Cowen and Singer Solve World Poverty

This exchange between Peter Singer and Tyler Cowen on BloggingHeadsTV is priceless.

Singer has written a book, The Life You Can Save, that argues from a very Leftist perspective that those of us in the West enjoying a decent life should give much more to the poor. Cowen, arguing from a Libertarian Right perspective, agrees wholeheartedly but thinks that the way to accomplish that outcome is by such mechanisms as freer immigration and tax cuts for the wealthy which haven’t even occurred to Singer.

Despite very divergent philosophies, the two have a very cordial, informative discussion of the issues and actually take seriously the other’s ideas.  It’s a novel approach, to be sure, but one that perhaps ought to be explored further.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    Oh, come, James.
    It must be that Tyler has had his compassion surgically removed. Right?

    (Snort)

  2. Eneils Bailey says:

    I am glad to to see people have a principled discussion about ideas.
    Maybe, just maybe, this is the way to solve problems without trying to piss down each others throat.
    Here’s to you and me and all the misdirected ideas that govern our thoughts and in the end make us lesser human beings.

  3. I applaud all civil discussion between those that espouse radically different ideas. It is far too rare. But poverty is never going to be solved by the Left or the Right.

  4. Eneils Bailey says:

    But poverty is never going to be solved by the Left or the Right.

    Yeah, and I am still waiting for this to get solved by a bunch of moderates who can’t decide with which toilet paper they should use to wipe their ass.
    Come on, civil discussions, honest disagreements, people with convictions, and good intentions solve problems.
    This is is not an ideological masturbation, this is about good people, doing good things, and maybe getting some good things accomplished.

    I can understand if you disagree and have to go whack off.

  5. Franklin says:

    There will always be a bottom 10%, no doubt, but the question is whether it is the correct 10%.

  6. Robert Prather says:

    James,

    Agreed that it was a great discussion. My only exposure to Singer was a George Will column a few years ago and I see him in a better, more thoughtful, light.

  7. James Joyner says:

    My only exposure to Singer was a George Will column a few years ago and I see him in a better, more thoughtful, light.

    Singer comes out with some fringe ideas from time to time and is easy to characterize as a nut or worse. He’s a genuine Leftist, something seldom seen in the United States in recent decades, but actually quite thoughtful.