In Essence

Why do home sellers still use real-estate brokers?

Foreign-policy elites really are smarter than the rest of us.

Threats gather while scholars fiddle with formulas and theories.

The United States is rattling China by sidling up to its mainland neighbors.

Just because you can run a political campaign doesn’t mean you can run a federal agency.

THE SOURCE: “Bureaucracy Does Its Thing, Again” by Frances Z. Brown, in The American Interest, Nov.–Dec. 2012.

One-third of the world’s poor were not born in poverty. They fell into it.

Photo of Nicaraguan children living in a garbage dump by Feed My Starving Children via Flickr

Nicaraguan garbage-pickers are smiling.

Photo of Kabul cityscape by Ed Ledford via Flickr

The Afghan economy isn’t strong enough to stand on its own.