ONE QUICK FOLLOW-UP: To the discussion of poverty, which Helen continues here. Part of what drives the divide (so much as it exists) between her position and mine (or the positions I'm prepared to defend versus the ones she's prepared to defend) is the definition of 'poverty.' One can distinguish extreme poverty from, as it were, regular poverty. The former is far too widespread, and people are far too lazy about it. When the choices facing some not-insignificant part of the world are to die tomorrow from malnutrition or diarrhea today, or else in six months, or else in ten years, that's not good, and at least some of the solutions are not, from an institutional standpoint, that difficult to enact.* But once the subsistence level is cleared, Helen's point holds. One can support a global minimum without falling into the trap of supporting a lot of redistributive (governmental) social policies--I think David Miller has a position very close to this one, at least on the question of global justice.

*Or maybe they are, but I'm certain there's been no widespread, systematic attempt to find out.

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