4. A current topic of discussion is the extent to which Western banks and nations should help developing countries by forgiving the huge debt these countries have accumulated. Take each form of reasoning we have discussed, and outline how you could use it in your deliberation on the issue. Write a “letter to the Editor” using the argument scheme you regard as best suited to justify your position. For the slippery slope, one could argue that the failure to forgive foreign debt of this nature will lead to a widening gap between developed and developing nations, requiring more loans to developing countries and exacerbating the problem further. An argument from analogycould argue the opposite conclusion by comparing developing countries to young people in our own society who take on debt to try and establish themselves. Just as we would not think of forgiving their debts simply because they are struggling because this would be place an unfair burden on the rest of society, so we should not forgive foreign debt for similar reasons of fairness. Similarly, an appeal to precedentcould be developed to argue that forgiving the debts of developing countries would set a bad precedent, since all future similar debts would thereby be eligible for forgiveness and this would undermine the very principle of international loans. On the other side again, a two-wrongsargument could agree that it is a bad idea to forgive debts, but the wrongness of allowing developing countries to struggle is greater, and there is no preferable way to help them. A two-wrongs by analogyargument could stress that since 1996, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have provided debt relief and low-interest loans to those deemed the poorest countries. Out of a principle of fairness, the same levels of help should be extended to all developing countries who cannot meet their commitments. It may be a bad idea to forgive debts, but once allowed for some countries, it should be extended to other. Dear Editor: I am concerned by the recent arguments proposing that debts to developing countries should be forgiven. This is a bad idea. Forgiving debts will just lead to countries going out and contracting further debts, under the belief that these debts will also be forgiven at some future date. They will use the money to enhance the wealth and spending ability of the rich. This will just encourage a cycle of more dependency and cries for help, which nobody wants.
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