Monday, December 6, 2010

Foreign Policy

When I was a kid I always thought foreign aid was the most important "policy" issue. At Church we had operation rice bowl for those starving people on T.V. I knew people are poor in America, but not like those Ethiopians. And if Americans come first, then at least as a foreign policy issue, making sure everyone can eat should come before say . . . partitioning Jerusalem.

I was probably 14 or 15 before I realize how strange my point of view was. I was reminded of it today. I'm taking a class on foreign policy. Our TA asked everyone to vote for what they consider the 2 most important foreign policy issues (there wasn't a prompt, you could write anything). There were 15 voters, and I cast the only vote for foreign aid.

Here's my rationale for why (the inspiration is John Rawls). Suppose you didn't know where you were going to be born. You're just a random person. You can implement on one policy and then you are born into that world. What policy do you implement?

The natural thing to ask is: what is likely to kill me and the answer isn't WMDs or terrorism: its diarrhea, AIDS, or indoor air pollution killing you as a child. So a rational person is going to prioritize that.

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