Jeffrey Sachs: The Strange Case of Dr. Shock and Mr. Aid (Counterblasts)

Jeffrey Sachs: The Strange Case of Dr. Shock and Mr. Aid (Counterblasts)

Japhy Wilson

Language: English

Pages: 144

ISBN: 1781683298

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

An investigation of Sachs’s schizophrenic career, and the worldwide havoc he has caused.

Jeffrey Sachs is a man with many faces. A celebrated economist and special advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, he is also no stranger to the world of celebrity, accompanying Bono, Madonna and Angelina Jolie on high-profile trips to Africa. Once notorious as the progenitor of a brutal form of free market engineering called ‘shock therapy’, Sachs now positions himself as a voice of progressivism, condemning the ‘1 per cent’ and promoting his solution to extreme poverty through the Millennium Villages Project.

Appearances can be deceiving. Jeffrey Sachs: The Strange Case of Dr Shock and Mr Aid is the story of an evangelical development expert who poses as saviour of the Third World while opening vulnerable nations to economic exploitation. Based on documentary research and on-the-ground investigation, Jeffrey Sachs exposes Mr Aid as no more than a new, more human face of Dr Shock.





















sustained economic reforms are likely to be very great – much greater than is commonly supposed. The old command system was so inefficient and destructive of the quality of economic life that enormous scope exists for increases in average living standards within a few years.27 The ‘kiosk boom’ that Sachs celebrates here was not an expression of entrepreneurial zeal, but a scene of desperation that came to symbolize the social consequences of shock therapy – ‘a kind of distressed merchandise

Gates Foundation, but rather the notion that the vast profits of multinational capital are the solution to the poverty on which they are premised. An even greater irony, however, is that Sachs thought Bill Gates’ father was in danger on the streets of Seattle, whereas if anyone should have feared being identified by the anti-globalization movement, it was Jeffrey Sachs himself. Despite his reputation as the architect of shock therapy and a key agent of neoliberal globalization, Sachs chose to

[it is] that the world’s richest people would share a small percentage of their vast incomes to help save millions of people each year from death in the world’s poorest countries.’114 He hurries to assure the wealthy readers of Forbes magazine that the beneficiaries of their charity in Africa would ‘be delighted to meet you … with a hearty smile, a handshake, and a food offering.’115 Reporting on a charity gala attended by the chief executive of Novartis and the president of News Corporation, an

I was able to conduct telephone interviews with four former administrators who had worked in the Project Office in Mbarara, and received a detailed written statement from a fifth. The overall picture that emerged was at odds with the utopian representations of Ruhiira on the MVP website and in the international media. In Ruhiira, the problems of Sachs’s development strategy become clear. RUHIIRA In my view, the MVP is inaccurate in its depiction of Ruhiira as a godforsaken place on the

strengthen their diabolical powers.19 Poor Jeffrey … Yet before we start to feel too sorry for him, we should remember what Sachs is responsible for, and whose side he is on. Shock therapy caused immense human suffering in Bolivia, Poland, Mongolia, and elsewhere. In Russia, shock therapy resulted not only in the longest and deepest recession in modern history, but also in an unprecedented increase in mortality rates. In other words, lots of people died. Sachs was utterly unsympathetic at the

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