Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet

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In Common Wealth, Jeffrey D. Sachs-one of the world's most respected economists and the author of The New York Times bestseller The End of Poverty- offers an urgent assessment of the environmental degradation, rapid population growth, and extreme poverty that threaten global peace and prosperity. Through crystalline examination of hard facts, Sachs predicts the cascade of crises that awaits this crowded planet-and presents a program of sustainable development and international cooperation that will correct this dangerous course. Few luminaries anywhere on the planet are as schooled in this daunting subject as Sachs, and this is the vital product of his experience and wisdom.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Macartan Humphreys
The wealth derived from natural resources can have a tremendous impact on the economics and politics of producing countries. In the last quarter century, we have seen the surprising and sobering consequences of this wealth, producing what is now known as the "resource curse." Countries with large endowments of natural resources, such as oil and gas, often do worse than their poorer neighbors. Their resource wealth frequently leads to lower growth rates, greater volatility, more corruption, and, in extreme cases, devastating civil wars.

In this volume, leading economists, lawyers, and political scientists address the fundamental channels generated by this wealth and examine the major decisions a country must make when faced with an abundance of a natural resource. They identify such problems as asymmetric bargaining power, limited access to information, the failure to engage in long-term planning, weak institutional structures, and missing mechanisms of accountability. They also provide a series of solutions, including recommendations for contracting with oil companies and allocating revenue; guidelines for negotiators; models for optimal auctions; and strategies to strengthen state-society linkages and public accountability.

The contributors show that solutions to the resource curse do exist; yet, institutional innovations are necessary to align the incentives of key domestic and international actors, and this requires fundamental political changes and much greater levels of transparency than currently exist. It is becoming increasingly clear that past policies have not provided the benefits they promised. Escaping the Resource Curse lays out a path for radically improving the management of the world's natural resources.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Mar 18, 2008
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781101202753
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Development / Sustainable Development
Business & Economics / Environmental Economics
Political Science / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Jeffrey D. Sachs
An inspiring look at the historic foreign policy triumph of John F. Kennedy’s presidency—the crusade for world peace that consumed his final year in office—by the New York Times bestselling author of The Price of Civilization, Common Wealth, and The End of Poverty
 
The last great campaign of John F. Kennedy’s life was not the battle for reelection he did not live to wage, but the struggle for a sustainable peace with the Soviet Union. To Move the World recalls the extraordinary days from October 1962 to September 1963, when JFK marshaled the power of oratory and his remarkable political skills to establish more peaceful relations with the Soviet Union and a dramatic slowdown in the proliferation of nuclear arms.
 
Kennedy and his Soviet counterpart, Nikita Khrushchev, led their nations during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the two superpowers came eyeball to eyeball at the nuclear abyss. This near-death experience shook both leaders deeply. Jeffrey D. Sachs shows how Kennedy emerged from the Missile crisis with the determination and prodigious skills to forge a new and less threatening direction for the world. Together, he and Khrushchev would pull the world away from the nuclear precipice, charting a path for future peacemakers to follow.
 
During his final year in office, Kennedy gave a series of speeches in which he pushed back against the momentum of the Cold War to persuade the world that peace with the Soviets was possible. The oratorical high point came on June 10, 1963, when Kennedy delivered the most important foreign policy speech of the modern presidency.  He argued against the prevailing pessimism that viewed humanity as doomed by forces beyond its control. Mankind, argued Kennedy, could bring a new peace into reality through a bold vision combined with concrete and practical measures.
 
Achieving the first of those measures in the summer of 1963, the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, required more than just speechmaking, however. Kennedy had to use his great gifts of persuasion on multiple fronts—with fractious allies, hawkish Republican congressmen, dubious members of his own administration, and the American and world public—to persuade a skeptical world that cooperation between the superpowers was realistic and necessary. Sachs shows how Kennedy campaigned for his vision and opened the eyes of the American people and the world to the possibilities of peace. 
 
Featuring the full text of JFK’s speeches from this period, as well as striking photographs, To Move the World gives us a startlingly fresh perspective on Kennedy’s presidency and a model for strong leadership and problem solving in our time.

Praise for To Move the World
 
“Rife with lessons for the current administration . . . We cannot know how many more steps might have been taken under Kennedy’s leadership, but To Move the World urges us to continue on the journey.”—Chicago Tribune
 
“The messages in these four speeches seem all too pertinent today.”—Publishers Weekly


From the Hardcover edition.
Jeffrey Sachs
In Poland's jump to the Market Economy, Jeffrey Sachs provides an insider's analysis of the political events and economic strategy behind the country's swift transition to capitalism and democracy. The greatest challenges to economic reform, Sachs points out, have been primarily political in nature, rather than social or even economic. Sachs reviews Poland's striking progress since the start of the economic reforms three years ago, which he helped to design. He discusses the gains - more than half of employment and GDP is now in the private sector, exports to Western Europe have more than doubled, and economic growth and confidence are returning - as well as the serious problems that remain - high unemployment, a chronic fiscal deficit, the slow pace of privatization of large industrial enterprises, and the fragility of multiparty coalition governments.Sachs points out that leadership is crucial to economic reform in a newly democratic setting, as is the West's timely economic assistance. In Poland's case, the Zloty Stabilization Fund and the two-stage debt cancellation have been essential to keeping the reform program on track. Poland's example has had a powerful impact on reforms throughout the region, including the former Soviet Union, and has done much to dispel the fear that the citizens themselves, allegedly made lazy by decades of socialism, would reject the competitive rigors of a market economy. Overall, Sachs remains firmly convinced of the potential for successful economic reforms in Poland and the rest of the region.

Jeffrey Sachs is Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade at Harvard University, and has been an economic advisor to more than a dozen countries around the world, including Bolivia, Mongolia, Poland, and Russia.

Jeffrey D. Sachs
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
 
“Succinct, humane, and politically astute . . . Sachs lays out a detailed path to reform, regulation, and recovery.”—The American Prospect
 
In this forceful and impassioned book, Jeffrey D. Sachs offers a searing and incisive diagnosis of our country’s economic ills, and an urgent call for Americans to restore the core virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity. Sachs finds that both political parties—and many leading economists—have missed the big picture, profoundly underestimating globalization’s long-term effects and offering shortsighted solutions. He describes a political system that is beholden to big donors and influential lobbyists and a consumption-driven culture that suffers shortfalls of social trust and compassion. He bids readers to reclaim the virtues of good citizenship and mindfulness toward the economy and each one another. Most important, he urges each of us to accept the price of civilization, so that together we restore America to its great promise. The Price of Civilization is a masterly road map for prosperity, founded on America’s deepest values and on a rigorous understanding of the twenty-first-century world economy.
 
With a new Preface by the author.

“Half a century ago J. K. Galbraith’s The Affluent Society changed the political consciousness of a generation. . . . Jeffrey Sachs’s new book is a landmark in this great and essentially American tradition. . . . Sachs by his life and his writing goes far to restore one’s wavering faith in the informing inspiration of the post-1945 new dawn, faith in economics, faith in America and faith in humanity.”—The Spectator
 
“Stimulating . . . a must-read for every concerned citizen . . . [a] hard-hitting brief for a humane economy.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Sachs’s book is loaded with information and anecdotes [and] proposals that would make it harder for the powerful to rig the system for their benefit.”—Scientific American
 
“An eloquent call for American civic renewal based on moderation, compassion, and cooperation across the lines of class, ethnicity, and ideology.”—CNN Money
 
“Compelling . . . This is an important book.”—Financial Times
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