Week Nine — Sachs and Moyo

Part I: Sachs

Chapter 15

In this chapter Sachs refers to the “rich” as those in the top one percent income level. This excludes average and middle class households. He’s only referring to the “richest of the rich”. He talks about how income disparity is continuing to increase, and because of that the “one percent” are so incredible wealthy that they alone could eradicate extreme poverty if they distributed their funds.

In some ways, I do agree with the idea that those who are the wealthiest have a responsibility to take some kind of action to help. When I think about one of Sachs’ main points — that if the wealth were distributed even in the slightest way, extreme poverty could be over — the sacrifice seems necessary. However, it gets more tricky when you try to put that into practice. I don’t agree with it having to be enforced by taxation. It should be up to the earner of the money to do what they will with it — that’s a right that shouldn’t taken away.

In 2015, there has been an influx in refugees from Central African Republic to the Democratic Republic of Congo that has put a strain on the surrounding communities and the government. Needs to be met in DRC are food security, health, water and sanitation. 

The influx of CAR refugees into DRC.
The influx of CAR refugees into DRC.

According to the World Bank data, both population and poverty levels stayed roughly the same from 2005 to 2012. Eighty-seven percent of the population is living in poverty.

Chapter 16

I have heard of some of these myths that Sachs proposes such at “Corruption is the Culprit”, “A Democracy Deficit”, and “Lack of Modern Values”. (Sachs 310-315). There are some points in all these myths that I agree with, and there are other points that I don’t. For instance, Sachs talks a lot about racial prejudices and that Westerner’s tie all African’s together and assume that they couldn’t possibly handle the implementing foreign aid tools themselves. I do agree that this viewpoint does exist.

What Sachs means by “thinking globally” is that eliminating poverty is a global responsibility because it affects everyone. “No single country can do it on its own” (Sach 327). And ultimately eliminating poverty will benefit the global community as a whole. That’s why it’s important to “think globally”.  For example, when Sachs discusses the myths about corrupt governments, we can think globally by recognized the roots problems. African countries are poorly governed because they are poor themselves and without resources. It’s not because African people cannot handle ruling their own countries.

Part II

Though Moyo supports Chinese investment in Africa, she does have some criticisms concerning Chinia’s record on governance and human rights. China’s involvement with Africa is purely for business reasons, and specifically for oil. China is not there to give humanitarian aid. However, as China invests in Africa, it is in their best interest to improve the development of African nations. According to Moyo, Western countries do not expect China to “micro-manage” government abuses made by African countries.

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