[lbo-talk] sachs and poland

MICHAEL YATES mikedjyates at msn.com
Fri Dec 2 13:34:02 PST 2011

Monthly Review Press will be publishing a book by the noted Polish economist Tadeusz Kowalik. The book is titled From Solidarity to Sellout: The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland. He says this about Jeffrey Sachs:

"Sachs would visit Poland briefly many times, and his main role was to create a favorable background for the great jump. Not only his general concept of jumping into the market, but also his tendency to exaggerate, or even go to extremes, turned out to be functional by making other radicals appear more reasonable. As we shall see, Stanisław Gomułka in particular benefited from this. Sachs's position is also tainted with propaganda and a kind of self-promotion. The fact that in the meantime his views underwent a pivotal change also undermines his credibility. There are times now that he appears to be closer to St Francis than to Balcerowicz. And yet he feels no need to explain the old prescriptions he had for Poland from the standpoint he holds today. All this when even the heads of the Fund and the World Bank have managed to show more self-criticism."

>From his rich and privileged post at Columbia, Sachs has reinvented himself as a critic of what he once said and did. But the people of Poland continue to suffer, in a way Sachs never will, the consequences of what he once said and did. Why doesn't he go to Poland and apologize to the Polish people? If he is really sincere now, shouldn't he do what John Gurley did and become a radical?

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list