My aim in this essay is to advance discussion of how to justify the sacrifices that reforms combating global poverty might entail for the world's better-off. I begin from the assumption that we should not try to motivate such sacrifices solely through the hope that they will produce significant poverty gains. Instead, we should also explore whether the affluent actually have compelling moral claims to the goods that they might be asked to relinquish as part of certain global reforms. This alternative strategy forms the background for my discussion of two influential global reform proposals. The first proposal is to tax the natural resource wealth enjoyed by various affluent countries in order to ameliorate global poverty. The second proposal is to prohibit the resource corporations based in affluent democracies from purchasing natural resources controlled by extreme kleptocrats. I argue that once we examine the relationship between these proposals from a sacrifice-sensitive perspective, we find that they genuinely conflict with each other, and that there are sacrifice-related reasons to put aside the canonical proposal for a global redistribution of natural resource wealth.
- foreign aid
- morality of international trade
- public property
- resource curse
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Political Science and International Relations