Week 9

In Chapter 15, Sachs suggests the rich are “…part of the solution [in] getting donors to honor their commitment to the world’s extreme poor” (289). Sachs also suggests targeting the rich that are “…the richest of the rich, not the average taxpayers, but taxpayers with incomes at the very top of the charts” is the solution (289). He suggests targeting these people through “…a modest increase in taxation or a burst of large-scale philanthropy commensurate with their vast wealth” (289).

The discussion of: “if taxing the rich would become beneficial for society or for a society outside of America” is a debate that has separated the Democratic and Republican party. Both sides may present good reasons for/against this concept. It’s an  Each with varying opinions as to whom to tax and which solution to follow. Each side represents valuable insight into the debate. It’s hard to decide which side is right.

Sachs references Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda. He claims that specific needs require specific costs.

In Uganda, hunger requires a total external budget support of 5.8 percent, according to the Uganda OECD. Health, for Uganda, requires a total external budget support of 33 percent. Together, gender equality, education, water supply and sanitation, improvements to the lives of slum dwellers, energy, roads, and “other” equal 100 percent of the total external budget needed from the rich to support Uganda– again, it’s hard to indicate whether or not taxing the rich is very sustainable, since health needs are constant in Uganda.

Source: Operationworld.org

Sachs claims that “…most of the world [by 2015] will have been freed from the poverty trap onto a path of self-sustaining growth” (303). However, Sachs is again referencing “under-developed” countries. Sachs refers to sub-Saharan Africa, which will, “…have [extreme poverty] decline from around 40 percent of the population today to under 20 percent” (303). It is important to note that Sachs wrote this book during 2003/2004.

According to The World Bank, in 2008, less than half of Africa’s population (47 percent) lived below $1.25 a day. The World Bank also said “…with economic growth rising to 5.4 percent in 2012, and 5.3 percent in 2013, the economic outlook for Sub-Sharan Africa is positive.”

In an article released by the IMF, during the early 2000’s a solid rise in average living standards began to emerge. The article was written in 2011, with an equally positive prediction for countries like Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Sachs said this progression is not attributed to “rich-world wisdom.” Meaning, as he describes, developmental thinking about Africa is based off of common mislead assertions. Sachs writes, “…prejudices against Africa currently run so high…” (309).

Myths

“The remaining problems of extreme poverty will take care of themselves because economic development will spread. A rising tide lifts all boats, as the old expression puts it.  If the rising tide is not lifting your boat, it is probably your own fault. The forces of globalization sufficiently strong that everyone can benefit if they can just behave themselves.”

The “myth” that Sachs refers to is that extreme poverty will eventually take care of itself because of rising global economic growth. However, Sachs combats this “myth” by writing that “thinking globally” allows one to realize that sometimes geography can cause the economic progress of one country to not meet the prosperity of another. Sachs summarizes his chapter by adding that extreme poverty is a global issue. To which of the extent is true, but there is the old saying of how can one help another if one cannot help themselves.

Moyo

Moyo  acknowledges the double edged sword, by explaining although there is growth between the China and Africa, Chinese leaders, “…don’t bother for social or human rights conditions” (107). Moyo provides more details as to why there are a few objections.

“…Chinese banks snatched projects from under the European Investment Bank’s nose in Asia and Africa, after offering to undercut the conditions it imposed on labour standards and environmental protection” (107).

Moyo also alludes to this “no strings attached approach” from China regarding Nigeria (107-108). As Moyo put it, “…Chinese economic pragmatism appeared to override principles of openness pursued by Western donors” (107). Meaning, “…the Chinese trumped a World Bank deal for aid to Nigeria.” Basically, the World Bank offered Nigeria a deal to help clean up the country’s railway system for US$ 5 million. China however, offered Nigeria US$ 9 million, to rebuild the whole system.

It’s a really a question if there are any strings attached or personal gains that China receives for doing so. Or if it is the other way around, and China just has actual money to offer to the table. It will be interesting to keep updated on this, especially with articles being released about Obama being “too late to the game” with a partnership with Africa because “China got there first.”– It all relates to globalization.

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