Thursday, May 7, 2009

Practical application of the theoretical proposals

Like many of the other blog participants my concerns about Chapters 8 and 9 and the proposals outlined therein stems from its implementation and enforcement. The questions raised deal less with the theory behind the proposals, which I think Pogge explains fairly well in general, and more with the practical application of such a proposal.

The proposals in Chapter 8 and 9 both call for some redistribution of wealth and resources, which, no matter the plan, would be hard to implement. Though it might be the morally correct action, few countries or people are going to sign on for this, regardless of how much moral momentum this might accumulate. Even though the proposed amount that he included as a means of building the GRD is small, I still think any policy shift would meet with considerable resistance.

Beyond persuading countries and taxpayers to accept and internalize these proposed solutions, there’s the matter of who will collect the money and how it will be distributed. These are not insurmountable problems, but are another example of where Pogge’s arguments have failed to cross from the theoretical to the practical.

While part of me wants to believe that as a global society people would be willing to address poverty and the illnesses it engenders, another part is cynical that such measures would ever appear in policy and work in the way Pogge intends if they did.

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