I realize that Edwards is a lawyer and a politician, and this new center will be operated out of the law school, which itself is headed by a failed candidate for national office. Since politicians and lawyers both are uniquely prone to solipsism, applied either to themselves or to their trade, it behooves me to point out to our former senator the diligent work being done outside of law schools ? if you can believe that! ? in the study of alleviating poverty. Try economics departments, if you must stay within academe. Or, better, familiarize yourself with the yeoman’s work of Henry Hazlitt, Milton Friedman, and the many others in the field of free-market economics. The Foundation for Economic Education, I’m sure, would be glad to help.

I am, of course, operating on the charitable assumption that the goal here really is to find ways to alleviate poverty, and not simply to ward off the impoverishment of a flagging political career.