Sunday, November 07, 2004

More Jeffrey Sachs

Isaac blogged about Sachs' write-up in the Times Magazine below. The profile is oddly critical and presents Sachs in an almost tragic light. The tone is almost one of pity (in Isaac's comment too,) as if to say "Poor Jeff Sachs, he never knows what he's doing, he just does it."

Sachs is certainly someone who, once he formulates a plan, will do everything he can to make that plan become a reality. First, with transition economies and "shock therapy," and now, with poverty and the "Big Push" (which is reminiscent of shock therapy's chasm that must be crossed with a single bound.) His detractors criticize him for his single-minded drive, and I agree, it is perhaps single-minded. But Sachs proselytizes like no other, and it is essential that there be someone like Sachs who will go to great lengths to convince developed countries that persistent global poverty is the greatest problem of our time.

There is certainly no consensus on the question of whether the "Big Push" is really what developing countries need. Jeff Sachs is not content to wait around for that consensus to form. If anything, he will keep the issue of poverty in the global discourse.


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