THE DARK SIDE OF IVORY PROHIBITION


Fire burns part of an estimated 105 tonnes of ivory and a tonne of rhino horn confiscated from smugglers and poachers at the Nairobi National Park near Nairobi

It is difficult to imagine what could be the dark side of bank on ivory.

Some might shrug off the loss of ivory artifacts as acceptable collateral damage in the war on poaching. But the existence of a vast amount of impeccably legal ivory in the form of bona fide historic carvings means that total prohibition of absolutely all commerce, even trade in culturally important antiquities, will never be completely accepted everywhere. Enacting such a sweeping no-exceptions ban could backfire badly. Many would view it as bureaucratic over-reach, encouraging disdain for regulation and stimulating the criminal ivory market — and the elephant poaching that makes it possible.

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John Frederick Walker — The Smart Set

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WHICH AMERICAN DREAM?


americandream

There are two versions of the American Dream – one a rising standard of living for all and the the other the ability to achieve success through hard work and talent. Which dream do you live?

It is downright dangerous to identify the American Dream with intergenerational mobility, with progress defined as the children of janitors and store clerks becoming lawyers or doctors or professors. The number of job openings for vocations that require little or no training beyond high school will continue to exceed job openings in elite professions. It would be a social disaster if many janitors and store clerks are overqualified for the work they do and resentful of the society that promised too few high-status jobs to too many ambitious citizens.

A nation in which most citizens are told that they can achieve anything they want and that if they fail to do so the fault is purely their own, will be a society with a majority of embittered failures. In contrast, one in which the standard of living goes up constantly over time, for the less educated and less able as well as the highly educated and talented, is likely to be a happier nation.

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Michael Lind — The Smart Set

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