Dueling economist: Jeffrey Sachs and William Easterly

It is easy to be swayed by seemingly logical arguments made by academicians when it comes to complex problems. The trouble is not in what is being presented; often conclusions are based on good reason, and backed by supporting evidence. The problem lies in a beginner’s inability to spot what is not mentioned at all. How do know that ALL the relevant evidence is presented?

Fortunately, that can happen when you can get a debate going between opposing factions that is not veiled by false decorum. It’s impossible to miss disagreement, even for a novice, when you call your opponent stupid, or bald. Perhaps bald is not called for, but still, what’s the harm in making the discussion a bit colorful. Surely a few hurt egos is a small cost to pay when it comes to thinking about global poverty and billions in aid.

If they can’t agree on anything else, Jeffrey Sachs and William Easterly would probably agree to that. So if you are at all interested in the cause of millions of poor I encourage you to read this exchange (http://www.nyu.edu/fas/institute/dri/Easterly/SachsDebates.htm). Sometimes it’s better not to just do something, but to step back and think.

The following books are excellent reads on the topic on of foreign aid and poverty erradication. Economists might work on some hard and depressing problems, but they do write very entertaining prose. Both these books are very readable.


About amit

I was born in Kanpur, India in 1977. I did my schooling partly in Kanpur, Surat and Udaipur. I spent most of my schooling years in Udaipur in a boarding school. This was the most enjoyable period of my life predominantly because I made a lot of friends and played a lot of football (my first love). My school years brought in a sinking realization that I was good in academics, average in football [even after my most sincere efforts :( ] and to put it euphemistically 'artistically challenged'. Hence cool careers in photography, sports, art & design or music were all beyond me. I took up what I could do best, and enrolled for engineering at Nagpur University. College brought its own pleasures, I had my share of beers, bunked classes, read the 'Bhagvad Gita', learned yoga and picked up love for traveling. After graduating I was one of the lucky few to get a great job at Infosys Technologies. The best thing I got from my first job - my Yamaha Rx 135. There were not many weekends when I did not explore places in and around Bangalore on it. In two years though my desire to pursue further studies caught up with me and I enrolled for a M.S in Computer Networking at North Carolina State University. Here I picked up basketball, love for stand up comedy, liking for the 'other football' and offcourse a little bit of computer networking. I graduated in Dec 2002 and am currently working for /n Software. I am slowly evolving into a die hard Linux and Open Source enthusiast, trying to pick up skydiving, biking, running and photography. Some might call that progress. :)
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