Via @Siddhartha Mitter: “… The Great White Savior really outdid himself with this one. A blame-the-poor classic with particularly overt Calvinist moral messaging, even less appreciation than usual for colonial legacy, public finance and global economics, and that condescending Kristof brand of Savior Feminism Lite that verges on misandry.”

What Siddhartha is talking about; Nicholas Kristof’s latest column. Here’s the intro:

There’s an ugly secret of global poverty, one rarely acknowledged by aid groups or U.N. reports. It’s a blunt truth that is politically incorrect, heartbreaking, frustrating and ubiquitous:   It’s that if the poorest families spent as much money educating their children as they do on wine, cigarettes and prostitutes, their children’s prospects would be transformed. Much suffering is caused not only by low incomes, but also by shortsighted private spending decisions by heads of households.

Kristof then finds a Congolese child–it plays well with American readers to focus on children, he has argued somewhere else–whose parents cannot afford to pay his school fees but have cheap cellphones and occasionally have a drink.

And then he brings up Bill Easterly’s favorite economist Esther Duflo to endorse his 19th century views in which Westerners, and particularly white Westerners, decide whats good for poor, third world, mostly black, particularly black people, and then he babbles on about microlending.  I am tired. — Sean Jacobs