In a particularly trenchant passage, he gently fillets critics, like William Easterly, who have argued that foreign aid doesn’t work. (Aid money spent bringing fertilizer to India in the 1960s, Sachs notes, yielded spectacular returns.)
Sheez. I hope there's more than this. Easterly notes that we've spent like 1 Trillion dollars on Africa, with zero, if not negative returns. And Sachs refutes Easterly's criticisms with a specific subsidy that worked. Well, with 1 trillion, I would hope he would have several anecdotes.
But the reviewer, Daniel Gross, reveals his hand when he notes:
And it’s refreshing to hear a distinguished economist declare that markets alone can’t get us out of the mess markets have created.
The old straw man that the other side says markets are sufficient to fix everything. No one who believes in market solutions thinks they are perfect, or don't require good institutions, which necessarily involve governments. It amazes me how incredibly dumb such people can be, yet write for the New York Times book review, surely one of the mosts prized positions in book reviewing. And people complain that our process for choosing a President is suboptimal.