Jeffrey Sachs is an American economist most famous for being a world leading expert on economic development and policies to combat poverty.
Sachs was a special adviser to the former UN secretaries Ban Ki-Moon and Kofi Annan. Between 2002-2006, he was director of the UN’s Millennium Project, working on the Millennium Development Goals (8 internationally sanctioned objectives to reduce extreme poverty, hunger and disease by 2015).
Amongst Sachs’ publications are the New York Times best selling books ‘The End of Poverty’, ‘Common Wealth’ and ‘The Price of Civilisation’.
He has won a multitude of awards and recognition around the globe for his efforts to promote development and eradicate poverty. For instance, Time Magazine named him amongst the ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ in 2004 and 2005. He was also awarded the Blue Planet Prize in 2015 for his contributions to solving global environmental problems.
However, Sachs is not without his critics. Nina Munk, author of the book ‘The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty’, argues that, despite his good intentions, some of the poverty eradication projects endorsed by Sachs left “left people even worse off than before”. Additionally, Paul Theroux, referring to Sachs’s $120 million effort to aid Africa, contends that these temporary measures failed to create sustaining improvements and, instead, only “created dependence”.
“History is written by the rich, and so the poor get blamed for everything.”
“The rich control our politics to a huge extent. In return they get tax cuts and deregulation. It’s been and is an amazing ride for the rich.”
– Jeffrey Sachs