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View Diary: A Pathological Moral Environment (83 comments)

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  •  I'm NOT mistaken about Sachs. (22+ / 0-)

    I'm criticizing precisely his means, rather than his ends.

    There's no shortage of true-believing neo-liberal pinheads who honestly believe that financialism and market-based economics will bring prosperity to all. Somewhere during the last 10 years -- I'm guessing somewhere around, oh, hmm, I dunno, 2008 -- Sachs seems to have been shaken out of his lotus dreams by a severe dose of reality. Prior to that, the singular accomplishment of his life was to plan and supervise the transformation of the totalitarian economies of east-bloc countries into enormous rackets run by some of the most appalling people to be found on either side of the Iron Curtain.

    There's no reason Poland and Russia could not have adopted a Scandinavian approach -- no reason other than the ideological antipathy of Sachs and his fellow neo-liberals to such "heavy-handed" statist governments. In a very real way, Sachs' teams were the neo-liberal soulmates of the teams of True Believers that the neo-cons sent off to "reform" Iraq into the extensive criminal enterprise that it became.

    Here's the big question -- and I do not know the answer, so perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised -- Can anyone find for me anywhere the place where Sachs published a sentence that said anything like this:

    I was totally wrong. Markets do not solve people's problems; they are as likely to exacerbate human suffering as to ameliorate it, and, most certainly, in the absence of powerful and well-established democratic traditions, they will inevitably lead to neo-feudal kleptocracies. Which is what happened, under my direction and tutelage. I'm sorry.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:46:16 AM PDT

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    •  Both-and. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, FarWestGirl

      Your criticisms of Sachs's neoliberal economic guidance to Poland and Russia are, I believe, correct.

      Yet still what you originally said:

      Jeffrey Sachs has, as I understand it, spent his entire career working to enable these sociopaths, by advocating and justifying policies and systems whose only social safeguards are the good intentions of the players.
      Is not correct. Sachs has spent part of his career very publicly and forcefully arguing for directing healthcare, nutrition, farm assistance, etc. directly to the world's poorest people.

      In other words, the good and bad coexist in Sachs. He is not the simple blackhatted villain you make him out to be.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:27:09 AM PDT

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      •  Sachs implemented neoliberalism around the world (6+ / 0-)

        and he must be held responsible for this.  Secondly, as his statement above about billionaires testifies, he is a free-market capitalist.  His basic ideas have not changed.  What has changed is that he now sits in a contradictory position wherein what he claims to care about (poverty) is directly produced by the economic system (capitalism) that he continues to defend.

      •  I'm not sure Sachs agrees (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that ending extreme poverty is mutually exclusive with keeping working stiffs away from the real levers of plutocratic power.

        If so, it's only recently.

        What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

        by happymisanthropy on Tue May 07, 2013 at 12:07:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You're missing one (7+ / 0-)

      The first major accomplishment of his life was introducing Bolivia to neoliberalism, when in 1986 he engineered their "structural adjustment program" that stripped Bolivia of its assets and sold them to foreign firms.

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