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The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Must Reading for Every American Classroom

At 50 fewer words than Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, I'd make these powerful facts from Jeffrey Sachs a memorization requirement for every student in America. These 235 words were issued by him on ABC's 'This Week,' Sunday, March 13, 2005: 'There are still about a...
At 50 fewer words than Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, I'd make these powerful facts from Jeffrey Sachs a memorization requirement for every student in America. These 235 words were issued by him on ABC's 'This Week,' Sunday, March 13, 2005: 'There are still about a billion people that are struggling for survival every day, extreme poverty that is so unrelenting that it means chronic hunger, it means disease, and it means early death. 'That kind of extreme poverty afflicts about one sixth of the planet. 'The amazing thing is that we live in an age of such scientific and technical know how, and in an age when prosperity is spread to so many places that we can really envision the end of extreme poverty within our generation by the year 2025. 'This can be done through the practical steps of helping the poorest of the poor to be empowered to grow more food, to be healthy, for the children to grow up with the proper education, and to have the basic means to be productive members of the world economy. 'The rich countries have said that they would give seven cents out of every $100 of their income, just that little amount, 0.7 percent, seven cents out of $100, to the poorest places on the planet to help them grow more food, have safe drinking water, have the children in school, be able to fight the diseases like AIDS, TB, and malaria. If we do that, we will succeed. 'We haven't done it yet. I think we will do it because it really is the bargain of the planet. It's the bargain of the century.'

posted by Anonymous on March 14, 2005

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Optimistic to the point of being simplistic

Way too optimistic, reviving outdated theories of the '50s and '60s (esp Rostow), forgetting all about the reality of evil, corruption, injustice, both of the rich and of (leaders of) the poor and forgetting almost all about participation, empowerment and advocacy, assu...
Way too optimistic, reviving outdated theories of the '50s and '60s (esp Rostow), forgetting all about the reality of evil, corruption, injustice, both of the rich and of (leaders of) the poor and forgetting almost all about participation, empowerment and advocacy, assuming that macro scale economics are the same at micro (village) scale. Just a small example: one of the main ideas in the book is: give villages a big push, so that they can start climbing the economic ladder. Increased economic activity leads to increased taxes which leads to increased public services, which helps increase economic activity. The first causal relation overlooks the fact that 80-90% (to sometimes 100%) of economic activities in African villages take place in the informal economy, where there are no official tax systems. The second causal relation overlooks (as said above) the fact of corruption. The example of Nigeria (enough income through oil exports, and corruption not mainly at the lower ranks but even at the very highest rank) shows that corruption is not a matter of need because of lack of money. The milleniumvillages approach is, as a friend of mine said 'thinking big inside the box'. I have not yet met people who have lived in an African village for an extended period of time (more than just a honeymoon time of 3 months) who believed Sachs' methods are workable. Is it a case of 'give it a try'? Well, you are working with people, impacting their mentality and worldview. It's not a business which if it goes bankrupt you just say 'I've tried, let's start another'. I agree though, with someone who said: Sachs is the best fundraiser of the age. he is performing well in that area.

posted by Anonymous on September 21, 2006

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    Posted December 24, 2009

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    Posted August 22, 2009

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