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Criticism of Sachs video withdrawn

The links in our post Another blog criticizes a video by a certain famous economist have gone dead, and the critical post on the other blog site has been deleted.  They made this statement in direct communication:

The original post author has deleted the post, finding his words a bit too harsh and annoyance misplaced.

The original Sachs video, which was produced as part of a series by Ericsson,  is here.

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  1. Maureen wrote:

    Well, that’s disappointing. I thought that he had valid points.

    Posted April 13, 2010 at 7:46 am | Permalink
  2. Anon wrote:

    Thanks for this post, don’t know where we would be without aidwatchers watching other people’s deleted posts.

    Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink
  3. Rachel wrote:

    Just when I thought Sachs couldn’t be any more of a celebrity-economist sell-out… now he is doing commercials for Ericsson!

    Posted April 13, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink
  4. William Easterly wrote:

    Anon, glad you liked this. Stay tuned for our forthcoming series on other bloggers’ posts that were never written.

    Posted April 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink
  5. B. R. Pill wrote:

    Funny, I count on Aidwatchers for posts other bloggers SHOULD have written.

    Posted April 14, 2010 at 7:29 am | Permalink
  6. B. R. Pill wrote:

    And more substantively, its a little odd to hear Sachs giving so much credit to the spread of the mobile phone, since foreign assistance, 0.7% of GDP, MDGs, “global villages”, and most of the other concepts and policies that Sachs endorses have played virtually no role in the spread of mobile phones, and where there is intersection, have been struggling to catch up or pggybacking on to private sector infrastructure and uses.

    Posted April 14, 2010 at 8:02 am | Permalink
  7. Rich wrote:

    At the risk of being blasted, it was apparently my comment that brought the post down.

    My comment being that, while I will agree to many of the points about healthy dialogue made by Prof Easterly (and I am a huge fan of White Man’s Burden)), I thought that it was actually Ericsson’s own film crew that created the poor juxtapositions.

    That, in my watch of the clip, it looks like he is in a lounge (perhaps a conference), and in addition to the poor placement of Sachs, I found the other NYC imagery out of place as well.. and the drive-by local shots were equally poor.

    That being said, the post did highlight a very valid point, and one that I work with in China.. that the solutions cannot always be from “us” to “them”.. or benefit the “us” only by relying on the “them”.

    Which leds me to ask what is the makeup of Sachs’s team? Is it predominately Columbia students? or is it Africans?

    Prof. Easterly, what is the situation on the ground in Africa in general? Clearly that is a big question, but does the human capacity exist on the ground to execute effective programs, or are heavy expat project teams still required?


    Posted April 14, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink
  8. avam wrote:

    Jeff Sachs is delusional. End extreme poverty by 2020? And while we’re at it, could pigs fly?? Of course that would be a phenomenal achievment – but realistic? It seems to me to be pretty problematic (not to mention the video itself – alhough I liked the bit with the fishes – how random was that!) that a professor with many years development experience, could completely fail to mention the other ‘small’ issues – e.g., conflict, food security, socio-cultural norms/networks, gender inequalities etc., that also impact how an area will develop, and how successful various initiatives will be.

    And with regard to interconnectivity – there is a limit to how much connectivity and how stable it will be – even to those that Have access to mobile phones, let alone computers. He also seems to completely diregard the fact that an increase in mobile phone connectivity/computers can, equally, also increase the ability for some individuals/communities to do well over others – keeping some (individuals/family goups etc) in extreme poverty Because of increased competition in the area. This has certainly happened in areas where I worked in southern India (with artisinal fishermen and their families.)

    Posted April 15, 2010 at 6:56 am | Permalink
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    The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.

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