Howard French summarizes Nina Munk’s evisceration of Sachs… Only Easterly left standing, because he didn’t do anything

Maybe Sachs will decide he needs some good PR and fund 20 libraries in Burkina Faso?  Who knew FAVL would last longer than MVP!  And probably we’re learning more too.  With his $100 million, we could have established and operated like 4000 libraries, enough for the whole Sahel for a decade or more.  And think how easy it would have been to do randomized control trials.  And ethical too!  And he would have read a lot of good fiction, improved his French… Ah the waste!

BY THE END OF Munk’s book, the Millennium Villages Project is winding down (it is officially scheduled to end in 2015). Sachs seems defeated by Africa, but defeated in the manner of charismatic savior figures everywhere, for whom setbacks only ever spur quests for new, bigger stages. He campaigned to run the World Bank. He wrote about the need for a “new progressive movement.” He published a flailing jeremiad titled “A World Adrift,” and talked about a “very, very dark cloud” threatening to envelop humanity.  “For a long time, I wanted to simplify the problems by putting aside the rich world’s issues and so forth and focusing on extreme poverty,” he tells Munk. “But it’s all interconnected.”  Munk asks where the money will come from to finish the work in the Millennium Villages. “It is what it is,” he says. “And that’s not meant to be callous.”

via Jeffrey Sachs’ Failure to Eradicate Poverty in Africa.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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