Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The End of Poverty

"The End of Poverty" by Jeffrey Sachs was what I would consider a bold book. Basically, Sachs claims that it is possible to eliminate extreme poverty for the 1.1 billion people in the world currently living in it by the year 2025.

The book could be divided into three parts. The first part is what I would call "Global Economics 101" as Sachs paints with broad strokes the issue of global poverty, how it starts, and why it is difficult to fix. The second part is case studies of different nations that Sachs witnessed and even helped to come out of economic turmoil.

The final, and most in-depth part of the book, was Sachs plan to end extreme poverty by the year 2025. He argues that it can be done by the world's richest nations (read United States) donating just .7% of their GNP (Gross National Product). Obviously it will also take a major organizational effort to distribute the funds and to provide clean drinking water, a sustainable source of food, and basic health care, etc, and Sachs briefly touched on this.

I was impressed by Sach's intrepid attitude that extreme poverty is something that could be fixed. I am certainly not intelligent enough to wrap my brain around this huge issue and offer any type of opinion as to the validity of Sach's claims. I do believe that I have to do my part on an individual level to live in such a way that others are able to simply live, which will hopefully have an impact on my family, and then my community, and then hopefully will continue to have a ripple effect that will extend to the entire world.

Next, I will be reading a book, "The White Man's Burden," which I have been told is a response to Sach's, so I will be curious to see how this will bring a new perspective.

1 comment:

Mike said...

"The poor you will always have with you..."
- Jesus