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The Rules of Poverty

No, poverty is not an accident or a immutable fact of life.

That’s according to Joe Brewer, the hyper-articulate mind from Seattle-based Cognitive Policy Works behind The Rules campaign. “Pick your issue, and you can see how the rules were constructed to make it so… Poverty doesn’t exist by accident,” Brewer says.

In this extended podcast, Tom and I discuss the headlines this week: why the World Health Organization still matters, progress and setbacks in the campaign against polio, humanitarian groups’ opposition to food aid reform, and tax-dodging corporate giants like Apple and Starbucks.

Then we talk to Joe for the hour. Whether its trillions of dollars stashed in tax havens, the Gates Foundation’s apolitical approach to poverty reduction, the rise of the Tea Party, or how the definition of a corporation ought to change, Joe seems to have pinpointed the  problems we’re facing, their root causes, and how to to solve them.

Like a previous podcast guest, Kentaro Toyama, Joe is bringing big-picture intellectual innovation to bear on widely-held, but deeply ossified, approaches to aid and development.

Listen below – once you start you won’t want to stop. (Or download the mp3.)


About Author

Ansel Herz

Ansel Herz is a freelance multimedia journalist whose objective is to “go to where the silence is." His work has been published by ABC News, The Nation magazine, the New York Daily News, Al Jazeera English, Free Speech Radio News, Inter-Press News and many other publications. A Seattle native and survivor of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Ansel is producer of Humanosphere's podcast, among other things. You can contact him at ansel.herz[at] or follow him on Twitter @Ansel.