My favorite gifts over Christmas – both in terms of giving and getting – are donations to organizations fighting poverty in the developing world. Foreign Aid is becoming a controversial and intriguing topic (as it should be), but even aid cynics should recognize that most research supports the idea that helping the poor with small farms and businesses tends to raise standards and help people at the most basic level.
Grameen Foundation is a charitable branch of the Grameen Bank, and their work includes many innovative technology projects such as helping to use mobile phones to help the poor interface with important resources.
This is a great nonpartisan primer on the Fiscal Cliff. Of course my solution remains as it has been and is guaranteed to solve most of the USA’s financial problems – cuts to entitlements via means testing and a 5% annual DOD cut for the next 10 years which would allow us to keep soldiers *safer* than now, reduce global tensions, and balance the budget. I understand why “liberals” like public spending – it shifts money from rich to middle class (and to a minor extent the very poor), but I don’t understand why “conservatives” support so much overspending on DOD. It’s inconsistent with the founders vision of small government and inconsisten with any reasonable strategic vision of how the world works. As Ron Paul points out to deaf ears you can want a strong defense without wanting an exhorbitantly expensive defense.