Thursday, June 12, 2008

#128 - TEDtalks

I recently subscribed to the TEDtalks video podcast, one of many podcasts to round out my daily intellectual intake. Overall I really like the TEDtalk series of talks cause they present interesting ideas despite the idea they usually tend to be collectivist and I usally disagree with the main premise.

Particulary was a talk by Paul Collier where he talked about the Global responsibility to help the bottom 1 billion. While I do believe there is an individual responsibility to help others, like any other responsibility it's up tot he individual to volunteer to act on that responsibility and face the consequences of his decision and this was my major gripe with Collier.

Here said there are three steps to solving this problem, Governance, Trade, and AID. I agree with him for the most part on trade in the sense that dismantling protectionist trade policies do create prosperity for all those involved. No tariffs, subsidies, trade restrictions, etc is always a good step towards having a good global market.

Although I completly disagree with the idea governance is key to do any of this global work cause well, it violates and individuals decision to act on their responsibilities. While I would love that every volunteered to help others live better lives, it would be undermine fighting for freedom if I forced people into a responsibility with a mandate or a tax. Of course taxes and mandates have a habit of habit of forcing people into that bottom billion instead of bringing them up from it, which I've talked about plenty in earlier posts.

The alst part is AID, AID is again not bad if it's voluntary cause then you get into ethical issues of people being forced to invest in causes they are against, etc. It'd be just as hypocritical to force a christian to pay a tax to federally fund abortions as it is to tax an educated person to fund abstinence only sex education. If it's not part of the persons agenda, they shouldn't be forced to fund it and that's the problem with government and AID.

This tends to be similar to my complaint about most TEDtalks, but still very stimulating talks that I enjoy.

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