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In Defense of OpennessWhy Global Freedom Is the Humane Solution to Global Poverty$
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Bas van der Vossen and Jason Brennan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190462956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190462956.001.0001

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Positive-Sum Global Justice

Positive-Sum Global Justice

(p.1) 1 Positive-Sum Global Justice
In Defense of Openness

Bas van der Vossen

Jason Brennan

Oxford University Press

After describing the stunning wealth that some people in our world enjoy, the chapter contrasts two ways of thinking about the sources of such wealth and poverty. While many people believe this is the result of a maldistribution of resources, the empirical truth is that wealth results from people’s productive forces being harnessed for the common good. The chapter then contrasts two different approaches to thinking about global justice, which largely line up with these two narratives about global poverty and wealth. According to the zero-sum approach, solving global poverty must, in some way, require redistributing resources from rich to poor. According to the positive-sum approach, which the authors favor, the just solution to global poverty emulates what creates wealth: enabling people around the world to become productive, contributing to both their own welfare and that of others.

Keywords:   Great Divergence, economic development, poverty, positive-sum, zero-sum, institutions

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