Has Jeffrey Sachs changed his tune...
cremick at rlmnet.com
Tue Sep 15 06:31:10 PDT 1998
...or am I just tone deaf? Just read a piece of his in the current
Economist (9/12) "Making It Work," where he emerges as a nemesis of the
whole West-o-centric, top-down, model of global economic development.
He says that a "G16" (including eight LDC members) should be substituted
for the G8, that there should be massive cancellation of external debt
in the poorest nations and that developmental aid should shift from
short-term loans to outright grants. He says it should be recognized
that the IMF/World Bank have no political legitimacy in the developing
world, e.g.: "A G16 summit should take up fundamental reform of the
international assistance process itself. The aim should be to restore
legitimacy to local politics, and abandon the misguided belief that the
IMF and World Bank can micro-manage the process of economic reform."
To be sure, he also says: "Developing countries are not trying to
overturn Washington's vision of global capitalism, but rather to become
productive players in it" -- and that's what he want to help.
Nonetheless, Sachs seems to be more fundamentally critical of central
institutions of global capitalism than I had been aware. I'm confused.
When The Wall Came Down, Sachs struck me as the embodiment of Western
arrogance in his meddlesome, market-oriented prescriptions for Russian
"reform." When did he become such a bleeding heart?
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