Monday, October 26, 2009

Tyranny of the Majority, Helping the World's Poor

Dr. Fishkin points in that there should be some mechanism for preventing a majority from oppressing a minority. Dr. Fishkin wrote a separate book on Tyranny and Legitimacy which I will review for another Thoughtful Thursday. A veto such as that from the Supreme Court declaring a law unconstitutional only preents tyranny of commission. But what happens when the people ignore suffering that they could relatively cheaply solve. Or when a group with a veto, uses it to preserve "an unjust status quo." One of the ultimates of this is helping the poorest in the world, the 1.4 billion that earn less than the World Bank Povery lnie of 1.25 dollars per day. Peter Singer writes with many cogent facts about this in Chronicle Review, March 13, 2009, B6 to B10 and about how Americans could spend more money to help alleviate this suffering and the low percentage of their incomes that Americans spent on this type of foreign aid.

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