Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
3Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Pogge

Pogge

Ratings: (0)|Views: 191|Likes:
Published by Sam Panther
"The Moral Demands of Global Justice" - Thomas W. Pogge
"The Moral Demands of Global Justice" - Thomas W. Pogge

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Sam Panther on Mar 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

02/23/2012

pdf

text

original

 
NOTICE:THISMMERl.4LMAYBEPROTECTEDBYCOPYRIGHTLAW(TlTLE17U.S.CODE)
TheMoralDemands
ofGlobalJustice
ThomasW.Pogge
R
ETROSP£C11VES
onthetwentieth
cen-
tury
give
amplespacetoitshorrors.Naturalcatastrophesareovershad-owed
by
warsandotherhuman-madedisas-ters:sixmillionmurderedintheGermanHo-locaust,thirtymillionstarvedtodeathinMao'sGreatLeapForward,elevenmillionWipedout
by
Josef
Stalin,
twomillion
killed
by
theKhmerRouge,halfamillionhackedtodeathinRwanda,and
soon.
Missingfromthese
retrospectives
arethedeathsfromstarvationandpreventablediseaseS-=:worldhungerforshort-
orne
twoBundledmillioninjust
the
fewearssincetheend
0
thecowar.
Why
are
t
esedeathsnotmentioned?Aretheytoohumdrum,tooordlnary,notshockingenough?Orarethey
l
perh8Ps
too
dtsturbtng-s-deethsthat,unliketheothers,are
not
clearlysomeoneelse'sresponsi-
bility?.
--r.et
usconsiderthedisturbingthought.Dowebearsomeresponsibilityfordeathsdue
to
extreme
poverty
abroad?
Confronted
with
this\question,mostrespondwithafirm
No.
Butthis
No
comes
very
quicklyandwithareluc-tancetodelvemoredeeplyintothereasonsforit.Thisreluctanceisshared
by
ethicists,whosejob
it
1$tothink
iboutmoralissuesand
re-
sponSibilities.Mostofthem
probably
agreewiththeNooftheircompatriots,but
very
fewhavetakenthetrouble
to
examinethequestioncare-
fully
enoughtoprovidegoodreasonsforthisanswer.Howdoesoneexaminesuchaquestion?Onemaybegin
by
recapitulatingthebasicfactsaboutworldhunger.Ofatotal
of
sixbillionhumanbeings,onequarterlivebelowthein-ternationalpovertyline
(WDR,
25),"thatin-comeorexpenditure
level
belowwhichamini-mum,
nutritionally
adequatedietplusessen-
a·
rialnon-foodrequirementsarenotaffordable~
(HDR
1996,222).Thislevelisspecifiedintermsofadailyincomewiththepurchasingpowerthatonedollarhadinthe
United
Statesin
1985.
Becauseof
inflationintheinterven-ing
years,
thislevelnowcorresponds
to
anan-nual
per
capita
incomeof$560atpurchasingpowerparityortoanannual
percapiw
incomeof
$140
atcurrentexchangerates.This
lase
fig-
uretakesaccountofthefactthat,inthepoorcountries,onlyabouttwenty-fivecents
I,
needed,onaverage,to
buy
localcurrencythathasasmuchpurchasingpowerasonedollarhas
in
theUnitedStates
(c/.
WDR,
230-1).
So
households
in
thepoorestquartile
ofhuman-
kindcannotafford,perpersonperyear,what-everbasicnecessitiescanbeboughtfor$560intheUnitedScatesorfor$140intheaveragepoorcountry.(Asthisarticlegoestopress,
I
findthattheWorldBankandtheUnitedNa-
nons
DevelopmentProgramhavequiedyrede-finedtheinternationalpovertyline
in
tennsof
a
daily
incomewiththepurchasing
powerthat
onedollarhadintheUnited-Statesin1993
[HDR2000,
4,170f.].Since
the
U.S.dollarlostmorethanaquarterofitsvaluebetween1985and1993,thisrevistonlowerstbeinter-nationalpovertyline
by
over25percentandthusconvenientlyreducesthenumberofglo-balpoorwithoutcosttoanyone.)Suchseverepovertyhasconsequences:'Worldwide,34,000childrenunderagefivediedailyfromhungerandpreventablediseases"
(USA,
iii),Roughlyonethirdofallhumandeaths,somefiftythousanddailyoreighteenmillionannually,areduetopoverty-relatedcauses
(WHO,
Table
2),
Thisfractionissohighbecausefarmorethanaquarterofallhumandeaths,andbirths,occur
in
thepoorest
quartile
duetothemuchshorterlifeexpectancyamongthepoor.'Twooutoffivechildreninthede-velopingworldarestunted,oneInthreeisunderweightandone
in
teniswasted"
(FAO).
DISIEIIT/
Fall2000
37
 
GLOBALJUSTICE
Onequarterofallchildrenbetweenfiveandfourteen.250million
in
all.arecompelledtowork,oftenunderharshconditions.assoldiers,prostitutes,ordomesticservantsorinagricul-ture,construction,textile.or
carpetproduc-
tion(ILO;
WOR,
62).Iftheysurvivelongenough.manyofthemwilljointhecurrently
850
millionilliterateadults.Some840million
personsare
todaychronicallymalnourished,
880
millionwithoutaccesstohealthservices.
one
hillionwithoutadequateshelter,
1.3bil-
lionwithoutaccesstosafedrinkingwater.twobillionwithoutelectricity.and2.6billionwith-outaccesstobasicsanitation
(HDR
1998.49;
HDR
1999.22).
M
MYP20PU
in
themoreaffluentcoun-
triesbelieve
thatsevereglobalpovertyisrapidlydeclining.Withsomucheconomicandtechnologicalprogress.
it
seemsreasonabletoassumethat
a
risingtidemustbeliftingallboats.Internationaldeclarations,sum-mits,andconventionsdevotedtotheproblemprojectastrongimageofconcertedactionandbrisk
progress,
Buttherealtrendismoremixed.TherehasbeenSignificantprogress
in
thefor-mulation
and
ratificationof
relevant
docu-ments,
in
thegatheringandpublicationofsta-tisticalinformation,andeven
in
reducing
Im-
portantaspectsofpoverty.
Andyet.
in
the
pe-riodsincetheendofthecold
war,
thenumberofpersonasubsistingbelowtheinternattonalpovertyline"rosefrom1.2billionin
1987
to
1.5
billiontodayand,
if
recent
trendspersist,
will
reach1.9
billion
by
2015"
(WDR,25).
Thetrendinintemationalinequalityclearlyshowstheinadequacyoftherising-tideimage:"Theincomegapbetweenthefifthoftheworld'speoplelivingintherichestcountriesandthefifthinthepoorestwas
74
to1in1997,upfrom
60
to
1
in1990and30to1in1960."Estimatesforearliertimesareeleventoonefor1913,seventoonefor1870,andthreetoonefor1820
(HDR
1999.3).Today,
whilethebot-tomquartileofhumankindliveonlessthan$140peryear,
1998
per
CQpita
grossnational
product(GNP)was
$29.340intheUnitedStates;somewhatmore
in
Japan;andsomewhatless,onaverage,
\n
WesternEurope
(WDR,
230-1).Suchenormousinequalitycastsdoubtuponthecommonviewthateradicatingworldhun-gerwouldbeprohibitivelyexpensive,that
it
would
truly
impoverishus
and
destroyourcul-tureandlifestyle.RichardRottyarticulatessuchaviewwhenheexpressesdoubtthatwecanhelp
the
globalpoor:
"8
politicallyfeasibleprojectofegalitarianredistributionofwealthrequirestheretobeenoughmoneyaroundtoensure
that.aftertheredistribution,the
rich
will
still
beabletorecognizethemselvee=-wtllstillthinktheirlivesworthliVing
N
(Rorty,
14).
Suchapprehensionmayseem
justified
in
view
ofthehugenumberofpoorpeople,1.5billionbelow
the
internationalpovertyline.
But
it
is
infactgros91yexaggeratedbecauseglobalin-come
inequality
ismuch
largerthanRorty
seems
to
realize.Theaggregateincomeofthepoorestquartileislessthan0.7percentoftheglobalsocialproduct,lessthan$210billionoutofnearly$30trillion
(,WDR,
231).Ashiftinglo-)
bal
incomedistributionthatwoulddouble
(or
IIIlf
triple)theirincomesentirelyatourexpensewouldstillbequiteminor.
It
wouldreducethe
tOP
tenth
of
incomeshyamere
1
or2per-
V
cent-hardlyaseriousthreattoourcultureandlifestyle.Thisconclusionisreinforced
by
!ookingatineQualitiesinwealth.Theseareconsiderablygreaterthaninequalitiesinincome,sincewell-offhouseholdstypicallyhavemorenetworththanannualincomewhilepoorhouse-holds
typically
haveless.Thefortunesoftheultrarich,inparticular,havebecomeenormous:"Theworld's200richestpeoplemorethandoubledtheirnetworthinthefouryearsto1998,tomorethan
$1
trillion.Theassetsof
t
thetopthreebilhonairesaremorethanthecombinedGNPofa11leastdevelopedcountriesand
their600
millionpeople"
(HDR
1999,3).
"Theadditionalcostofachievingandmain-taminguniversalaccesstobasic
education
forall.basichealthcareforall,reproductivehealthcareforallwomen,adequatefoodforallandsafewaterandsanitationforallis...lessthan
4%ofthe
combinedwealthofthe225
richest
people
intheworld"(HDR1998.30).Onceagain,
Rorty's
apprehensionlooks
vut1y
over-blown.Athird
way
ofputtingthecostoferadicat-ingworldhunger
in
perspectiverelatesthiscosttotheso-calledpeacedividend.Followingthe
6ZLZ-8SZ-609:
xej
f'lINn
N013JNI
 
GLOBALJUSTICE
endofthecoldwar.militaryexpendituresde-clined
from
4.7
percent
oftheglobal
social
prod-
UCtIn
1985
to
2.9
percent
!n
1996
(HDR1998.
197;HDR
1999,
191).
Thisdeclinecurrentlyproducesanannualdividendofmorethan$500billionannually-farmotethantheunder5210billioncollectiveannualincomeofthepoorest
quartile.
ManyU.S.
citizensapparentlybelieve
[hac
alargeproportionofthe
federal
budgetisal-readybeingspentonforeignaid.Butinfact.'The
U.S.
AgencyforInternationalDevelop-ment(l1SAID)administersAmerica'sforeignassistanceprograms.whichaccountforlessthanone-halfof1
%
ofthefederalbudget"(DSAID).NetoffiCial
development
ASsistance
(ODA)
pro-
vided
by
theUnitedStateshasfallentounder
$9
billionin
1998.
$32
per
citizen.
As
ashareof
GN
p.thisis
O.
10percent(versus
0.21
per-centunderRonald
Reagan
in1987
-1988)-the
lowestamongdevelopedCOuntries,whichhavefollowedtheU.S.
lead
by
reducingtheiraggre-gatenet
aDA
from0.33percentof
their
com-binedGNPsto0.24percent($51.9billion)dur-
ing
thesameperiod
(HDR
2000,218).Theallocationofsuchfundsis,moreover,governed
by
politicalconsiderations:only
21
percentgoestothe
forty-three
leastdevelopedcountries
(HDR
2000,218)andonly8.3percent
Is
spentonmeeting
basic
needs
(HDR
2000.
79).
Thusthetwenty-onedonorstatestogetherspend
$4.3
billionannually
on
meetingbasicneeds
abroad,
less
than
.08
centsperdayforeachperson
in
thepoorestquartile.
The
World
Food
Summitin
~meo;!a-
nl2ed
bY
theUN
F"ood
and
AiricuL
re
01'2"
utton
FAD
inNovember1996providesatellingexample
0
prevaiingofficialattitudestowardpovertyeradicatlon.Itsprincipal
achievementwasthis
pledgebythe
186par-
ticipatinggovernments:
'We.
theHeadsofStateandGovernment,orourrepresentatives.gath-eredat
theWorldFood
Summit...reaffirmthe
right
ofeveryone
co
haveaccesstosafeandnutritiousfood,consistentwiththerighttoadequatefoodandthefundamentalrightofeveryone
co
befreefromhunger.Wepledge
ourpolitical
willandourcommonandnationalcommitmenttoschievtngfoodsecurityforallandtoanon-goingefforttoeradicatehunger
in
allccuntries,
withan
immediate
[I]viewtoreducing
the
number
of
undernourishedpeopletohalftheirpresentlevelnolaterthan20l5.
We
consider
it
intolerablethatmorethan800millionpeoplethroughout
theworld.and
par-
ticularly
indevelopingcountries,
do
nothaveenoughfood
10
meettheirbasicnutritionalneeds.Thissituationisunacceptable."(Rome)~
oJ
A.
The
U.S.
governmentpublishedits
own~~
interpretationofthispledge:"theattainmentofany'righttoadequatefood'or'fundamentalrighttobe
free
fromhunger'
is
a
goal
oraspira-tiontoberealizedprogressivelythatdoesnotgiverisetoanyinternationalobligations"
(IS).
It
alsochallengedthe
FAO'sdaim
(WA)
thatfulfillingthepledgewouldrequirealldevel-
oped,tatescornbiriecitoIncreasetheirdevel-
opmentassistanceinagriculture
by
$6billionannually:
"As
panof
the
U.S.ActionPlanon
FoodSecurity,
USAIDcommissionedasepa-
fate
studyof
the
projected
cost
ofmeetingthe
World
FoodSummit
targetanda
strategyforreachingthisgoal.The
study,
completed
in
mid-
1998,
estimatedthatthetargetcould
be
reachedwithadditionalglobalassistanceof[only]$2.6billionannually."
(USA,
AppendixA).Sothestudyproposesthatthepledgebehacked
by
only
$3rather
than
$7
annually
for
eachmal-nourishedpenon.Thehunger
reduction
planadoptedin
Rome
implicitly
envtslons
wellover200milliondeaths
from
hungerandprevent-ablediseasesoverthe1997-2015planperiod.Onemighthavethoughtthat,even
if
theFAO'sproposedannualincreaseof$6billionweretoreducehunger
faster
than
planned,
thisshould
be
nocauseforregret.Halvingworldhungerinnineteenyears,after
all.
isglacialprogress.And$6billionis
not
muchtoaskfromthehigh-incomecountries,whosecombinedan-nual
GNP
in1998was
$22,599
billion(WDR
231).
DISSfiT
IFall
20DO.
"}n

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->