Jeffrey Sachs About Greed

Jeffrey Sachs belongs to the economists who have influenced my thinking deeply. So I was very positively surprised when I read his new article, “Need Versus Greed”, yesterday.

Sachs is one of the most distinguished development economists, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals. His last book, “Common Wealth”, is a highly interesting contribution to development economics. Nonetheless, I always thought of him as a good, but still “mainstream” economist who considers economic growth the solution of all problems (why I don’t share this opinion, you can read here). With the article named above he proved me wrong.

Our planet will not physically support this exponential economic growth if we let greed take the upper hand. Even today, the weight of the world economy is already crushing nature, rapidly depleting the supplies of fossil-fuel energy resources that nature created over millions of years, while the resulting climate change has led to massive instabilities in terms of rainfall, temperature, and extreme storms.

It sounds just like what I would expect from the economics of development. And the whole article is perhaps not a new “discovery of America”, but certainly a piece worth reading.