I was wondering what the members here thought of Clinical Economics, Jeffrey Sachs, his book "The End of Poverty" and his method to ending extreme poverty by 2025? He is critical of the soviet styled economies and central planning through out the book so I doubt he will be particularly popular here, however he has worked in various countries and seems to have helped them out even though he just try's to plaster a human face on capitalism.
You're probably aware of this, but it's worth noting that Sachs and his colleagues at the Chicago School played the main foreign advisory role to Gaidar and Yeltsin on how to reform the Russian economy, which resulted in extreme impoverishment, hunger, and millions of premature deaths. I'm not saying that Sachs can be blamed for what happened in Russia in the early 1990s (the blame falls on the state, the marketeers, and society at large), but listening to him on how to end world poverty is a bit like asking a wolf on how to make a hen house safer. I know he's reformed his views since then, but to me it's little different to how Albert Speer reformed his views on Nazism.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
hmmmm fair point. He did seem to help end hyperinflation in Bolivia which must have made Morales job a hell of a lot easier, and at least he pushes for more aid for impoverished nations. Although he seems to attack central planning calling it a failure etc without really giving any evidence to why it's infective or a failed system.
Ending extreme poverty by 2025, what a joke. I would say that even if it was written in the 1970s.
Happiness is in your ability to love others. - Leo Tolstoy
Why? It's possible, unlikely admittedly but all it would take is for a few rich people to put there heads together or for someone to make them put there heads together and they probably could end extreme poverty. There's a 99% chance that those people with the ability to end poverty would rather ignore the issue and continue there life of luxury.
Jeffrey Sachs is a neoliberal economist who believes in the privatization of most public assets and the need to raise poor countries to an extent to be "competitive in the global market", whatever the hell that means. I admit I have not read the book, but from what I have read in the reviews, and what I obviously know from his involvement with Yeltsin's gang, he places a lot of faith in oligarchs and the rich to suddenly be good people and to assume the burden of lifting people from poverty, as though they did not exploit such such people and keep them in poverty in the existing system. He speaks as though he is clueless about the incentives of the bourgeoisie in a capitalist society.
Aid for impoverished nations, while good temporarily, is not a sustainable solution for the economic development of a country, for as long as the aid money is sucked up by the ruling classes of the impoverished nation and fails to tackle the underlying socioeconomic problems that cause chronic poverty. This is where his unfounded critique of central planning lacks sense; it is precisely the process of central planning and democratic centralism that allows a society to marshal its resources and distribute equitably (on a need basis), coordinate national economic activity, employment, production, distribution, etc, and to respect the primacy of the laboring class. Also, cancelling debt, while laudable, is not plausible under a capitalist construct, because unless there is socialism, countries depend on global credit markets for financing and debt cancellation only worsens a country's credit rating, making it more expensive for them to borrow.
"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
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