Letters - Free markets don't solve poverty

Robert Skidelsky's usual denunciation of Marxism is curiously muted at the start of his review of Jeffrey Sachs's The End of Poverty (Spring Books, 16 May). Then again, he does tell us that, while extreme poverty in India and China has been shrinking swiftly since the 1980s, 35 per cent of India's population is extremely poor, as against 17 per cent in China. For those trying to survive on less than $1 a day, perhaps a somewhat planned economy and actually existing socialism are better prospects than free markets and liberal democracy.

Greg Michaelson

This article first appeared in the 23 May 2005 issue of the New Statesman, The nuclear charm offensive