The Big Aid Debate is Over

The failure of Jeffrey Sachs' "Millennium Villages."

The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty, by Nina Munk, Doubleday, 260 pp., $26.95.

The simplicity of Jeffrey Sachs' formula for ending poverty made it ideal for a successful advocacy campaign. All the problems of poverty had technological fixes, the Columbia University economist argued: bed nets to prevent malaria-spreading mosquito bites, wells to provide clean water, hospitals to treat curable diseases, fertilizer to raise yields of food crops. Ending poverty, therefore, was just a matter of raising enough money to pay for the package of these technical solutions to the poor's problems. Sachs would demonstrate his ideas by deploying these comprehensive tech fixes in a dozen or so "Millennium Villages" in Africa. Success would build on success to scale Sachs' fixes up throughout the continent.

The Idealist, Nina Munk's brilliant book on Sachs, chronicles how this dream fell a bit short of reality. Munk, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, follows Sachs around as he tries to make all this happen. But she also goes out on her own to the Millennium Villages. She visits two villages repeatedly: Dertu, in the ethnic Somali region of Kenya's arid north, and the more centrally located settlement of Ruhiira, Uganda. Munk thus makes us see the villagers as real people, not stereotypes.

The technical fixes turn out to be anything but simple. The saga of Dertu's water wells is illustrative. Ahmed Mohamed was the local man that the Sachs project put in charge in Dertu. Soon after starting his assignment, Mohamed had to order a crucial part lacking for the water wells' generator. It took four months to arrive, and then nobody knew how to install the missing part. Eventually a distant mechanic arrived at great expense. A couple years later, Munk found Mohamed struggling with the same issues: The wells had broken down again, the parts were lacking again, and again nobody knew how to fix them.

A little over a year later, the Millennium Villages blog celebrated Dertu's wells as “the most reliable water supply within the region.” But by 2011, the wells had run dry altogether due to a drought—not such a surprising occurrence in an arid region.

Such examples multiply in Munk's book, showing that the purely technological answer to poverty was far from the simple solution Sachs said it was. Alas, technology does not implement itself, it requires implementation by real people subject to widely varying incentives and constraints in complex social and political systems.

Munk shows successes as well as failures. Sachs' project spent $1.2 million on health in the other village, Ruhiira, including hiring two doctors and 13 midwives. Many fewer mothers in Ruhiira are now left to their own resources to give birth, and the prevalence of malaria has fallen drastically. But the difficulty achieving the successes and the frequency of the failures contradicted Sachs’ original promises. Munk found herself chronicling a rising chorus of criticism in the past couple of years. Three months before the release of Munk's book, Foreign Policy also published a harsh critique of the project, offering negative verdicts from virtually everyone else in development.

Perhaps most revealing about the big aid debate that Sachs launched is what finally unleashed this wave of criticism of Sachs. Like Al Capone being convicted of tax evasion, Sachs' promise that aid would deliver an end to poverty wound up being convicted on a lesser charge: not doing evaluation properly. The critics pointed out that any positive trends in the Millennium Villages would have to be compared with the positive Africa-wide trends in health, access to clean water, and overall development. Sachs had not set up the project in a way where this comparison could be done reliably. For example, his team had not collected any data on any similar villages that were not a part of Sachs' project, which would have made it possible to compare what happens with and without the Millennium Villages treatment.

The critics in Munk's book and in the Foreign Policy article now only hope that Sachs' project could show what kinds of very specific technical fixes could deliver some modest payoff for their immediate objective, such as midwives decreasing unattended births. The NYU economist Jonathan Morduch, for example, told Foreign Policy that Sachs' "big-package approach is an anachronism relative to the ideas that development economists have gravitated toward....Today's typical projects are narrow, easier to evaluate, and pitched as part of a layering of independent interventions. A sanitation project here. A school intervention there.” Sachs' set-up failed to deliver the kind of evaluation-friendly project that could show today's development economists “what works” to get some very focused (and relatively modest) results in the target areas.

Sachs' actual objective for the Millennium Villages—to show that aid could achieve the end of poverty—does not even merit a mention by Sachs' critics today. This idea is apparently so distant to today's development economists as not even to be worth refuting. The big aid debate that Sachs initiated is now really over.

That said, this movement toward small programs with small goals doesn't really get the development problem right. The verdict of the big debate—that aid will never be the engine of development—should make it clear that aid and development are two different topics that should each have their own separate debates. If today's development economists will talk only about what can be tested with a small randomized experiment, they confine themselves only to the small aid debates and leave the big development debate to others, often those appealing to anecdotes, prejudice, and partisanship. It would be much better to confront the big issues, like the role of political and economic freedom in achieving development.

I am obliged to disclose any bias, so I should say a word about my own history with Sachs. In 2005, when I wrote a negative review of Sachs' book The End of Poverty, I became identified for years afterward (with rising unwillingness) as the antithesis to Sachs' thesis, a never-ending debate—aid can end poverty! no it can't!—that played itself out in dueling books, blogs, media quotes, and syllabuses.

Eight and a half years later, I take no pleasure in the defeat of Sachs' big ideas, especially as this failure involves the sufferings of those who were the subjects of the Millennium Villages Project. And Sachs does deserve some positive recognition: He was and is a very gifted and hard-working advocate for compassion for those still left out of the considerable progress that has happened in development. But his idea that aid could achieve rapid development and the end of poverty was wrong, and it's time to move on. It's time to debate what really does matter in development.

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  • sarcasmic||

    Want to end poverty?

    Allow people to engage in economic activity without having to ask permission and take orders.

    It really is that simple.

  • wwhorton||

    Well, I think it'd be helpful to have a government that can enforce property rights and that sort of thing, although I'm not constitutionally predisposed against the notion of non-government associations handling that, such as militias, or even more ad hoc arrangements, but I think that part of the problem is that the "bandits" are to a certain extent an alternative government. The groups that are truly threatening and difficult for a couple of guys with shotguns to scare off are led by warlords. Some of those groups are relatively sophisticated.

    I think sarcasmic hit on the key: economic activity. Before you can even talk about the effect of various regulations on economic activity, there has to actually BE economic activity. You find a lot of poverty in areas where the environment doesn't permit sustained agricultural activity above the subsistence level. There's just nothing to sell, to put it bluntly, and it's pretty difficult to just airlift a service economy into regions that don't support agriculture and are effectively working at an iron-age technological level.

  • JWatts||

    I think sarcasmic hit on the key: economic activity.

    I think that economic activity is the key, but sarcasmic missed the mark.

    Allow people to engage in economic activity without having to ask permission and take orders.

    The core problem in these areas is much broader than an overbearing government and warlords. That was what Sach's missed also. He insisted a narrow technological fix would prime the pump, but it didn't address enough of the problems.

    Perhaps, the Chinese can fix it with their modern day economic imperialism. It's quite possible that the infrastructure that grows up around Chinese mining compounds will create a sea of economic growth and stability.

  • Robert||

    Then why are there people there?

  • Harun||

    Because it does allow subsistence level farming.

  • np||

    Protecting property can also be an economic activity. Gun and ammo business. Security business. Insurance business. All of which can be private.

  • cavalier973||

    Come, come; that could never work. Why, the profit-seeking firms would merely exploit their customers for their own gain. They would cut services and raise prices, because that's how the Darwinian "Survival of the Fittest" free market works. And don't try to talk about market competition; if there were no government, then every industry would eventually be controlled by a monopoly.

    Don't you know that, without government, there'd be anarchy???

    /sarc

  • cavalier973||

    It's actually not simple at all. Look at property, you need a strong, non-corrupt government to enforce that. And to kill the bandits.

    You forgot to mention the bags of pixie dreams and the boxes of unicorn laughter.

  • mtrueman||

    "Allow people to engage in economic activity..."

    I don't think this is a solution any more than Sach's notion that allowing people greater access to technological gadgetry will do away with poverty.

    I can foresee allowing, encouraging greater economic activity will actually increase poverty - driving more under the $US2 per day kind of poverty as the word is typically defined these days.

    A couple in New York have some business to attend to, they call a nanny or baby sitter, and pay them a wage when their services are completed. Economic activity, just as you prescibe.

    The same couple find themselves transported to a village in Uganda. They have business in the next valley, and they need their children taken care of while they are gone. Usually they take their child to a neighbour or relative, but this time the neighbour is demanding money for their time. Maybe they pay up and go, or maybe they decide to stay put. It's undeniable though that this new economic activity in the area of child care has lessened their incentives to go about their business.

    Finally poverty comes down to lack and want. It's not about how much money is flowing through your hands. I suppose it's the same with wealth. I remember on the death of the president of Korea's Hyundai conglomerate, the man was described, in the same breath, as Korea's richest man, and the most deeply indebted.

  • sarcasmic||

    By "economic activity" I meant "activity that generates wealth."

    Poverty in these places comes from their governments punishing their citizens through protective tariffs.
    Poverty in these places comes from their governments making it basically impossible to produce more than at a subsistence level without it being taken away.
    Poverty in these places comes from their governments making it nearly impossible to start a business that offers goods and services to their fellows without political connections.

    Poverty comes from a total lack of incentives. Why try when someone from the government is going to stop you and take everything away?

  • mtrueman||

    India is probably the country that is home to more poor than any other in the world today. It is also a country that has embraced economic liberalization. It is far far easier to start a business in India today that it was a couple decades ago. Yet the number of poor has increased.

    I like your formulation that economic activity generates wealth. I think there is a darker side to this, though. Economic activity also generates poverty. I really doubt that the poor of India lack incentives to stave off hunger pains. Their poverty comes from lack of choice. Living in need rarely comes from a matter of choosing.

  • Protagoronus||

    How does voluntary exchange create poverty? Both sides profit absent coersion.

    Not that India is a bastion of freedom (local government agents are very much a problem to get around and property rights are still being developed), but poverty is decreasing rapidly there http://www.sajaforum.org/2008/.....rld-b.html

    Your argument is completely baseless

  • mtrueman||

    Quote from the link you pasted here:

    "However, the number of poor below $1.25 per day has increased from 421 million in 1981 to 456 million in 2005. This is the biggest challenge facing India today."

    Thanks for making my argument for me. Wait long enough and some fool is bound to show up.

  • Sevo||

    Another quote:
    "India is poorer than we thought by international standards, but no less successful against poverty"
    So, no, your point is as worthless as it was earlier.

  • mtrueman||

    Dont see much to boast about here.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|10.4.13 @ 8:32PM|#
    "Dont see much to boast about here."
    Just the fact that you've been called on your bullshit.

  • Calidissident||

    India's population has increased by 500 million people since 1981. 421 million in 1981 was well over 50% of their population. Today, 450 million is barely a third of their population. That's a massive decrease in the poverty rate. Not to mention, even if India is more free than it was 30 years ago, it's hardly a free market paradise today.

  • mtrueman||

    We seem to be in agreement with each other.

  • Redmanfms||

    We seem to be in agreement with each other.

    Yeah, except, not. While the absolute number increased the rate plummeted, which totally disproves your point that:

    there is a darker side to this, though. Economic activity also generates poverty.

    Damn you are a disingenuous piece of shit.

  • Sevo||

    "Yeah, except, not. While the absolute number increased the rate plummeted, which totally disproves your point"

    What I found is the numbers and the rate plummeted.

  • Christophe||

    Total population went from 700M to 1050M in the same time. Troll harder.

  • JWatts||

    India is probably the country that is home to more poor than any other in the world today.

    In absolute terms yes, but as a percentage of it's population, it's not even close to last place.

    Yet the number of poor has increased.

    The number of poor in India has gone way down in the last few decades, because they have embraced economic liberalization.

    According to a 2011 poverty Development Goals Report, as many as 320 million people in India and China are expected to come out of extreme poverty in the next four years, while India's poverty rate is projected to drop to 22% in 2015.[6] The report also indicates that in Southern Asia, however, only India, where the poverty rate is projected to fall from 51% in 1990 to about 22% in 2015, is on track to cut poverty by half by the 2015 target date.

  • Sevo||

    "India is probably the country that is home to more poor than any other in the world today. It is also a country that has embraced economic liberalization."

    It has embraced SOME economic liberalization.

  • mtrueman||

    Vapid. Even North Korea has embraced SOME economic liberalization.

  • Sevo||

    How many sides to your mouth have you?

  • OneOut||

    "Economic activity also generates poverty."

    Were you taught that at the Carl Marx School of Useful Idiots ?

  • OneOut||

    Paul Theroux is a well known author. He was with the Peace Corp in Africa right after college as an English teacher. He went back to Africa some 20 or 30 years later to see what changes had taken place over the years since he left.

    It is his position that aid itself has held Africa back. He says that there is so much aid that Africans are more than willing to just sit back and let someone else try to solve their problems there fore they never learn how to operate without aid. They have no incentive to attempt things on their own. Foreign aid is big business. I suggest anyone interested in this topic to read Theroux on this topic.

  • Protagoronus||

    mtrueman, your argument is as incoherent as always. If parents hire a nanny anywhere, they save time and free themselves up for more productive activity. If a nanny accepts being hired, they accept more money than they believe their time is worth.

    Also... are you trying to say the president of Hyundai was impoverished?

  • mtrueman||

    My argument was incoherant to you only because you've misunderstood it.

    In New York city, parents hire nannies. In Ugandan villages, parents don't hire nannies, because they have other ways to arrange for the care of their children. Ways that don't require them to reach into their pockets and hand over money to someone. If Ugandan villages are run along New York city standards, some parents are going to find themselves without the money necessary to pay for something they previously never had to pay for.

    I don't think anyone has said that the ex president of Hyundai was impoverished. The consensus was that he was extremely wealthy, yet at the same time his debts were astronomically high.

    What exactly is poverty? What is wealth? Not easy questions, and the article doesn't attempt to answer either. I've given a couple of attempts though no answer will be perfect. The dearth of Ugandan nannies shows us that these villagers are wealthy in some unexpected ways. Wouldn't want to trade places with them, but in a context broadened beyond mere dollars and cents, the villagers are not as poor as we make them out to be. I imagine all this is pretty incoherant to you. Suggest you set aside your animosity toward me and read me in good faith. Should help your reading comprehension considerably.

  • Redmanfms||

    read me in good faith

    Why?

    You don't argue in good faith, why should you be treated as though you do?


    And your argument appears to be that the engine by which wealth is created, economic activity, causes poverty. While not incoherent, it's just bullshit. Thus far you have completely failed to provide anything in the way of substantiation for your argument.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|10.4.13 @ 9:28PM|#
    "In New York city, parents hire nannies. In Ugandan villages, parents don't hire nannies, because they have other ways to arrange for the care of their children. Ways that don't require them to reach into their pockets and hand over money to someone."
    No, they trade other goods, perhaps in-kind.
    Now, what was your point again?

    If Ugandan villages are run along New York city standards, some parents are going to find themselves without the money necessary to pay for something they previously never had to pay for."
    Yes, and Ugandans will find themselves shy of that they traded for childcare.

    So, once more, let's see the weaseling that your 'argument' is somehow misunderstood.

  • mtrueman||

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. You said:

    "No, they trade other goods, perhaps in-kind.
    Now, what was your point again?"

    They may do that, but their interaction goes way beyond trading goods. I can't say much about Ugandan villages specifically, but in many similar cultures around the world, villagers are inculcated with an ethos of helping one's neighbour. It's what gives them a sense of belonging and strength. A sense of community is worth how much? It defies an answer. Yet many Americans bemoan the loss of this sense of community. These Ugandans still have this wealth that lies outside the grasp of economists. The $2 a day poverty that's being bandied about here doesn't put any value on activities that hold the villagers together. It's not an accurate measure.

  • Sevo||

    "These Ugandans still have this wealth that lies outside the grasp of economists."

    You are full of crap.
    Yes, some cultures tend more toward altruism than others, but no, in no culture has the basis of econ been found missing.
    Within a certain group in NY, you will find people swapping child-care, in certain groups in (wherever) you will find people exchanging goods for similar services.
    Your brain-dead fantasy of the 'old soviet man' is as worthless and dangerous as was Marx'.

  • mtrueman||

    "Your brain-dead fantasy of the 'old soviet man' is as worthless and dangerous as was Marx'."

    Sorry, Sevo, you've lost me. Apparently, you've given up any effort to discuss matters and are now devoting yourself to insults. I'll pass.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|10.5.13 @ 11:04AM|#
    "Sorry, Sevo, you've lost me."

    You claim some fantasy of an Edenic, 'sharing' culture; you get called on that bullshit and you claim you are 'lost'.
    Yes, you are lost. Logic is not part of your skill set.

  • Harun||

    Somalia now has a far better economy than it did under socialism.

    They even sell electricity by the hour, by the watt, or by the light bulb!

    Talk about flexible!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Ending poverty, he argued, was just a matter of raising enough money

    Best.

    Brightest.

  • Bean Counter||

    Ending poverty is a one person endeavor, not a group think effort. And no freaking outsider can do it for you.
    Just do rich people stuff like living on less than you make, budgeting and saving, investing and giving to good causes. Oh, and live in a country that permits people to profit from their efforts and shoots bandits.

  • Harun||

    There are cultural aspects to it...see Protestant Work Ethic, etc.

    One issue with poor countries is the cultural tolerance of cadging neighbors and relatives. Thus, any profit cannot be kept as capital but is frittered away by cadgers.

    This may be why microfinance works...the borrower can say "Sorry, neighbor/cousin/hubby, I would love to give the money we make from the stall we set up to buy beer, but the bank says no."

  • Sevo||

    Harun|10.4.13 @ 5:06PM|#
    "There are cultural aspects to it...see Protestant Work Ethic,..."

    Did you mean Chinese Work Ethic?

  • Careless||

  • Sevo||

    My point is that the religious connotation is not required.
    A 'work ethic' is much more widespread than 'Protestants'.

  • JWatts||

    Eight and a half years later, I take no pleasure in the defeat of Sachs' big ideas, especially as this failure involves the sufferings of those who were the subjects of the Millennium Villages Project. And Sachs does deserves some positive recognition...

    The author seems like a pretty good guy. There aren't many people who would get involved in such an acrimonious debate, but still keep their perspective at the end and be willing to credit the other guy for his good points.

  • Sevo||

    No, the 'debate' isn't over.
    Like Ehrlich, this twit will continue to find outlets which distribute his lies until they plug him in the ground.
    And at the funeral, lefties will sing the praises of how he 'meant really, really well', unlike those horrible business people.

  • JWatts||

    Sadly, you're almost certainly right. Erlich published The Population Bomb in 1968. Every single one of the predictions it made turned out to be wildly inaccurate and yet the meme lives on.

    This is an article from The Economist from this fraking year:

    http://www.economist.com/news/.....-run/print

    Paul Ehrlich, a biologist of Malthusian disposition, argued in “The Population Bomb”,, a 1968 book, that rising populations would inevitably exhaust those resources, sending prices soaring and condemning people to hunger. ... In a famous 1980 wager Julian Simon, an economist, bet Mr Ehrlich that commodity prices would be lower a decade later. He won

    And yet:

    “Mr. Ehrlich may have been defeated in the wager, but he has continued to flourish in the public realm. The great mystery left unsolved by ‘The Bet’ is why Paul Ehrlich and his confederates have paid so small a price for their mistakes. And perhaps even been rewarded for them. In 1990, just as Mr. Ehrlich was mailing his check to Simon, the MacArthur Foundation awarded him one of its ‘genius’ grants. And 20 years later his partner in the wager, John Holdren, was appointed by President Obama to be director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.”

  • Sevo||

    "The great mystery left unsolved by ‘The Bet’ is why Paul Ehrlich and his confederates have paid so small a price for their mistakes."

    There is no mystery. He is a lefty, the media is, by and large, a leftist organization. The media continues to sing his praises and distributes lies concerning his predictions and the current conditions.
    I don't think it is a conscious conspiracy; simply lefties in blinders who really fantasize about some Edenic 'golden age'.

  • cavalier973||

    I would add that economics seems to be counterintuitive to the way most people think. Most people do not consider what incentives or disincitives a policy or situation might entail. They also think in terms of the highly subjective concept of "fairness". Hence, their support for price controls and anti-gouging laws and such.

  • pan fried wylie||

    yet the meme lives on.

    Memes never die, Fuck You That's Why.

  • mtrueman||

    "Every single one of the predictions it made turned out to be wildly inaccurate"

    Erlich predicted wide-scale famine due to overpopulation. I'd be curious where Simon stood on the issue. Some one in 8 living in the world today are undernourished, almost a billion, and there are more undernourished alive today than at any other time in human history. It's also true that the world population has never been greater and that food production has also never been greater. A strange and paradoxical situation that I doubt anyone had predicted. Erlich was inaccurate, what future predictor isn't, but 'wildly' is a little unfair. Chronic undernourishment is, I reackon, the world's most serious injustice. This betting incident is the frothiest of froth and is nothing but a distraction.

  • Protagoronus||

    Who pays you, troll??

    Provide links or sources if you are going to butcher the truth.

  • mtrueman||

    Do your own research. Not obliged to provide you with anything.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|10.4.13 @ 5:12PM|#
    "Do your own research."

    Hey, dipshit! You made the claims; cites or admit you're full of it!

  • mtrueman||

    You are at times a tedious bore, Sevo. Go and find some else's heels to nip at.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|10.4.13 @ 8:54PM|#
    "You are at times a tedious bore, Sevo. Go and find some else's heels to nip at."
    You are most often full of shit. It's tough when you get called on it, isn't it?

  • JWatts||

    Erlich was inaccurate, what future predictor isn't, but 'wildly' is a little unfair.

    No, I don't think it's unfair. Here's some of his predictions. We'll let the readers judge if the adverb 'wildy' is fair or not:

    *On the first Earth Day in 1970, he warned that "[i]n ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct

    *Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.

    *By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people ... If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.

    *India couldn't possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980.

    *That nothing can prevent famines in which hundreds of millions of people will die during the 1970s

    *It was already too late to prevent a substantial increase in the global death rate

    I could go on, but is there a point. It's all well documented.

  • mtrueman||

    I already stipulated that Erlich was inaccurate in his predictions. I'm interested whether or not those who opposed him were any more accurate when it came to predicting the amount of people and the trends of undernourishment. Did anyone predict that global food production and global undernourishment would increase hand in hand? There is really no need to hammer home the point that Erlich made these inaccurate predictions. Where he was correct was to see a future where undernourishment was as high as it is. It doesn't appear to be related to population, though that too is at an all time high.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|10.4.13 @ 6:50PM|#
    "I already stipulated that Erlich was inaccurate in his predictions. I'm interested whether or not those who opposed him were any more accurate when it came to predicting the amount of people and the trends of undernourishment"

    No one bothered; starvation is largely a result of failed government and no one knows how many are subject to that.

    " Where he was correct was to see a future where undernourishment was as high as it is."
    Cite or admit you're making it up.

  • Sevo||

    "Where he was correct was to see a future where undernourishment was as high as it is."
    OK, idjit, I'll do your research for you:

    "Worldwide, fewer people live in extreme poverty [...] Good news: The number of people living in extreme poverty in 2010 was half that of 1990."
    http://www.worldvision.org/new.....me-poverty

    "For the first time ever, the number of poor people is declining everywhere
    Mar 3rd 2012 |From the print edition [...] THE past four years have seen the worst economic crisis since the 1930s and the biggest food-price increases since the 1970s. That must surely have swollen the ranks of the poor.
    Wrong.
    [...]
    The new estimates show that in 2008, the first year of the finance-and-food crisis, both the number and share of the population living on less than $1.25 a day (at 2005 prices, the most commonly accepted poverty line) was falling in every part of the world."
    http://www.economist.com/node/21548963

  • Sevo||

    One more:
    "Poverty
    Not always with us [...]
    In 1990, 43% of the population of developing countries lived in extreme poverty (then defined as subsisting on $1 a day); the absolute number was 1.9 billion people. By 2000 the proportion was down to a third. By 2010 it was 21% (or 1.2 billion; the poverty line was then $1.25, the average of the 15 poorest countries’ own poverty lines in 2005 prices, adjusted for differences in purchasing power). The global poverty rate had been cut in half in 20 years."
    http://www.economist.com/news/.....y-2030-not

  • mtrueman||

    You are misreading me. i stated plainly, but admittedly not plainly enough, that Erlich was prescient in his concern about hunger.

    You haven't understood this. Your cites, fascinating as they are, address not hunger, but poverty. Suggest you reread my comment and google undernourishment.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|10.4.13 @ 8:47PM|#
    "You are misreading me. i stated plainly, but admittedly not plainly enough, that Erlich was prescient in his concern about hunger."

    I suggest you stop weaseling around a cite what you claim or admit you're full of shit.

  • JWatts||

    You are misreading me. i stated plainly, but admittedly not plainly enough, that Erlich was prescient in his concern about hunger.

    No, he wasn't. India was already experiencing massive starvation and malnutrition when he wrote his crap. He predicted it would get much worse. It got a lot better.

    The man was completely and utterly wrong.

  • mtrueman||

    "It got a lot better."

    I'm not sure how you arrive at that conclusion. There are more undernourished people in the world today than there were when Erlich wrote his predictions. Same holds true for India.

    I'm not sure either there was massive starvation in India in 1968. There isn't massive starvation today, either. Check your facts and be careful with your language.

    My challenge still stands. Find me some prognosticator who was more accurate at predicting the world's hunger situation.

  • Sevo||

    "There are more undernourished people in the world today than there were when Erlich wrote his predictions."
    Cite, dipshit. I'm tired of reading assertions.

    "My challenge still stands. Find me some prognosticator who was more accurate at predicting the world's hunger situation."
    Sorry, no one is interested in your straw man.

  • DJF||

    Jeffrey Sachs previous failure was the Harvard Institute for International Development which he ran and his people got caught misusing taxpayer money and conflict of interest and the whole project shut down.

    Now he is involved in another development project where misuses of money and conflict of interest is involved.

  • Sevo||

    BTW, the link to Foreign Policy is a link to a subscription pitch.

  • Mamacadia||

    Mr. Easterly: The big aid debate is over in your mind. The world failed to listen to you when you wanted to sell bednets to poor people who couldn't afford them....leaving them to die if you had it your way. The world disagrees with you and aid continues. Nina Munk will be the next in line to follow you.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Actually, countries are starting to cut aid, Australia in particular. It is not even politically worthwhile to waste money like this.

  • sarcasmic||

    foreign aid: taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries

  • Sevo||

    "Mr. Easterly: The big aid debate is over in your mind. The world failed to listen to you when you wanted to sell bednets to poor people who couldn't afford them....leaving them to die if you had it your way."
    Cite?

    "The world disagrees with you and aid continues. Nina Munk will be the next in line to follow you"
    Cite?

  • wilonacoury||

    my roomate's sister makes $78 hourly on the internet. She has been laid off for 6 months but last month her income was $16950 just working on the internet for a few hours. go to this site
    http://WWW.WORKS23.COM

  • ||

    uptil I saw the bank draft for $9693, I didn't believe that my sister woz like realey taking home money parttime at there labtop.. there uncles cousin has done this for only about eighteen months and at present cleard the depts on there villa and bought a great Jaguar XJ. he said

    http://WWW.WORKS23.COM

  • wooffjordy||

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to Economy tab for more detail ...

    =============== http://WWW.MAX34.COM

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