Transcript Document

Should ‘we’ care about ‘them’?
Global Justice and Poverty
Wealth Distribution 2013
We / Them
Limpopo Refugee Camp
Basic Facts about Poverty
• Nearly half of the world’s population — more than 3 billion
people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion
live in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 a day).
• The gap between rich and poor grows and is larger now than
it has ever been in recorded history.
• More than 1 billion people lack adequate access to clean
drinking water and an estimated 400 million of these are
children. Because unclean water yields illness, roughly 443
million school days are missed every year
• In 2011, 165 million children under the age 5 were stunted
(reduced rate of growth and development) due to chronic
• 870 million people worldwide do not have enough food to
• Preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia take the
lives of 2 million children a year who are too poor to afford
proper treatment.
• 80 percent of the world population lives on less than $10 a
• Poverty and Disease:
– AIDS – 30 million dead.
– 2 billion infected with Tuberculosis. 9.2 million new cases
per year.
– 1 million deaths from Malaria a year.
• It would cost approximately $40 billion to offer basic
education, clean water and sanitation, reproductive health for
women, and basic health and nutrition to every person in
every developing country.
Global Justice
• The idea that we have duties of justice to all
human beings based solely on their humanity
alone, without reference to nationality,
citizenship, ethnicity, race, religion, gender or
other particularities.
• If justice is defined as ‘just treatment and the
quality of being fair and equitable……’
• Then global justice refers to just treatment of all
humans and the quality of being fair and
equitable to those beyond our borders.
But, Relax ‘we’ Really Don’t
Have to Care Too Much
Justice requires a sense of national
solidarity and cultural
Justice is only about institutional
structures, if they don’t exist,
justice does not exist.
Justice is about reciprocal
relationships where expectations
are generated.
Justice only applies where
‘relational conditions’ exist, if this
is not the case at the global level,
justice remains an internal matter
for states.
Duties for some assistance, but
not justice.
Why ‘We’ Have to Care
• It is a matter of happenstance
where a person is born. Determining
just treatment on the accident of
birth is arbitrary and unfair.
• There are global institutions that
greatly alter the lives of those
beyond our borders.
• Globalization creates ‘relational
conditions’ that demand social
cooperation and culpability, where
the scope of justice applies.
Drivers of Poverty
Profit shifting by large Int’l corporations
Capital flight
Large national debt loads
Unequal market access or conditionalities
Large scale corruption
Disease burdens
General lack of political will
Preventing Known Harm
Even if you don’t buy the positive moral argument….
• Negative argument – would you knowingly want to harm
another human being?
• According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organization there is enough food produced to adequately
feed the world population.
• The largest driver of poverty is unfair economic and political
structures that perpetuate inequities.
• Western lifestyles are paid for from the poverty of others.
• Is 40 billion really too much?
• Do ‘we’ in the developed world have an
obligation to eliminate global poverty?
• If not, why not? If so, why? And what would
those obligations look like?
• What prevents us from preventing global
• Is it worth the $40 billion cost?