The Instigator
sutariachintan
Pro (for)
Tied
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The Contender
sjpate3
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

It is better to focus charitable giving on the developing world than to give locally

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/1/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 750 times Debate No: 62522
Debate Rounds (3)
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sutariachintan

Pro

I'd like to start by establishing that in the prompt, "It is better" can and should be evaluated on two criteria for the purpose of this debate:
First, the reason that people give their time and money to charity is so that they can make a positive impact with it. Even if you argue that some people donate for personal recognition, that recognition can only be maximized if their charitable giving was effective in making a strong impact. Therefore, the first standard to determine the winner should be what makes the bigger impact: local or global giving.

The second standard to adopt is a moral one. When we say "it is better..." in the context of this debate, it should include more than just pragmatic reasons. Therefore, I think it is within the scope of our discussion to prove on moral grounds why it is better to give locally or globally.

Let's start with the first standard:
There is a huge disparity in the standard of living between wealthy countries (where this debate is most relevant) and the developing world (1). Based on the Law of Diminishing Utility, we can judge that developed countries do not experience the same impact from a donation that would be possible in a developing countries.

From a moral perspective, Rawls' veil of ignorance and utilitarianism are the most objective standards of morality. Given that the developing world is much worse off than wealthy nations and we can positively impact more lives there with the same resources, there is a moral obligation to give there, rather than at home.

Although there are claims of inefficiency and corruption in developing countries, even by accounting for those impact leaks, it is still a larger impact.

(1) http://www.wwnorton.com...
sjpate3

Con

To say simply that the dollar goes further when given globally does not justify disregarding local concerns. The need is present locally. According to the census, 45.3 million in the US were living in poverty in 2013. In particular, about 30 percent of Dallas residents were living below the poverty line in 2009. The vicious cycle of poverty allows very few people to overcome the obstacles to become self-sufficient. Those in poverty are at a disadvantage for the basic needs including food, housing, and most importantly, a quality education, which can serve as the gateway to success. These individuals in need live in our community and we must serve their needs first before we address those abroad. Most significantly, if local concerns are addressed, the local community is strengthened. In turn, that community is able to develop the means to support global concerns allowing for an even greater impact.
Debate Round No. 1
sutariachintan

Pro

This debate is not about disregarding local concerns. It is about competing priorities. When there are competing priorities, we should focus on global charitable giving because that is where the greatest impact can occur, and impact ought to be the measure of what is better over geographical proximity.

On your claims of "The need is present locally[...]":
-Branko Mianovic (1), World Bank economist, shows that the US has a much lesser slope of inequality compared to other countries. And "the typical person in the bottom 5 percent of the American income distribution is still richer than 68% of the worlds inhabitants."
- This report (2) by the Heritage Foundation has some interesting facts about the poor people in America. "80% of poor households have air conditioning." "97% of poor households have a color television." This is NOT true in other countries.
-The Brookings Institute (3) says "If we used the exact same criteria to measure poverty in the US [...] we would conclude that no one in the US falls under the $2 [per day] threshold."

Regarding your point about the cycle of poverty and gateway to success, those apply in a greater scale if your starting point is lower (which I've proven it is if you look beyond American borders).

Your claim "we must serve their [local community] needs first" but offer no reason as to why. Veil of Ignorance addresses this anyways.

Your claim of a local community "is able to develop the means to support global concerns" has no proof. Even if it did, you're only proving that local would be a means to an end, and global is better. And communities are already primed to support global concerns given global inequality.

(1) http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com...
(2) http://www.heritage.org...
(3) http://www.brookings.edu...
sjpate3

Con

sjpate3 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
sutariachintan

Pro

sutariachintan forfeited this round.
sjpate3

Con

sjpate3 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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