The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time

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Overview

Jeffrey D. Sachs has been cited by The New York Times Magazine as “probably the most important economist in the world” and by Time as “the world’s best-known economist.” He has advised an extraordinary range of world leaders and international institutions on the full range of issues related to creating economic success and reducing the world’s poverty and misery. Now, at last, he draws on his entire twenty-five-year body of experience to offer a thrilling and inspiring big-picture vision of the keys to economic ...

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Overview

Jeffrey D. Sachs has been cited by The New York Times Magazine as “probably the most important economist in the world” and by Time as “the world’s best-known economist.” He has advised an extraordinary range of world leaders and international institutions on the full range of issues related to creating economic success and reducing the world’s poverty and misery. Now, at last, he draws on his entire twenty-five-year body of experience to offer a thrilling and inspiring big-picture vision of the keys to economic success in the world today and the steps that are necessary to achieve prosperity for all.

Marrying vivid eyewitness storytelling to his laserlike analysis, Jeffrey Sachs sets the stage by drawing a vivid conceptual map of the world economy and the different categories into which countries fall. Then, in a tour de force of elegance and compression, he explains why, over the past two hundred years, wealth has diverged across the planet in the manner that it has and why the poorest nations have been so markedly unable to escape the cruel vortex of poverty. The groundwork laid, he explains his methods for arriving, like a clinical internist, at a holistic diagnosis of a country’s situation and the options it faces. Rather than deliver a worldview to readers from on high, Sachs leads them along the learning path he himself followed, telling the remarkable stories of his own work in Bolivia, Poland, Russia, India, China, and Africa as a way to bring readers to a broad-based understanding of the array of issues countries can face and the way the issues interrelate. He concludes by drawing on everything he has learned to offer an integrated set of solutions to the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that most frequently hold societies back. In the end, he leaves readers with an understanding, not of how daunting the world’s problems are, but how solvable they are—and why making the effort is a matter both of moral obligation and strategic self-interest. A work of profound moral and intellectual vision that grows out of unprecedented real-world experience, The End of Poverty is a road map to a safer, more prosperous future for the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Time magazine called him "the world's best-known economist" and The New York Times Magazine singled him out as "probably the most important economist in the world"; but Jeffrey Sachs wins our support for his lucid, elegant explanations of emerging trends in wealth and poverty. The End of Poverty, the culmination of 25 years of research, addresses the most pressing economic issues confronting world leaders. He describes disturbingly divergent patterns in international development and explains how problems can be solved in this age of extremes. A prescription for world economic health.
Leon Wieseltier
This is a serious book by a serious man.... He is especially stirring about the desperation of Africa.
The New Republic
Publishers Weekly
Sachs came to fame advising "shock therapy" for moribund economies in the 1980s (with arguably positive results); more recently, as director of Columbia University's Earth Institute, he has made news with a plan to end global "extreme poverty"--which, he says, kills 20,000 people a day--within 20 years. While much of the plan has been known to economists and government leaders for a number of years (including Kofi Annan, to whom Sachs is special advisor), this is Sachs's first systematic exposition of it for a general audience, and it is a landmark book. For on-the-ground research in reducing disease, poverty, armed conflict and environmental damage, Sachs has been to more than 100 countries, representing 90% of the world's population. The book combines his practical experience with sharp professional analysis and clear exposition. Over 18 chapters, Sachs builds his case carefully, offering a variety of case studies, detailing small-scale projects that have worked and crunching large amounts of data. His basic argument is that "[W]hen the preconditions of basic infrastructure (roads, power, and ports) and human capital (health and education) are in place, markets are powerful engines of development." In order to tread "the path to peace and prosperity," Sachs believes it is encumbant upon successful market economies to bring the few areas of the world that still need help onto "the ladder of development." Writing in a straightfoward but engaging first person, Sachs keeps his tone even whether discussing failed states or thriving ones. For the many who will buy this book but, perhaps, not make it all the way through, chapters 12 through 14 contain the blueprint for Sachs's solution to poverty, with the final four making a rigorous case for why rich countries (and individuals) should collectively undertake it--and why it is affordable for them to do so. If there is any one work to put extreme poverty back onto the global agenda, this is it. (Mar. 21) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Foreign Affairs
This unusual book is part autobiographical odyssey of Sachs' consulting with countries in crisis, part passionate yet reasoned program to eliminate extreme poverty. Sachs began his crisis consulting in Bolivia in the mid-1980s and went on to work with Poland in 1989, Russia in 1992 and 1993, and countless other countries since. These experiences gave the scholarly Sachs on-the-ground experience and brought him into occasional confrontation with the IMF, the doctrine of which he considered poorly suited to the actual problems at hand. The main thrust of his book, however, builds on his time in sub-Saharan Africa, where he has seen extreme poverty, malnutrition, and disease on a scale not previously encountered and been appalled by the meager efforts of the international community to help Africans out of the poverty trap. The last third of the book, accordingly, makes the case for a globally coordinated and well-funded program — emphasizing practical improvements in health, education, and infrastructure — to eliminate extreme poverty by 2025 (a logical extension of the UN's Millennium Development Goals, which aim to halve extreme poverty by 2015). The proposal is bold, ambitious, and worthy. Sachs pays too little attention, however, to obstacles created by civil disorder, which plagues dozens of poor countries, especially in Africa.
Library Journal
Economist and UN Special Advisor Sachs convincingly proposes a means to ending extreme poverty (defined here as a per capita income of less than $1 per day-a standard one-fifth of the world's population meets) by 2025. He presents a carefully constructed plan for improving local infrastructure, education, healthcare, technology, and other such needs in poor countries, all for a mere annual cost of .7 percent of the world's wealthiest nations' incomes. In this way, he argues, long-term sustainable economic development can be fostered. Sachs is no bleeding-heart liberal-he sees Third World sweatshops as opportunities to improve on even more egregious conditions and prescribes for poor nations a program of free-enterprise capitalism once the basic groundwork of his proposal has been laid. What's more, he claims that extreme poverty is already being eliminated through investment, trade, and free enterprise in countries such as China, India, and Bangladesh. It is in the self-interest of wealthy nations, Sachs insists, to end extreme poverty, as such action would expand the world economy while eliminating the breeding grounds for disease, civil unrest, and terrorism. This informative and impassioned work is highly recommended for all libraries.-Lawrence R. Maxted, Gannon Univ., Erie, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Must the poor be with us always? Probably. But there are degrees of have-notness, and, argues UN special advisor Sachs, "extreme poverty can be ended not in the time of our grandchildren, but in our time."The poor, even the one billion poorest of them, are not necessarily fated to be so. In early modern times, much of the world lived at much the same economic level, which explains why European explorers could have been impressed by the sumptuousness of places such as Timbuktu and Tenochtitlan. But after 1800, writes Sachs, "both population and per capita income came unstuck, soaring at rates never before seen or even imagined." The West outstripped the rest of the world over the space of the next 200 years, creating a vast gulf between rich and poor nations, the product of uneven patterns of growth that have many causes. Some of them are social and political; it is difficult, for instance, to foster growth when corrupt officials skim the cream, ethnic hatreds mark one group or another as outcast, and people reproduce too quickly. Some of them are also geographic; farming on exhausted soil and mining tailings are recipes for disaster. ("Americans," Sachs exhorts, "forget that they inherited a vast continent rich in natural resources.") Taking issue with international-development economists concerned mostly with capital and credit formation, Sachs urges an account of poverty that takes a multifaceted view of the kinds of capital the poor lack (health, nutrition, infrastructure, biodiversity, an impartial judiciary, access to knowledge, and so forth). While agreeing with those economists that private initiatives are generally more effective than state programs, Sachs also proposes amany-pronged, needs-based attack on the worst extremes of poverty that requires, yes, the rich to help the poor, but that is eminently practical and minimally pipe-dreamy-and that, he notes in passing, would help restore the reputation of the US and the usefulness of the UN in the world. A solid, reasonable argument in which the dismal science offers a brightening prospect for the world's poor.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143036586
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 107,725
  • Product dimensions: 5.55 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is also Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. From 2002 to 2006, he was Director of the United Nations Millennium Project and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by the year 2015. Sachs is also President and Cofounder of Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at ending extreme global poverty.

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Read an Excerpt

The path from poverty to development has come incredibly fast in the span of human history. Two hundred years ago, the idea that we could potentially achieve the end of poverty would have been unimaginable. Just about everybody was poor with the exception of a very small minority of royals and landed gentry. Life was as difficult in much of Europe as it was in India or China. With very few exceptions, your great-great-grandparents were poor and most likely living on the farm. One leading economic historian, Angus Maddison, puts the average income per person in Western Europe in 1820 at around 90 percent of the average income of sub-Saharan Africa today. Life expectancy in Western Europe and Japan as of 1800 was probably about forty years.

There was little sense a few centuries ago of vast divides in wealth and poverty around the world. China, India, Europe, and Japan all had similar income levels at the time of European discoveries of the sea routes to Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Marco Polo, of course, marveled at the sumptuous wonders of China, not at its poverty. Cortés and his conquistadores expressed astonishment at the riches of Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztecs. The early Portuguese explorers in Africa were impressed with the well-ordered towns in West Africa.

Until the mid-1700s, the world was remarkably poor by any of today’s standards. Life expectancy was extremely low; children died in vast numbers in the now rich countries as well as the poor countries. Disease and epidemics, not just the black death of Europe, but many waves of disease, from smallpox and measles to other epidemics, regularly washed through society and killed mass numbers of people. Episodes of hunger and extreme weather and climate fluctuations sent societies crashing. The rise and fall of the Roman Empire, for Arnold Toynbee, was much like the rise and decline of all other civilizations before and since. Economic history had long been one of ups and downs, growth followed by decline, rather than sustained economic progress.

The Novelty of Modern Economic Growth

If we are to understand why vast gaps between rich and poor exist today, we need therefore to understand a very recent period of human history during which these vast gaps opened. The past two centuries, since around 1800, constitute a unique era in economic history, a period that the great economic historian Simon Kuznets famously termed the period of Modern Economic Growth, or MEG for short. Before the era of MEG, indeed for thousands of years, there had been virtually no sustained economic growth in the world and only gradual increases in the human population…;

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Table of Contents

 

"Jeffrey Sachs is that rare phenomenon: an academic economist famous for his theories about why some countries are poor and others rich, and also famous for his successful practical work in helping poor countries become richer. In this long awaited, fascinating, clearly and movingly written book, he distills his experience to propose answers to the hard choices now facing the world." ?Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse

 

He has been cited by The New York Times Magazine as "probably the most important economist in the world" and by Time as "the world's best-known economist." He has advised an extraordinary range of world leaders and international institutions on the full range of issues related to creating economic success and reducing the world's poverty and misery. Now, at last, he draws on his entire twenty-five-year body of experience to offer a thrilling and inspiring big-picture vision of the keys to economic success in the world today and the steps that are necessary to achieve prosperity for all.

Marrying vivid eyewitness storytelling to his laserlike analysis, Jeffrey Sachs sets the stage by drawing a vivid conceptual map of the world economy and the different categories into which countries fall. Then, in a tour de force of elegance and compression, he explains why, over the past two hundred years, wealth has diverged across the planet in the manner that it has and why the poorest nations have been so markedly unable to escape the cruel vortex of poverty. The groundwork laid, he explains his methods for arriving, like a clinical internist, at a holistic diagnosis of a country's situation and the options it faces. Rather than deliver a worldview to readers from on high, Sachs leads them along the learning path he himself followed, telling the remarkable stories of his own work in Bolivia, Poland, Russia, India, China, and Africa as a way to bring readers to a broad-based understanding of the array of issues countries can face and the way the issues interrelate. He concludes by drawing on everything he has learned to offer an integrated set of solutions to the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that most frequently hold societies back. In the end, he leaves readers with an understanding, not of how daunting the world's problems are, but how solvable they are-and why making the effort is a matter both of moral obligation and strategic self-interest. A work of profound moral and intellectual vision that grows out of unprecedented real-world experience, The End of Poverty is a road map to a safer, more prosperous future for the world.

On the web: http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/endofpoverty/

 
The path from poverty to development has come incredibly fast in the span of human history. Two hundred years ago, the idea that we could potentially achieve the end of poverty would have been unimaginable. Just about everybody was poor with the exception of a very small minority of royals and landed gentry. Life was as difficult in much of Europe as it was in India or China. With very few exceptions, your great-great-grandparents were poor and most likely living on the farm. One leading economic historian, Angus Maddison, puts the average income per person in Western Europe in 1820 at around 90 percent of the average income of sub-Saharan Africa today. Life expectancy in Western Europe and Japan as of 1800 was probably about forty years.

There was little sense a few centuries ago of vast divides in wealth and poverty around the world. China, India, Europe, and Japan all had similar income levels at the time of European discoveries of the sea routes to Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Marco Polo, of course, marveled at the sumptuous wonders of China, not at its poverty. Cortés and his conquistadores expressed astonishment at the riches of Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztecs. The early Portuguese explorers in Africa were impressed with the well-ordered towns in West Africa.

Until the mid-1700s, the world was remarkably poor by any of today’s standards. Life expectancy was extremely low; children died in vast numbers in the now rich countries as well as the poor countries. Disease and epidemics, not just the black death of Europe, but many waves of disease, from smallpox and measles to other epidemics, regularly washed through society and killed mass numbers of people. Episodes of hunger and extreme weather and climate fluctuations sent societies crashing. The rise and fall of the Roman Empire, for Arnold Toynbee, was much like the rise and decline of all other civilizations before and since. Economic history had long been one of ups and downs, growth followed by decline, rather than sustained economic progress.

The Novelty of Modern Economic Growth

If we are to understand why vast gaps between rich and poor exist today, we need therefore to understand a very recent period of human history during which these vast gaps opened. The past two centuries, since around 1800, constitute a unique era in economic history, a period that the great economic historian Simon Kuznets famously termed the period of Modern Economic Growth, or MEG for short. Before the era of MEG, indeed for thousands of years, there had been virtually no sustained economic growth in the world and only gradual increases in the human population…;

 

Acknowledgements   ix

Foreword by Bono   xv

Introduction   1

  1. Global Family Portrait   5
  2. The Spread of Economic Prosperity   26
  3. Why Some Countries Fail to Thrive   51
  4. Clinical Economics   74
  5. Bolivia's High-Altitude Hyperinflation   90
  6. Poland's Return to Europe   109
  7. Reaping the Whirlwind: Russia's Struggle for Normalcy   131
  8. China: Catching Up After Half a Millenium   148
  9. India's Market Reforms: The Triumph of Hope Over Fear   170
  10. The Voiceless Dying: Africa and Disease   188
  11. The Millennium, 9/11, and the United Nations   210
  12. On-the-Ground Solutions for Ending Poverty   226
  13. Making the Investments Needed to End Poverty   244
  14. A Global Compact to End Poverty   266
  15. Can the Rich Afford to Help the Poor?   288
  16. Myths and Magic Bullets   309
  17. Why We Should Do It   329
  18. Our Generation's Challenge   347

Works Cited   369

Further Reading   372

Notes   376

Index   385

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 27 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2006

    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, 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.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2008

    2+2 is truly 4

    I had my reservations about this book from the start. My initial resevations turned into alarm when I found out that the book was foreworded by Bono (there is always something to say about an academic's self-esteem if he turns to a music celebrity for endorsement some might argue it is a sagacious marketing ploy though but I find call it insecurity). On the first 80+ pages of the book the author provides the 2+2=4 version of economics which completely misses the audience as it seems to be too non-inclusive for the uninitiated and completely redundant in its simplicity for those with a background in economics. One important thing to remember is that Sachs didn't set out to write a cursory overview of a balanced approach to the eradication of poverty but was agenda-driven from the get-go. There are several items on his agenda: (1) advocate for external debt cancellation for ... well, basically, anyone state which wants it, (2) smear the work of the IMF in all its applications, (3) the world's poverty is, in one way or another, the developed countries' -- particularly the West's -- fault which he considers to be a debt owed to the developing ones. The rest of the book is a kaleidoscope of Sachs' personal travelog (which sometimes gets entertaining for what it is) and the continued lambasting of the West for everything that is wrong with the present economic -- and sometimes political -- situation of the developing world. In these assessments Sachs gives the reader a polarized view of world politics, a matter in which he does not cut an imagine of an astute expert. Examples of this are legion throughout the book. One thing that comes to mind is Sachs' portrayal of the Renamo as 'violent' and tacitly supported by the US and South Africa while, I presume, assuming that the USSR-bankrolled Frelimo were angels pillaged by the evil forces of the Renamo. Anyone who has studied the Mozambique conflict for half a day knows that this wasn't the case and that there is a wealth of scholarship attesting to the fact that both the Remano and the Frelimo were equally brutal and committed horrific acts of atrocity. The author, however, gives no credence to these assertions of others because they don't fit his agenda which is to smear the West and its foreign policy. Another glaring example of such misrepresentation is Sachs' reference to the African slave trade which he determines as having existed for 300 years, a totally untenable argument since it is a well-established fact that slave trade in Africa was started by Africans, not Europeans, to which Europeans were late-comers and contributed, some argue, not more than 10% to it. Slave trade in Africa continues to this day and is powered by Africans themselves. There are literally thousands of NGO reports to this effect, which Sachs chose to ignore because they don't work for his agenda. If you absolutely have to get this book, get it on audio and get it over with while on the road. Otherwise, there are plenty of quality titles on economics, history of conflict, history of international organizations and other topics that this book purports to deal with. Go with those, particularly if you are not yet in a position to tell scholarship from demagoguery. I got a tremendous kick out of this book for all the wrong reasons ¿ I merely enjoy misguided arguments too much, particularly when they come from esteemed Harvard scholars, to miss this pearl.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2005

    A must for understanding world development

    If one is interested in world development, economics, or international studies than this is the book to read. Jeff Sachs really opened my eyes and helped me to understand the world in a manner I had not previously understood.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2005

    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 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.'

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Useful, if flawed, study of poverty

    Jeffrey Sachs is special adviser on the UN's Millennium Development Goals to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. The Goals are to halve extreme poverty by 2015 and end it by 2025. Sachs points out that $27 billion a year could save eight million lives. Three million people die every year of malaria, which is preventable and treatable.

    He recounts his work in Bolivia, Poland, Russia, China, India and Africa. He notes, "today's development economics is like eighteenth century medicine."

    He attacks the IMF, writing, "The main IMF prescription has been budgetary belt tightening for patients much too poor to own belts." It still always says, "cut welfare spending, privatise, liberalise, pay your debts". In the 1990s, the IMF (and the EU) refused to reschedule Yugoslavia's debts, pushing it into chaos and war.

    The G7 hurt Russia by opposing support for the rouble, aid for the poorest, and debt cancellation. The G7 backed what Sachs calls 'the massive theft of state assets under the rubric of privatization', 'selling' $100 billion of Russia's oil, gas and other resources for just $1 billion.

    Sachs argues for the public sector to provide health services (particularly anti-malarial bed nets, vaccines, contraceptives, antiretroviral medicines and oral rehydration therapies), education, railways, water and sanitation, and for public controls to prevent overfishing, pollution, logging and deforestation.

    He argues strongly against privatisation and against 'social marketing', i.e. charging user fees for health, education, water and sanitation. He urges cancelling the debts of highly indebted poor countries and strengthening the UN.

    He observes that the world's nations could easily reach the Millennium Development Goals - if the rich countries paid the aid, 0.7 per cent of their GNP, that they have been promising for 35 years.

    So why are his good and humane policies not being applied? What stands in the way? The money is there. $3 trillion went on the Iraq war. $50 billion a year went on Bush's tax cuts for the USA's super-rich - more than enough to pay the US share of reaching the Goals. (Sachs, absurdly, writes, "the reason for this dramatic shift toward the rich is not really known.")

    He writes, "There is nothing in economic reasoning to justify letting the companies themselves set the rules of the game through lobbying, campaign financing, and dominance of government policies." No, but this is what they do: capitalist states act in capitalism's interests; economics is not separate from politics.

    We must face facts - the block on reaching the Goals is what another economist called the furies of private interest, the greed of the capitalist class. Sachs admits that opposition comes from 'the political bosses in the United States and Europe', but he ignores the opposition from the employing class.

    The fatal flaw in his programme is his belief that the Goals can be reached while living with capitalism. We will never reach the Goals, until we stop capitalism misruling us all.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Good book

    This is a very good book. I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2008

    He is missing the big picture

    A basic assumption is made in this book that I do NOT think is completely accurate. That assumption is that it is a bad thing that millions of poor people are dying. If the land they live on now can not be made to feed them. Then how is that land going to feed them when you lower the infant mortality rate and increase the live expectancy of adults. You start with an area with one million starving Africans, sent lots of help, wait 20 years and now you have 10 million starving Africans. I fail to see how this is progress. You now have ten million people fighting over the scarce resources instead of one million. I am not one of those fanatical believers in the population bomb theory, but some areas of the world just can not support the populations living on it. Which by necessity require the rest of the world to feed them. As cruel as it may seem to be, it just may be the best thing for some areas to decrease in population through natural means. This is especially true in areas of the world where the main goal in life of most adults seems to be having fifteen kids.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    A Different Perspective Based on Depth

    This book does have some points that I disagree with but overall, it gives some specific insights into the complexities behind poverty. The traditional, 'one-approach-fits-all' approach to trying to help a country or region out of a negative financial cycle doesn't work. There are so many variables to an impoverished nation, that a clinical approach is required specific to that situation. Many books in this realm take a simple liberal approach such as 'the rich countries simply don't give enough' or 'poverty begets violence' and not the opposite in the latter case. Sachs does his honest best to be fair in my understanding of this book. Finally, his comments and assessment of the IMF are 'spot on'. The IMF, World Bank and UN are amongst the many organizations that need to reorganize and retool to be effective.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2006

    A leading economist explains how society can end poverty

    This is an excellent book by one of today¿s most prominent development economists. Jeffrey D. Sachs has been at the forefront of the most significant economic turnarounds - for better or worse - of the past quarter century. He helped end hyperinflation in Bolivia, advised Poland on its emergence from communism, and counseled Russia, China and Africa. On the basis of his extensive research and experience, he concludes that conventional economic solutions ignore some of the key factors responsible for poverty. Borrowing a page from physicians¿ diagnostic procedures, he shows how noneconomic factors can have economic implications. Along the way, he exposes the lamentable hypocrisy of the developed world and the institutions allegedly working for the development of the poor world. As an adviser to the leadership of the United Nations, Sachs believes that organization should be strengthened. He is not a dispassionate economist and doesn¿t pretend to be. He has a plausible case to make and he presses it hard, maybe now and then too hard, in this effort to convince the prosperous that effective help for the impoverished is practical, at least under some circumstances. We believe his well informed, heartfelt book belongs on the reading list of anyone who hopes the world can become a better place.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2005

    Hmmm

    This book is really two books in one - the first part, detailing the education and experience of a developmental economist, is a fascinating retelling of Sachs' experience advising the governments of Bolivia, Poland, etc. The second part, the argument in favor of ending poverty is fascinating and impassioned but at times wrong-headed, for example, in its excessive reliance upon the corrupt and discredited United Nations, gratuitous swipes at the Bush administration, etc. On balance, an important, interesting, impassioned but somewhat flawed book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    awesome

    Very coool

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  • Posted May 15, 2009

    GREAT BOOK

    The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time by Jeffrey D. Sachs is an amazing award-winning economic piece of literature. By using such heart-wrenching examples such as the poverty stricken youth in areas such as Russia and Bolivia. By using strong world examples to convey normally boring economic facts, Sachs uses a common writing device to educate the masses.
    With plentiful usage of charts, diagrams, and textual examples, Sachs clearly brings his points across, leaving not much room for inference. By sticking to his topic despite the many stories he tells, Sachs shows that even economics can make for an interesting read.

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  • Posted April 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The End of Poverty made me think

    We all know poverty is a problem, but for those of us who live in privileged societies, we often forget it about it, it doesn't hit close enough to home. We feel bad that poverty exists, but it is not necessarily our personal problem. Sachs challenges our complacency on so many levels that there's no way we can ignore reality. He hits us not only with compelling statistics but with real-world here and now solutions. Sachs posits that solving extreme poverty is not about creating lofty academic governance models but about investing in the basics - water, sanitation, disease control. And he shows us that the cost of doing so is not as daunting as we might think. If you're into reading about ways we can individually help povery and other social problems, you'll want to read this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2008

    School Project

    In Jeffrey Sach¿s bestseller The End of Poverty, he gives his own plans away about ending extreme poverty with a little bit of the world¿s help. He explains the economic situations the world, and what exactly we can all do to pitch in and help those who are less fortunate by far. The story actually starts off by comparing different countries economic status, from rich too poor, and then escalates into a source for information on Jeffrey¿s plan to achieve global satisfaction. In conclusion Jeffrey¿s plan would end extreme poverty worldwide by the year 2025. What I found most intriguing about the story is that most poor countries have received a lot more help than expected. Even though Sub-Saharan numbers of extreme poverty have doubled, the birth rate is very high. Most surprisingly, Eastern Asia had the biggest number of extreme poor in 1981 and has dropped from 800 million to less than 300 million, lower than the total of sub-Saharan numbers in 1981. From my perspectives, I have great hopes for the world to come and I think that Jeffrey¿s plan was well though and should make a break for the world¿s poverty. Who knows, maybe we can achieve contentment internationally sooner than we think.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2008

    Climbing the ladder of Economics

    This book takes you on a journey through the early developments of economic success and the current status of many of the impoverished nations. The various countries that Sachs focuses on and analyzes helps to create a visual understanding of his concept of the 'economic ladder'. While ending extreme poverty isn't the easiest idea to grasp, Sachs does offer various ideas and goals to help ensure this possibility. This book clearly shows a wide spectrum and demonstrates how an analysis of a particular economic problem is key to providing a solution to it. I highly recommend this book to all, whether it be someone who has a a small interest, or well informed economist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2005

    ¿The End of Poverty¿ ¿ authored by Jeffery Sachs

    The perception of ¿good governance¿ in Ethiopia ¿ A Critical Commentary By Adinew Zeleke ¿The End of Poverty¿ by Jeffery Sachs, is an interesting book wherein a practical roadmap is charted to alleviate world poverty. This moving book provides a touching account of the abysmal economic realties of Africans and the world¿s poor in general. Professor Sachs challenges the developed and wealthy nations of the world to provide the necessary resources and investments direly needed to combat global poverty and to facilitate economic growth in the poor nations of the world. Economic growth, according to Jeffery Sachs, can be achieved by helping the poor of the poor to ¿place their foot on the first rung of the ladder of development¿. So he appeals to the wealthy nations of the world to make the requisite investment which is exceedingly needed to provide at least a stepping-stone for poor countries of the world to be lifted out of poverty and economic deprivation. Professor Sachs not only provides practical ideals for poverty eradication but also follows through with concrete action plans for implementing his remarkable vision. Professor Sachs indicates that the ¿world is not a zero-sum game in which one country¿s gain is another¿s loss, but it rather a positive-sum opportunity in which improving technologies and skills can rise living standards around the world¿. As we can see in our world today, growth and increased living standards are attained through participation in the global economy, thus, the poor of the poor must be part of the development process in order to escape poverty. Without the poor nations of the world participating in the global economy, poverty eradication will continue to be a daunting task or downright unachievable. Fast growing economies of Asia such as Bangladesh and India are cited as examples where dynamic economic developments are fostered by helping poor of the poor to ¿place their foot on the first rung of the ladder¿ towards poverty eradication and economic growth. Professor Sachs is quite an idealist and an exemplary voice for the poor and the impoverished. Among other great ideas and action plans formulated by Professor Sachs, the African Free Trade Opportunity Act which offered African states access to the US market for textile exports was initiated by Prof. Sachs. He is an advocate for the poor-of-poor and for those in need of a helping hand in the fight against poverty. ¿The End of Poverty¿, by Professor Jeffery Sachs, is indeed a must reading. On the other hand, Professor Sachs believes that the primary cause of the poverty in poor countries, such as Ethiopia, is the lack of resources rather than the lack of good governance. ¿The End of Poverty¿ identifies Ethiopia a one of the countries of the world where ¿good governance¿ is making a difference. In a stark contrast to this perception, the economic and political realties demonstrate that there is a lack of good governance in Ethiopia. The lack of good governance, corruption, wasted resources, numerous costly and wicked decisions made, opportunities squandered, and the overall ineffectiveness of the administration are the primary factor for our economic predicaments, social problems and downhill path to a disaster. In view of these facts, majority of Ethiopians and a number of foreign scholars profoundly differ with Professor Sachs on his opinion regarding the existence of ¿good governance¿ in Ethiopia. This is not to say that the problems of Ethiopia, or Africa as a whole for that matter, are not directly related to the lack of resources, physical geography and pandemic diseases such as Malaria, TB, HIV and the like as Professor Sachs indicates. The Writer, Adinew Zeleke, resides in the Washington D.C. Area azeleke@cox.net

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    Posted August 22, 2009

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    Posted November 23, 2008

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    Posted March 13, 2009

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    Posted July 24, 2009

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