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Poverty, Facts, and Political Philosophies: Response to "More Than Charity" [Full Text]

Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 16.1 (Spring 2002)

May 2, 2002

Kuper's disagreement with me is not a fundamental one. He accepts that the interests of everyone ought to count equally, and he does not object to my claim that our obligations to assist those in need do not stop at the borders of our nation. Nevertheless he urges his readers not to act on my recommendation that we give much of our income to organizations like Oxfam or UNICEF. In my response I show that his counter-examples are often irrelevant to what I am advocating, and he has not substantiated his extraordinary claim that the approach I advocate would "seriously harm the poor." I also point out that the ethical argument I am putting forward does not tie me to any particular view of what is the best way to overcome poverty and starvation.