Global Issues with Jeffrey Sachs with Claudia Dreifus


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Economist and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Jeffrey Sachs, spoke with New York Times science writer Claudia Dreifus on March 4, 2013. The full conversation, which is part of 92Y’s “Global Issues” series, covered a full range of topics, including the AIDS epidemic in America and abroad, the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and Jeffrey’s career.

On his experience down at Occupy Wall Street, Sachs recounted his feeling when first hearing the slogan “we are the 99%.”

“I remember the first moment I heard that…that’s good, that is really right.” He added, “The public mood was anger and feeling Wall Street and the bankers and the rich had not only let us down miserably…but how nothing was being done about it.”

The conversation turned to global poverty, where Sachs sees a moral imperative to find solutions.

“It does seem very strange that in this world of incredible wealth and technology, you have people dying of hunger, lack of safe water and medicine…it’s nuts. I think it’s wrong to let people die.”

Sachs thinks the worlds billionaires could help solve the problem.

“Just a little over a thousand billionaires in the world have four and a half trillion dollars of wealth…they by themselves could solve this problem if the got around to it.”

What part of Jeffrey’s conversation stood out to you? Leave your thoughts below.