Reasons Why Poverty Leads To Extremists

This article is the most important submission I wrote for The Borgen Project. It corrects a widely believed misconception, and it’s a helpful link to give friends and family who hold tight to that misconception. So it bugs me to no end that the article, while in the Borgen Project Blog’s Archives, has no singular link. I present its fully edited form below the image.

4 Reasons Why Poverty Leads To Extremists

Continue reading “Reasons Why Poverty Leads To Extremists”


Job Programs Versus Payouts for the Poor

The title issue involves more than just people in poverty. How we structure our economic system will affect all of us, and I’m proud to help illuminate people on either side of the issue:

I talk often about what my editor cut and didn’t cut, but nothing can compare to what changed with this article’s draft. As in: a section about how Universal Basic Income can mitigate the damage of an A.I. workers revolution, constituting a third of the article, was removed in its entirety. A part of me’s still hurt about this change. But I know that Universal Basic Income (UBI) is not the most capitalistic solution to poverty (though it is a good libertarian one don’t @ me). In both my personal editing and in my peers’ proofreadings, rants about a certain cause get cut first. The only exception is when the rant is the entire piece. The cliche writing advice is to “kill your darlings,” but the other alternative is “kill everything except your darlings.”

Again, the article can be found in this link. And if you like my work, why not donate to the cause as well?

Why Laws Are Not Enough to End Poverty in South Africa

You thought I reached the end of my Borgen Project work? Far from it! In 2017, I submitted 20 articles to the charity, and 19 of them were published. That includes this encompassing, balanced look at how racism remains an issue in South Africa:

Though my editor made few changes to my draft, one alteration stand out to me. The article’s last sentence reads “Although laws are not enough to end poverty, persistent intervention from other countries could help.” I originally wrote, “Although laws are not enough to end poverty, aid will not fix all problems like in a movie.” I felt this conclusion represented my takeaway best and tied in nicely to the article’s beginning. But the alteration is a fair conclusion too, and it ties into The Borgen Project’s main message. It is possible to have equally valid conclusions from the same information… best to have one that lines up with your platform’s own viewpoint.

Why Vietnam Loves the US

I learned a fair bit about the world through my research at The Borgen Project. “Vietnam is now a fan of America” is my favorite discovered fact, and the one I share most often with people interested in my charity work. The article digs deeper than that statement, however, becoming of my favorite pieces:


Here’s an interesting tidbit for you search engine optimization aficionados. My original title and SEO key phrase for this article was “Why Vietnam Loves America.” For the published article, I suppose The Borgen Project had more faith in the good ol’ US no A. This implies that even minor changes to word choice can impact your Internet traffic. It also implies that online articles will gravitate to the same limited word choice to cater to audiences with the same limited word choice. But now I’m just being a grump. This article turned out great! Spread it and enjoy!

The Rise of South Africa’s Instagram Influencers

Of all the articles I submitted to The Borgen Project, this one had the least amount of edits. I just keep getting better and better at this!


As I only counted three minor edits to my original article, here’s my lesson of the day: all your hard work will pay off, in some form, even in unexpected forms. Keep that sentiment in mind through the holidays. Merry Christmas from Word Salad Spinner.

How Safe Spaces Help Children in Extreme Poverty

This is another article where I took on an argument to convince myself before I convinced my audience. The piece brings good insight to a heavily politicized debate:


I’m ashamed to admit that a lot of my editor’s changes involved word tense. But this final version changed verbs like “became” to “have become” to positive effect. Past perfect tense signals that these safe spaces help children to this day as opposed to a long time ago. It’s a subtle improvement, and I thank my editor for it. I’ll have to watch for when newspapers pull the same trick on me.

I also need to introduce audiences to niche concepts like “safe spaces” in these kinds of articles, if only so my editor doesn’t have to introduce them for me. While I still like this article, the first sentence may as well read, ‘Webster dictionary defines safe spaces as…” Then again, if I want my work to seem less like a lazy high school essay, the onus is on me to write better shit.

How Argentina Lowered its Poverty Rate in 2017

This was another article that, during the writing process, felt like too broad a topic. But I brought matters down to their clearest elements, and created something that’s a good primer on the subject. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy it now:


If you’ve read any Borgen Project articles, you’re certain that the organization’s a fan of capitalism. I suppose all that time soliciting donations got us interested in maximizing profits. I follow the party line on a lot of their points, but recent news stories involving the FCC, EA, and my own job has made me wary of businesses. I expressed that sentiment in the second half of this article. To their credit, the Borgen Project let that section stay in, resulting in a well-rounded and honest piece. If you’re submitting to a website, don’t be afraid to break from their doctrine… they might need a break as much as you do.