Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The End

I’m hoping we can spend some time on Thursday unpacking section 8.4 (the moral argument for the proposed reform). It is really dense to me right now, and I think I would understand it better if we worked through it in class.

I found it very interesting that, according to Pogge, we could stop world hunger if we all paid $0.07 more per gallon of gas (a figure that seems to me to be within the normal fluctuation of gas prices) for just a few years (211-212 in orange). I’ve always thought of world hunger as this massive problem (and, I think many of Pogge’s empirical claims support this type of thinking), but I think the major flaw in my thinking was falling into those traps that Pogge discussed at the beginning of the book—that the problem is so huge that no one knows where to start. It seems that this $0.07 increase (barring the massive problems that would probably come from implementation) would be a very good idea.

My major concern, then, lies in the disbursement of these funds. If we assume that we can raise the necessary funds for the GRD, how can we divvy them out in a way that is fair and just? Pogge seems to suggest that we should rely upon expert knowledge (he suggests that we would need to consult economists and international lawyers), and he argues that transparency would be important to make sure that the process is fair. However, in making policy in America, we often rely on expert knowledge, and it doesn’t always work out because the experts become politicized (see, for example, the economy right now in relation to the suggestions of economists). Thus, I’m concerned (and this may just be a pessimistic view) that nearly any attempt to divide up this money would lead to immense political bickering which would, in all likelihood, either reduce the effectiveness of the GRD or render it completely impotent because no one can agree on what to do with the money.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think the disbursement would be impossible, but I am guessing (in agreement with your post) that the disbursement will be the major problem with Pogge's plan. Still, it seems like a statistical formula figuring in standard of living and income, as well as assets, would be in the right direction of achieving this neutral aim of equal (in the sense that everybody gets portions relative to what they need, especially compared to others) disbursement...or would it?