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Old 10-18-2005, 10:07 PM   #1
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The End of Poverty,Bono?

Back in the 1980's--it seemed as though you had a BRAIN- or were otherwise capable penetrating some slightly revolutionary thought.

Are you aware of Jeffrey Sachs decimation of Russian Society back in the early 1990's?

Is anyone here shocked at Bono's endorsement of this neo-liberal parasite-Jeffrey Sachs?
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Old 10-18-2005, 10:18 PM   #2
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Old 10-18-2005, 11:05 PM   #3
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I love these posters who don't have the nerve to post any info about themselves.

Makes them look real credible.
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Old 10-18-2005, 11:20 PM   #4
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Old 10-18-2005, 11:25 PM   #5
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Can Bono save World Capitalism?

Apparently, Sachs and Bono are sort of like boyfriends, bonded by their belief in reforming capitalism as a means to end poverty.

Sachs used to be real creep; now he is a sort of redeemed creep. And like his chummy chats with Jesse Helms, Bono seems to have a ravenous appetite for redeeeming the creeps, assuaging their guilt, sucking up to their consciences.

Somehow, I always, always forgive Bono. Sachs, I'm not so sure.

Since capitalism is the problem, can "capitalism lite" be its own solution?

For more on Sachs, the old version and the new version, see

http://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/Sachs.html
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Old 10-19-2005, 12:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anu
Can Bono save World Capitalism?

Apparently, Sachs and Bono are sort of like boyfriends, bonded by their belief in reforming capitalism as a means to end poverty.

Sachs used to be real creep; now he is a sort of redeemed creep. And like his chummy chats with Jesse Helms, Bono seems to have a ravenous appetite for redeeeming the creeps, assuaging their guilt, sucking up to their consciences.
So Bono has an easier time finding the good in people he has disagreements with than you do--so what!?!

If thats a "failing" then sign me up--I'm *very* intolerant of people whose beliefs and convictions are different than mine.

That "Judge Not" stuff is hard to live up to, no?
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Old 10-19-2005, 12:44 AM   #7
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Old 10-19-2005, 03:12 AM   #8
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Sachs is not just another one of Bono's "devil's pact" friendships--this is a guy Bono's described as "my professor" and "my economic guru," and whose vision for African poverty alleviation Bono apparently shares 100%.

Given the disastrous impact in Russia and elsewhere of Sachs' "shock therapy" version of transition to a conventional capitalist economy, there is plenty of room for legitimate skepticism about his vision for Africa.

Sachs is a neoclassicist, so his strongest critics are on the left. As a sample of their perspective, here is a portion of the piece Anu posted, from the Left Business Observer (it's a review of Sachs' The End of Poverty, which Bono wrote the intro to):

Quote:
Sachs's first moment in the spotlight came in the mid-1980s, with the "stabilization" of Bolivia, a policy package he designed that brought the country's inflation rate from 40,000% to near 0%. Sadly, though, it did nothing to relieve Bolivia's poverty - and the current round of almost constant protests, which have driven several presidents from office (and some from the country) suggests that twenty years later, Bolivians still aren't happy with their situation. But the superficial success of what came to be called "shock therapy" - and it must be conceded that almost no one likes hyperinflation - left Sachs well-positioned in the global market for economic expertise when socialism started unraveling at the end of the decade.

Sachs was an advisor to the Yeltsin government in Russia from 1991 to 1994, and also advised Poland, Slovenia, and Estonia as they were beginning their transitions to capitalism. The last three are mixed successes - on the surface, Poland looks like a success to some, but with the transition came higher unemployment, falling real wages, and aimless cycles of political discontent. Russia, though, was a thorough disaster, one of the worst collapses in human history. Living standards fell and the population shrank, an almost unprecedented event in a country not at war.

Sachs refuses to accept any blame for the disaster, offering the defense that the Russians didn't take his advice, and the West didn't come through with the big aid package he insisted was necessary. Apparently this is an well-practiced strategy. A 1992 Euromoney profile notes: "Sachs is reluctant to acknowledge mistakes, defining them in terms of regret when governments do not take his advice." In that case, he blamed Poland for not privatizing fast enough.

But the outcome illustrates precisely the danger of having the likes of Sachs parachute in bearing the timeless truths of neoclassical economics. Anyone who knew Russia knew that any rapid privatization would immediately lead to the creation of a new corrupt elite through massive theft of state property. Anyone who knew Washington knew that no big aid package was ever going to come through; adding to usual U.S. cheapness, a lot of hardliners wanted to see Russia ground into the dirt. In the words of former World Bank economist David Ellerman, who frequently collided with Sachs's work in Slovenia and has followed him intently ever since, "Only the mixture of American triumphalism and the academic arrogance of neoclassical economics could produce such a lethal dose of gall."

During what officialdom called the transition, there were divisions between those who wanted to reform the existing socialist system and experiment with hybrid forms of ownership, and what Ellerman calls the "clean postsocialist revolutionaries," many of them with American economics PhDs, who dismissed the reformers as tainted nomenklatura and wanted immediate privatization. Adding to the prestige of the revolutionaries were their trusted foreign advisors, like those from the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID), led by Jeffrey Sachs and partly funded by the U.S. government.

In Poland, Sachs was firmly on the side of rapid transition to "normal" capitalism. At first he proposed U.S.-style corporate structures, with professional managers answering to many shareholders and a large economic role for stock markets. That didn't fly with the Polish authorities, so Sachs came back with a Germanic idea - large blocks of the shares of privatized companies would be placed in the hands of big banks. In both versions the point was to end any hints of worker or social control and institute a conventional capitalist class hierarchy.

His style was always abrasive and domineering; he rebuked the Slovenian parliament for passing a bill without his approval, and dismissed his critics as "idiots" and "self-management imbeciles."

HIID eventually collapsed in scandal, when it was revealed that the principals of its Russian project, Andrei Shleifer and Jonathan Hay, along with their wives (who happened to be mutual fund managers), had been buying Russian stocks and dickering for the privilege of getting the country's first mutual fund license, while dispensing advice to the Russian government. (Shleifer was one of the trinity of so-called Harvard Wunderkinder who were to Russia what the Chicago Boys were to Pinochet's Chile; the other two were Lawrence Summers - and Sachs.) The U.S. government sued, and Harvard shuttered the institute. Sachs decamped to Columbia, where he was appointed to head its new Earth Institute, an interdisciplinary enterprise that would bring together physical, health, and social scientists to promote sustainable economic development.

Sachs admits to no responsibility for the Russian catastrophe. When I interviewed him in November 2002, I asked him to comment on the fact that he's viewed by millions of Russians, as one journalist has put it, as either an emissary of Satan or of the CIA. He answered that he found this question "disgusting," "perverse," and like nothing he's ever been asked before. Regrouping, and to dissuade him from hanging up, I asked how he justified the tearing apart of the USSR and forcing the country headlong into capitalism when there was little popular support for such a strategy. He responded, illogically, by saying he "wanted to support...the democratization of the Soviet Union." He sung the praises of "transparency and honesty in government," even though the Yeltsin regime he was advising was opaque and corrupt. Asked to comment on published reports that he supported creating an inflation, so as to wipe out the savings of Russians (part of the shock therapists' attempts to start post-Soviet Russia with a clean slate), he bristled further, denouncing the question as "indecent," and the interview itself as not being in "good faith."

The New Sachs wasn't entirely unprecedented in the utterances of the Old Sachs. In the early 1990s, as he was busily transforming Eastern Europe, he told Euromoney, a banking trade journal, that you shouldn't press debtor countries for repayment if "there is going to be social catastrophe," and that "reform" programs should be "fair," with "burdens and benefits...shared in an adequate way." But those high-minded concerns were overwhelmed by the political realities of the moment, and the results were anything but fair, as poverty and inequality increased in most of the formerly socialist countries (a situation that they've only recently begun to recover from).

Heavy debts, IMF austerity programs, and fickle financial markets are Sachs's favorite targets. His views on the rest of the development business are more conventional. In The End of Poverty, he writes as if all the poorest countries need to do is get a rung or two up the economic ladder; the problem is their distance from the ladder, not the ladder itself. That stands in odd contrast with the strength of his anti-imperialist rhetoric. It's as if he can't see the financial arrangements (with institutions like the IMF at their center - there's usually a state center to a financial system) as crucial enforcement mechanisms for the maintenance of orthodox policies. Finance is an instrument of class power, locally, nationally, and internationally.

In our interview, Sachs told me that to become internationally competitive, Argentina and Brazil need to develop their educational institutions and technological capacity - as if the history of a couple of centuries of structural subordination and the present of debt service demands haven't made that difficult to impossible. (Africa's long-term prospects, he disclosed, lie in tourism, services, and back-office operations.) There's more recognition of deep structural impediments in this book, but then he offers his reform agenda as if the structurally dominant would easily consent to a weakening of their domination, which is how they see any "aid" program. Asked how he would deal with the enormous political obstacles to his agenda, Sachs pointed to his own efforts at promoting debt relief...which date back to Bolivia in 1985.
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Old 10-19-2005, 03:36 AM   #9
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Jeffrey Sachs' son posts on this forum

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Old 10-19-2005, 03:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
Sachs is not just another one of Bono's "devil's pact" friendships--this is a guy Bono's described as "my professor" and "my economic guru," and whose vision for African poverty alleviation Bono apparently shares 100%.

Given the disastrous impact in Russia and elsewhere of Sachs' "shock therapy" version of transition to a conventional capitalist economy, there is plenty of room for legitimate skepticism about his vision for Africa.
Exactly.

Sachs is also responsible for the SAPs. I don´t know what they have in mind now. I trust Bono on that, but he should be quite critical who he works together with, since Sachs is one of the guys that made the poor only poorer and more dependent.

Can´t help but ask myself where Bono is really standing on development policies. I don´t doubt his good intentions, but there is such a lot of criticism of Sachs ´ methods, he´d better read up before of having another press conference where he talks about the end of poverty, with a shyly smiling Sachs by his side. Ugh.

Can Bono save World Capitalism is a cynical, but legitimate question considering the circumstances.
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:34 AM   #11
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Yolland and Stephan,

Thanks for your posts, which moved the thread from what I consider to be inappropriate bashing to fact-based, legit critique. Listen, Sachs has been involved with SAPs, and his Russia policies were widely known to be a disaster. (See Stigletz's Globalizatiion and Its Discontents. ) When I saw him at the Nat. Cathedral, he was definitely selling a product--his book, his patented (not literally) plan. And if its a good plan, that's not a problem. He speaks out on debt, which I applaud. He chides the North on their hiprocrisy regarding trade and inaction. And I loved the point he made at the Cathedral speech that efforts to fight poverty need to be integrated. You've got an AIDS ed program here, mosquito nets there, community food planning somewhere else. They're all needed in EACH place. Very solid point that needs to be made more often.

However, this does not wash away the SAPs. IMF austerity has cost people their livelihoods (I can cite 10 different sources on this if anyone would like). I wish he would address the policies he's supported in the past? more clearly and explain why he's made some of the shifts it seems he's made. Could be a very powerful story.

Anyway, if Bono can do lunch with Jesse Helms and keep his integrity and creds, Sachs is really a piece of cake in comparison.
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Old 10-19-2005, 09:08 AM   #12
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Wow...is this really a thread that has changed for the better?

Way to go, FYMers

I really don't know enough about Sachs to make a judgement myself.
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Old 10-19-2005, 09:36 AM   #13
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I'd like to know what John Edwards thinks of Jeffrey Sachs, John is doing a whole college campus tour to go along w/ his anti-poverty campaign

Former Sen. John Edwards began a national anti-poverty campaign Monday by exhorting students at the University of North Carolina to launch a grass-roots effort similar to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

This time, he told them, the divide isn't black and white but rich and poor.

The recent devastation of Hurricane Katrina exposed that rift clearly, Edwards told the roughly 700 people who attended the inaugural event of a planned 10-campus "Opportunity Rocks" tour.

Edwards, a graduate of UNC's law school, told students that an estimated 37 million Americans, including 13 million children, live at or near poverty.

"They have always lived on a razor blade," Edwards said of the poor who were devastated by the Gulf Coast hurricane. "The problem is it doesn't take much to knock them off."

He asked the students to spend 20 hours a semester doing volunteer advocacy for issues such as raising the minimum wage.

College students have led reform efforts in the past, Edwards said, pointing to civil rights, the anti-war movement of the Vietnam era and anti-apartheid demonstrations in the 1980s.

"It is time to rise up again," Edwards said. "It is your time to make change.

Edwards takes his tour to the University of California at Berkeley later this month, followed by stops at Missouri, Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida A&M and Michigan.

Edwards, the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004, has embraced the fight against poverty in recent months, starting an academic center at UNC's law school that is devoted to study and discussion of the problem.

Edwards declined to say whether he plans to seek his party's presidential nomination in 2008, saying he is monitoring the recovery of his wife, Elizabeth, from breast cancer and working on his poverty fight.

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http://www.promiseandopportunity.com/
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Old 10-19-2005, 10:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sherry Darling
[B]Yolland and Stephan,

Thanks for your posts, which moved the thread from what I consider to be inappropriate bashing to fact-based, legit critique.
I naively assumed that we are all intelligent and ADULT enough to skip the
"fact-based critique" since we all seem to agree that Bono has chosen such a sketched out character for his "professor" -bypassing any Economic/Social leaders of the 3rd World.

There is no excuse for this.

Bono is RICH enough to hop on Lear Jet,fly to India,Guatemala,Colombia,Nigeria,Indonesia and confer with some REAL PEOPLE at the grass roots.

WHY does he choose this apologist of Capitalism?
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Old 10-19-2005, 10:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by kimby


So Bono has an easier time finding the good in people he has disagreements with than you do--so what!?!

If thats a "failing" then sign me up--I'm *very* intolerant of people whose beliefs and convictions are different than mine.

That "Judge Not" stuff is hard to live up to, no?
Just as Bono will sit down with Bush today (if we are to believe the news), his collaborative relations with Condy Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, and Sachs should give us pause. This is not just about being open minded to people who are different than you--this is making alliance and breaking bread.

Sometimes, perhaps we should be very *intolerant* of evil, when the stakes are so high. Wasn't that the "fuck the revolution" stance from Bono on the terrorism of Northern Ireland, with some seeing him as an apologist for empire, when he opposed the violence?

I see Bono today (literally today--he's in Washington) as a grown-up Anakin sitting down to dinner with Palpatine. I worry about the seduction of power.

If our "insufferable little" Bono Christ is already Darth Bono, I've perhaps also been duped by the dark side, because his songs are so damn moving, his eyes so sincere.

If he is "restoring balance" to the right wingers running my country, I pray he doesn't gain the world and lose his soul in the process. Listening to his songs and rants onstage, I think he still has his soul.

Sachs really loves Bono--says he should have gotten like 4 Nobel Prizes, adding science and literature and one other one to Peace.

Can't live with or without him,

Anu
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