Who Is Jeffrey Sachs?

Sachs is the director of the Center for International Development and professor of international trade at Harvard University. In 1990 Sachs was an economic advisor to the government of Poland when he revealed his plans for "helping" the working class, writing ( in the January 13 The Economist), "Western observers should not over-dramatize lay-offs and bankruptcies. Poland, like the rest of Eastern Europe, now has too little unemployment, not too much."

Sachs served as the chief economic advisor to Russia's President Boris Yeltsin from 1991 to 1994, where he advocated "shock therapy" to create market capitalism in Russia. Capitalism in Russia meant mines and factories becoming the personal property of former high ranking communists and other businessmen, while employees went unpaid and starvation conditions emerged for the first time since World War II. An article in Harvard Magazine 1996 reported that "Russians are dying at an unprecedented rate. Between 1990 and 1994 the country's death rate increased by 40 percent, from 11.2 to 15.7 deaths per 1,000 people. Male life expectancy fell from 63.8 years to 57.7 years, and female life expectancy from 74.3 to 71.3 years. According to Elizabeth Brainerd, a graduate student in economics, 'Declines in life expectancy of this magnitude in only four years are unparalleled in the twentieth century among countries at peace and in the absence of major famines or epidemics.'"

John Spritzler

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