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Unformatted text preview: s, with an av erage income of $623,000 and a minimum of
$407,000. I f they were to giv e one- fifth of their income, they would still hav e at least $325 ,000 each, and
they would be giv ing a total of $72 billion.
Coming down to the lev el of those in the top 1 percent, we find 71 9,900 tax pay ers with an av erage income
of $327,000 and a minimum of $276,000. T hey could comfortably afford to giv e 1 5 percent of their income.
T hat would y ield $35 billion and leav e them with at least $234,000.
Finally , the remainder of the nation’s top 1 0 percent earn at least $92,000 annually , with an av erage of
$1 32,000. T here are nearly 1 3 million in this group. I f they gav e the traditional tithe — 1 0 percent of their
income, or an av erage of $1 3,200 each — this would y ield about $1 71 billion and leav e them a minimum of
Y ou could spend a long time debating whether the fractions of income I hav e suggested for donation
constitute the fairest possible scheme. Perhaps the sliding scale should be steeper, so that the superrich giv e
w w w .ny times .c om/2006/12/17/magaz ine/17c har ity .t.html?_r =0&pagew anted=pr int 8/10 Sho1/l14a1Billionair e Giv e – and What Should You? - New Yor k Times
ud / 3 more and the merely comfortable giv e less. And it could be ex tended bey ond the T op 1 0 percent of
American families, so that ev ery one able to afford more than the basic necessities of life giv es something,
ev en if it is as little as 1 percent. Be that as it may , the remarkable thing about these calculations is that a
scale of donations that is unlikely to impose significant hardship on any one y ields a total of $404 billion —
from just 1 0 percent of American families.
Obv iously , the rich in other nations should share the burden of reliev ing global pov erty . T he U.S. is
responsible for 36 percent of the gross domestic product of all Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Dev elopment nations. Arguably , because the U.S. is richer than all other major nations, and its wealth is
more unev enly distributed than wealth in almost any other industrialized country , the rich in the U.S.
should contribute more than 36 percent of total global donations. So somewhat more than 36 percent of all
aid to reliev e global pov erty should come from the U.S. For simplicity , let’s take half as a fair share for the
U.S. On that basis, ex tending the scheme I hav e suggested worldwide would prov ide $808 billion annually
for dev elopment aid. T hat’s more than six times what the task force chaired by Sachs estimated would be
required for 2006 in order to be on track to meet the Millennium Dev elopment Goals, and more than 1 6
times the shortfall between that sum and ex isting official dev elopment aid commitments.
I f we are obliged to do no more than our fair share of eliminating global pov erty , the burden will not be
great. But is that really all we ought to do? Since we all agree that fairness is a good thing, and none of us
like doing more because others don’t pull their weight, the fair- share v iew is attractiv e. I n the end,
howev er, I think we should reject it. Let’s return to the drownin...
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This homework help was uploaded on 03/04/2014 for the course PPOL 4770 taught by Professor Martin during the Spring '11 term at UVA.
- Spring '11