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October 14, 2002

Matthew Yglesias has the ultimate blog post opening. Blogging is over now. Everyone, go home and reintroduce yourselves to your spouses and significant others.
Chris Bertram has a discussion of this Thomas Pogge article (which I will read as soon as I’m done blogging about it)
[12:15 AM]
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Comments on Matthew Yglesias:

Karl Walther ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2002, 07:30 PM:

Didn't read your post yet, but I feel compelled go ahead and say I don't agree with you AT ALL.

Matthew Yglesias ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2002, 08:56 PM:

In my defense, I was agreeing with the article I hadn't read, not criticizing it, and now that I've read it, I still agree!

Dave Pentecost ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2002, 12:05 PM:

I just scanned the post and I haven't read the article, but I agree with Patrick and I'm saying hi to my family as soon as I post this comment here and a link on my weblog to Patrick's post about Matthew's post about Chris's discussion of Pogge's article and Matthew's former professor's paper which no one can read.

R. Robot ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2002, 02:03 PM:

America-haters and appeasers, all of you.

Neel Krishnaswami ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2002, 08:08 PM:

Chris Bertram also has a link to the much more interesting paper by Leonard Wantchekon, "Why do Resource Dependent Countries Have Authoritarian Governments?" in the same blog item. There's also a related story in the past week's Economist, available here.

Chris Bertram ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2002, 05:38 AM:

Thanks for the heads-up on the Economist Neel. I've now linked to it from Junius. Pogge's book, World Poverty and Human Rights, is now out in Europe though not published in the US until next month. From the sections I've read so far it looks very important and very tightly argued.

Neel Krishnaswami ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2002, 06:16 AM:

I don't doubt that Pogge's book will be tightly-argued: the paper you linked to (which is the only thing I've read by him) was very well-written.

It's just that over the last several years I've grown steadily less interested in argument at the level of abstraction he's working at, and a lot more interested in empirical measurements. Partly, this is because political scientists making moral arguments tend to end up describing ideal societies that are unlike any present day societies (think of Rawls and Nozick, say), and as a result there's frustratingly little basis for deciding how to apply their analysis in the real world in practice. It might be unfair, but right now I'd be more interested in an article describing immigration flows in both directions between the US and the EU nations, than I would be in an equally well-written moral argument about the proper role of the state in social insurance schemes.

Chris Bertram ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2002, 10:00 AM:

We'll see. I'll probably post a review on Junius when I've finished it. But one thing Pogge is good on is what empirical arguments show and what they don't. I don't think Pogge's book is excessively idealised in any case.