aid_easterly2-1 - The White Mans Burden by William Easterly...

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Print The White Man’s Burden by William Easterly Joshua Kurlantzick — June 2006 The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly Penguin Press. 436 pp. $27.95 The economist Jeffrey Sachs was once known primarily as the doctor who healed the economies of post- cold-war Eastern Europe, but recently he has achieved far greater fame. With the publication last year of The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time , 1 he almost single-handedly revived a seemingly lost cause. If, Sachs argued, rich countries increased their foreign aid to roughly $150 billion a year, the world could eliminate extreme poverty by 2025. Support for Sachs's “end poverty” push now ranges from the musician Bono, who was named one of Time 's Men of the Year (along with Bill and Melinda Gates) for urging rich governments to ante up; to the United Nations, which has set eight Millennium Development Goals for 2015; to Tony Blair, who echoed Sachs in calling for a doubling of aid to Africa. Sachs even helped inspire the music promoter Bob Geldof to hold a globe-spanning rock festival for the cause in July 2005—ten simultaneous shows, collectively titled Live 8 and designed to pressure global leaders to banish poverty. Who could object to such idealism? William Easterly, for one. A former senior research economist at the World Bank, Easterly has spent his career working for international institutions that try to help the poor. His first book, The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (2001), established him as perhaps the foremost critic of foreign economic intervention in the third world. In The White Man's Burden , he extends his argument, placing Sachs and his followers squarely in his sights. _____________ As Easterly sees it, the great problem with foreign aid has always been the utopian aims of “Planners”— humanitarians who think they know the answer to problems in advance and insist on imposing their own solutions. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, when Western countries were still colonial powers, Page 1 of 4 The White Man’s Burden by William Easterly « Commentary Magazine 2/28/2011 ..
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leaders like the British abolitionist William Wilberforce and President Woodrow Wilson considered themselves chosen to save the non-white “Rest.” As Wilberforce demanded in the name of Christianity and Enlightenment alike, “Must we not then . . . endeavor to raise these wretched beings?” What he and those like him failed to ask, according to Easterly, was whether their remedies actually helped their
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This note was uploaded on 07/14/2011 for the course ECON 410 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at Kentucky.

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aid_easterly2-1 - The White Mans Burden by William Easterly...

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