Medical Crowdfunding, Political Marginalization, and Government Responsiveness: A Reply to Larry Temkin

Journal of Practical Ethics 7 (1):40-48 (2019)
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Larry Temkin draws on the work of Angus Deaton to argue that countries with poor governance sometimes rely on charitable giving and foreign aid in ways that enable them to avoid relying on their own citizens; this can cause them to be unresponsive to their citizens’ needs and thus prevent the long-term alleviation of poverty and other social problems. I argue that the implications of this “lack of government responsiveness argument” (or LOGRA) are both broader and narrower than they might first appear. I explore how LOGRA applies more broadly to certain types of charitable giving in developed countries, with a focus on medical crowdfunding. I then highlight how LOGRA does not apply to charitable giving aimed at alleviating the suffering of the absolutely politically marginalized, or those especially vulnerable people to whom governments are never responsive.
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