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Global Justice & Finance$
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Tim Hayward

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198842767

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198842767.001.0001

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Can Giving Money End Severe Poverty?

Can Giving Money End Severe Poverty?

(p.71) 5 Can Giving Money End Severe Poverty?
Global Justice & Finance

Tim Hayward

Oxford University Press

Some moral and political philosophers assume that the international institutional order is imperfectly just, but not thoroughly unjust. Thus the global financial system, for all its contingent faults, is assumed, in principle, to be suitable as a medium for transferring income and wealth as ethics or justice might require. Problematizing that assumption, this chapter critically examines some influential proposals for deploying financial means in the pursuit of just ends. Particular attention is paid to proposals simply to send money abroad to poor people in the form of cash transfers. For while cash transfers can bring some benefits to recipients, questions remain as to how beneficial they are for the broader goal of alleviating global poverty. Furthermore, a paradox about cash transfers is that they are, in fact, cashless. Investigating this paradox leads to discerning powerful vested interests supporting programmes of ‘cash’ transfers for reasons not purely of justice but also of profit.

Keywords:   Cash transfers, Peter Singer, effective altruism, anti-malarial nets, cashless cash, global poverty

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