Stories by Jeffrey Sachs

  • THE BEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

    Every place on the planet has something of unique beauty and significance to contribute to the "good life" on earth. Africa's open savannas awaken our sensibilities as do few places on the planet. Manhattan, Shanghai and Paris transport us to the heights of urban achievement. The verdant, terraced paddy fields of Southeast Asia show us life in rural areas of unsurpassed beauty. We would search in vain, therefore, for a single "best" spot on the planet.Yet within this priceless diversity, certain places have solved problems of health, wealth and social cooperation more effectively than others. In some places the population boasts a life expectancy of 80 years, while in others a newborn can expect to survive only half that long. The top sixth of humanity boasts high incomes unprecedented in history, while the bottom sixth struggles for daily survival.What makes a country work? The question is more pressing than ever, with Iraq and Afghanistan in the middle of wrenching transitions....
  • A Modest Proposal

    While America debates the disposition of $5 trillion in budget surpluses over the next decade, tens of millions of impoverished people in Africa will die needlessly of AIDS and other killer diseases because they lack the minimal income needed for lifesaving drugs and medical care. Their deaths will leave behind tens of millions of orphans, who will lose the chance for an education and an emotionally secure upbringing. Neither President George W. Bush nor his political adversaries have yet to mention the poorest of the world in their debates over how to spend America's great bounty. So far, the United States and other rich countries have done almost nothing to help the poorest of the poor to fight AIDS, the greatest pandemic in modern history. The disease is hard to combat for several reasons. Most important, treatment is expensive. An annual drug regimen might cost about $500 per patient per year, but the poorest countries in Africa can afford only a few dollars per person per year...