Chaco. The … Continue reading

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Community: The Engine of Mennonite Economic Development

We wrote earlier about Edward Stoesz’s book, Like a Mustard Seed, describing the unlikely story of the Mennonites in the Gran Chaco of Paraguay. Stoesz describes nine principles that guided these immigrants in transforming a wasteland to a garden. The second of Stoesz’ principles applied … Continue reading

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Another Story of Christianity Blessing China

Given the reality of Christianity blessing China, the country’s leaders would do well to give greater freedoms to their Christian churches. A recent study indicates that such freedoms would benefit the country as a whole, in real economic terms. Loosening the … Continue reading

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What is Poverty, Really?

“A lack of money.” That’s probably how most people would define poverty. But those who actually live in poverty may be more qualified to answer. If so, what might they say? A few years ago, someone from HOPE International interviewed … Continue reading

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