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Jim Yong Kim: Obsession With Corporate Profits 'Worsened The Lives Of Millions'

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President Barack Obama stands with Jim Yong Kim, his nominee to be the next World Bank President, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 23, 2012. Kim is currently the president of Dartmouth College. (AP)
President Barack Obama stands with Jim Yong Kim, his nominee to be the next World Bank President, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 23, 2012. Kim is currently the president of Dartmouth College. (AP)

The man likely to become the next president of the World Bank thinks the global economy's obsessive emphasis on growth, something the World Bank itself has supported, has helped increase poverty and struggle around the world.

Jim Yong Kim, President Obama's nominee to lead the World Bank, wrote in the 2000 book Dying for Growth that the West's emphasis on stimulating economic growth has worsened the lives of millions of people. Kim wrote of a dire tradeoff between economic development and reducing poverty, coincidentally the World Bank's own dual goals.

"As the imperatives of growth at any cost increasingly determine economic and social policy and the behavior of global corporations, more people join the ranks of the poor and greater numbers suffer and die," Kim wrote in the book, according to NYU's Development Research Institute.

Kim singled out the World Bank, among other international agencies, as being partly responsible for this push to prioritize economic growth.

"The studies in this book present evidence that the quest for growth in GDP and corporate profits has in fact worsened the lives of millions of women and men," he wrote.

But some are critical of Kim's view. NYU economics professor William Easterly, for one, was not complimentary of Kim's criticism of the pursuit of economic growth. Easterly wrote on Twitter that "Dr. Kim attracts support from World Bank members who don't want themselves to have economic growth."

And other economists have been critical of Kim's lack of experience in development economics outside of global health, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Kim co-founded Partners In Health, which has helped deliver medical treatment to poor people around the world for diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Before taking the helm of Dartmouth College in 2009, he taught at Harvard Medical School for 16 years.

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