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Tough on crime just for the poor

April 10, 2010 Articles, Letters
Letter to the Toronto Star (Sunday, April 10, 2010) Tough on crime just for the poor Re:  Former MP Rahim Jaffer connected to conman, April 8 I was intrigued to read that the Crown in Rahim Jaffer's court case very generously offered the former MP a favourable plea bargain.  When I was 17 years old growing up in poverty and arrested as a young offender, the Crown sought six month's closed custody (i.e. jail time) for a school fight I got into. I had to aggressively fight against the Crown and won a favourable ruling (probation with no incarceration) from the judge who presided over my case.  Eighteen years later I am an alumnus of University of Toronto and Princeton University.  I wonder what path my life would have taken had I spent six months in jail.  Seems to me that the tough on crime model only applies to people from lesser backgrounds. Kai Chan, New York http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/793115--tough-on-crime-just-for-the-poor © Copyright Toronto Star 1996-2010

What to do: young offenders

March 18, 2010 Articles, Letters
The Globe & Mail: Letters to the editor (March 18, 2010) What to do: young offenders I was arrested twice as a young offender (Tory Bill Proposes Publicizing Names Of Violent Young Offenders – March 17), so I read carefully the proposed changes to the legislation.  For the most part, harsh sentences do not deter crime and actually work against rehabilitating offenders.  My brief time in incarceration only ensconced me more deeply in the criminal culture: While in detention, I befriended hardened offenders.  Most of the people I met in juvenile detention were good persons, who just happened to come from unfortunate backgrounds (poverty, dysfunctional families etc.). I always wonder how much talent our country is wasting by not making these young offenders do something productive with their lives (e.g. getting them involved in sports/arts/culture), rather than leaving them to wither in detention. I eventually went on to get a PhD at Princeton after graduating from the University of Toronto.  Teenage years are rough for everyone. K.L. Chan, New York http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/march-18-letters-to-the-editor/article1503730/ © Copyright 2010 CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

Preface regarding articles from Princeton

September 1, 2008 Princeton writings
During my six years at Princeton (1999-2005) I had the pleasure of penning quite a few articles for the Daily Princetonian, the school newspaper, and oftentimes also known simply as the ‘Prince’ — actually, all the writings came in the latter half of my time at Princeton.  Anyhow, writing for the Daily Princetonian (and other forums) was an apt continuation of a long held personal tradition: I had written for the school newspaper as far back as grades 7 and 8 (at Earl Grey Senior School in Toronto, Canada); I also wrote some stuff for Riverdale Collegiate’s (Toronto, Canada) school newspaper in my last year of high school.  This anthology constitutes a collection of all the writings that I did while at Princeton which were published in some way, shape or form. (Although, looking back, I shudder at the thought that such hastily written pieces had made it to print!) In hindsight — which is always 20/20 — I cringe at how I wrote some of my pieces in such sloppy format or with lack of focus.  For others, my views may have even changed since I first offered my public opinion.  But some, even in retrospect, still ring true…

Acknowledgment from PhD dissertation

April 12, 2008 Princeton writings
First of all, I want to thank Paul Krugman for inspiration, many free books and fun conversations.  I often pinch myself, as a reality check, when noting that such a preeminent economist — and definite future Nobel laureate — is supervising my work.  I guess this is what makes Princeton so special.  Many thanks to all who have read this thesis, including (and especially) Alan Blinder, Hyun Song Shin, Gene Grossman, Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, and Lars Svensson, as well as classmates and friends.  Also, much appreciation to Thijs van Rens and Vasco Cúrdia for help with SWP, and to Gene Grossman, who helped me secure funding when I was post-enrolled (the bane of the graduate student).  The usual caveat applies: All remaining errors in this dissertation are my own. The many years spent at Princeton have been unbelievable, eliciting from me a myriad of emotions.  I will cherish my experiences and especially my friends, who added much delight to times spent in Princeton.  There are too many people to thank individually for all the camaraderie that I have enjoyed, so I will instead begin by thanking groups that are dear to me.  Foremost, I must thank colleagues, faculty and staff from…

The Era of the White Man

April 7, 2008 Articles, Letters
Letter to the editor published in the NYT (on-line edition) April 7, 2008 Letter ‘The Era of the White Man’ To the Editor: Re “The Baton Passes to Asia,” by Roger Cohen (column, The New York Times on the Web, March 31): Before anyone really thinks that “it’s the end of the era of the white man,” let me point out a few things. The rates of economic growth in China and India are high because these are modernizing countries playing a game of catch-up. When you look at G.D.P. per capita numbers, the United States is still far ahead of both countries. Second, 450 million cellphones in China, a country of more than 1.3 billion people, means that only over a third of its people have a mobile handset, much lower than the ratio in most developed (typically white) countries. Yes, Asia is large, and the economic gravity is shifting (back) toward Asia, but this is simply natural given, that most of humanity lives there. Go to China or India and see how far the world’s paradigm must shift before the era of “white is right” is over.  The female “natives” virtually worship the white male expatriates in Asia,…




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