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JYK @ WB — We’ve Heard It All Before

“I believe it is time to bend the arc of history. With global solidarity underpinned by a relentless drive for results, we can, we must, and we will end poverty and build shared prosperity.”

Kim3.jpgJim Kim’s recent column in the Caribbean Journal is composed of stirring words. They harken back to his “inflection point” language at Dartmouth. What wonderful ambition the man has. In his four months at the helm of the World Bank, he has offered up a variety of missions outside of the Bank’s traditional range of responsibilities. Kim has suggested that Greece accept the assistance of the Bank’s experts, announced that a plan is in the works to create six hundred million jobs in countries around the world, proposed to refocus the Bank towards global health, and committed the Bank to stopping global warming and climate change. Needless that say, Kim and his team will be scouring the world for imaginative solutions, and coming up with original ideas of their own, and all of these initiatives will be tested using best-practice, evidence-based approaches. Audacious goals will be established, and a few months down the road the press will report that remarkable progress is being made, and preliminary results are very encouraging.

We’ll try hard to find out if these initiatives are more than, uh, hot air, but attentive readers will know that our expectation is that Jim Kim will be as effective as President of the World Bank as he was at Dartmouth. Certainly the language is the same.

Addendum: Daniel Bornstein and Yesha Maniar, members of the leadership board of the Dartmouth Coalition for Global Health, have published a piece in PolicyMic taking Jim Kim and the World Bank to task for reducing funding for global education, despite the institution’s promises to do the opposite.

Addendum: I don’t know about you, but an admixture of blather, pablum, hyperbole and self-referential exaggeration makes my stomach turn. As the phrase goes, it’s all about Kim:

Jim Yong Kim, the new president of the World Bank, said in Tokyo today that dealing with climate change will be one of his priorities. “Since becoming president of the World Bank, I have looked deeply into the data on climate change, and I have to say I was surprised that even in last 6 months to a year, the data has become ever more frightening,” he said. “As a scientist, I feel a moral responsibility to be very clear in communicating the dangers of climate change.”

I’ll bet you that he has done no research at all.


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