“Ordinary folk trust Davos Man no more than they would a lobbyist for the Worldwide Federation of Weasels.”—A survey by Edelman, a public-relations firm, finds that only 18% of people trust business leaders to tell the truth. For political leaders, the figure is 13%.
“As of December 2011 just 51% of all American adults were married and 28% never had been, down from 72% and up from 15% in 1960.”—America’s out-of-wedlock birth rate is soaring. That has social and economic implications. Should governments encourage their citizens to marry?
“We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.”—Information technology has changed daily life. So why does it seem to have had a less explosive impact on economic growth than inventions of decades past?
“Kivu is one of the world’s most explosive lakes. If its gases were suddenly released, the explosion could be “the biggest catastrophe humankind has experienced,” perhaps suffocating or incinerating the 2m people who live on the shore”—Rwanda’s KivuWatt project generates electricity from the methane and carbon dioxide stored in the lake. But if Western governments continue to withhold aid, which accounts for 40% of Rwanda’s budget, this and many other initiatives will grind to a halt.