1. But WHY do you believe that the costs outweigh benefits? Again—the paper looking at Ethiopia estimated that benefits of lower prices outweighed costs on average. This seems intuitively sensible, too—if we sell subsidized low-priced goods, it should increase their wealth in the short run at least.
2. It could be—and there are also many other ways to address vulnerability to spikes in global commodity prices, as described in the last paper I linked. Of course none of these solutions is perfect and simple otherwise the problems would not exist anymore. I think we should look at the likely consequences within current regimes rather than assuming that countries/societies will get much better at responding to problems.
3. But you see how it’s a tradeoff, right? People can specialize in farming or they can specialize in other trades, not both. There can be different people doing different jobs, but every person who becomes a farmer is neglecting the possibility of specializing in something else. If a country has an industrial policy it will have to make a tough choice of what industries it wants to specialize in.
I am adding these considerations to Candidate Scoring System, which is more of an encyclopedia with all kinds of policy issues, but for the Civic Handbook I think I will leave the matter out as it does not have the kind of clear argumentative support necessary to build an Effective Altruist consensus.
Regarding food aid, you showed a couple papers discussing negative impacts from ‘food dumping’, subsidized agricultural exports from wealthy countries to poor ones. A topic that you studied in detail.
I did not read all of the text, but they mainly say: the foreign impact is that it displaces farmers. We send cheap exports, which are in fact cheaper than what a free market would produce, for a combination of reasons but mainly because of our agricultural subsidies. This puts farmers in the aid-receiving country out of work because they cannot compete.
My immediate objection is, why believe that the costs to farmers outweigh the benefits to consumers? If food is lower-priced then that should help many people. I found this paper arguing that the consumer benefits outweighed the hit to farming, on average, for households at all income levels in Ethiopia. It was not cited by either of the papers listed above.
The 1st article also says that dependence on food imports creates vulnerability to price spikes, citing this paper. But local food sources are volatile too, no? Local weather patterns, political instability, plant diseases, etc can create local price spikes. I imagine this would be worse than volatility in global commodity prices. Now, you can have imports step up to cover local price spikes, but you can also have local production step up to cover global price spikes. The former may be easier, but overall I just don’t see good reason to believe that dumping increases price volatility.
There is then the long-run question of whether a country should develop its agricultural sector vs other sectors. The 1st paper touches on this. I will have to think/read more on this, or maybe you can better answer it.
1. OK, I am emboldening key sentences now. Not entirely sure if I like it though.
2. Thanks, I replied in comments within the document.
Done though I still haven’t identified a proper catchy name. “Effective Altruist civic handbook” was just meant as a placeholder.
You can receive answers to these claims by making a dedicated thread rather than hijacking the current one.
To respond to the on-topic part of your post (I also downvoted because it’s mostly off-topic), I don’t see how you can shrug off the benefits of donating >10% as if 10% is good enough, while also saying that we must interview and read whole swathes of additional papers and people in the hope that some of it might be useful for achieving better cause prioritization. If you really want Effective Altruists to capture the benefits from reading non-Western scientific literature, then clearly you don’t think that we can shrug our shoulders and say that we’re good enough, and should recognize that donating more money is another way we can similarly do better. The two are actually fungible, as you can donate money to movement growth with advertisements targeted to foreign countries, or you can donate to cause prioritization efforts with researchers hired to survey, review and summarize the fields of literature that you think are valuable.
You’re assuming that the probability of giving up each year is conditionally independent. In reality, if we can figure out how to give a lot for one or two years without becoming selfish, we are more likely to sustain that for a longer period of time. This boosts the case for making larger donations.
Moreover, I rather doubt that the probability of turning selfish and giving up on Effective Altruism can be nearly as high as 50% in a given year. If it were that high, I think we’d have more evidence of it, in spite of the typical worries regarding how we can hear back from people who aren’t interested anymore.
Also, this doesn’t break your point, but I think percentages are the wrong way to think about this. In reality, donations should be much more dependent upon local cost of living than upon your personal salary. If COL is $40k and you make $50k then donate up to $10k. If COL is $40k and you make $200k then donate up to $160k.
People whose jobs are higher impact/higher-salary (they are correlated due to donation potential if nothing else) are likely to face more expensive costs of living and are also likely to obtain greater benefits from personal spending (averting a 1% chance of personal burnout is much more important if your job is high-impact, saving an hour out of your week is much more important if your hourly wage is higher, etc). So the appropriate amount of personal spending does scale somewhat with income. However this effect is weak enough that I think it makes more sense to usually think about thresholds rather than percentages.
New candidates have never served in Congress and therefore do not have legislative track records on animal welfare, and it’s such a minor issue to most voters that candidates almost never express their views on it while running for office.
80k ought to frame this as “room for improvement” or something along those lines instead of “flaws.” This is part of being media savvy.
(Sorry for late reply)
First, did you see the truthfulness part? I rated candidates per their average truth/lies to the public, according to PolitiFact. That’s not identical to what you’re asking about, but may be of interest.
Biden does relatively poorly. Sanders does well, though (and I haven’t factored this in, maybe I should) he seems to have a more specific and serious trend of presenting misleading narratives about the economy. Warren does well, though I did dock some points for some specifically significant lies. Bloomberg seems to be doing quite well, though he has less of a track record so it’s harder to be sure.
OTOH, it seems like you’re primarily concerned about epistemics within an administration—that there might be some kinds of political correctness standards. I’ve docked points from Trump because there have been a number of cases of this under his watch. Among Democrats, I feel there would be more risk of it with Sanders, because of how many of his appointments/staff are likely to come from the progressive left. Even though he’s perceived as a rather unifying figurehead as far as the culture wars are concerned, he would likely fare worse from your angle. But I feel this is too speculative to include. I can’t think of any issues where the ‘redpill’ story, if true, would be very important for the federal government to know about. And there will not be a lot of difference between candidates here.
EA forum user Bluefalcon has pointed out that Warren’s plan to end political appointments to the Foreign Service may actually increase groupthink because the standard recruitment pipeline puts everyone through very similar paces and doctrine. Hence, I’ve recently given slightly fewer points to Warren’s foreign policy than I used to.
I previously included wild animal suffering in the long run weight of animal welfare. Having looked at some of these links and reconsidering, I think I was over-weighting animal welfare’s impact on wild animal suffering.
One objection here is that improving socioeconomic conditions can also broadly improve people’s values. Generally speaking, increasing wealth and security promotes self-expression values, which correspond decently well to having a wide moral circle. So there’s less general reason to single out moral issues like animal welfare as being a comparatively higher priority.
However, improving socioeconomic conditions also accelerates the date at which technological s-risks will present themselves. So in some cases, we are looking for differential moral progress. So this tells me to increase the weight of animal welfare for the long run. (It’s overall slightly higher now than before.)
Another objection: a lot of what we perceive as pure moral concern vs apathy in governance could really be understood as a different tradeoff of freedom versus government control. It’s straightforward in the case of animal farming or climate change that the people who believe in a powerful regulatory state are doing good whereas the small-government libertarians are doing harm. But I’m not sure that this will apply generally in the future.
Emerging tech is treated as an x-risk here, so s-risks from tech should be considered separately. In terms of determining weights and priorities I would sooner lump s-risks into growth and progress than into x-risks.
I don’t see climate change policy as promoting better moral values. Sure, better moral values can imply better climate change policy, but that doesn’t mean there’s a link the other way. One of the reasons animal welfare uniquely matters here is that we think there is a specific phenomenon where people care less about animals in order to justify their meat consumption.
At the moment I can’t think of other specific changes to make but I will keep it in mind and maybe hit upon something else.
Migration and Development: Dissecting the Anatomy of the Mobility Transition
The Hypothesis of the Mobility Transition by Wilbur Zelinsky (1971)
Mexico’s GDP per capita and Gini coefficient have been about constant for the past decade. I can’t find evidence on changes in college education attainment. So it’s not apparent that they are pushing forward along this transition. Moreover, Mexico only constitutes ~half of illegal immigration, and many Latin American countries are poorer (in fact they are behind the $6k transition peak).
All the data+papers presented before and in this post.
None of them asked Mexican people how content they are to stay or immigrate.
The obvious, the number of kids being born in Mexico peaked in 1994 at 2.9 million and has fallen to 2.16 million births in 2018. If emigration rates remain same we can expect lower number of Mexicans trying to emigrate.
Mexico’s population is still growing. So if the emigration rate per 1000 people remains constant, the number of annual emigres will grow year over year, just at a lower rate than it would grow if fertility were higher.
When fertility rates fall, the pulls of home country are greater for emigres as parents age, + parents are less enthusiastic about kids emigrating in the first place.
Please provide a source. It may be the case that people with aging families to support desire to emigrate in order to send remittances.
Mexican emigration has gone down similar to Ireland, Japan, UK etc
It is still a vastly different country.
Around 5% of those wishing to move to US actually moved.
And many more tried to move but were apprehended at the border, or chose not to move because they were afraid of being apprehended at the border or otherwise policed.
The number of Mexicans attempting to cross the border illegally has crashed from a high of 1.615 million in 2000 to 152,257 in 2018
You’re confusing apprehensions with crossing attempts and neglecting to mention the increase in apprehensions of non-Mexican migrants.
However neither FPGen or Democrats are advocating open borders, I doubt that even under the least restrictive proposals US net immigration will exceed 1 million average over the next 20 years
Whether or not a country has open borders is not a question of the quantity of immigrants who enter the country.
I just ignore them.
Fine, but don’t then tell me I’m wrong when I’m not.
Second of all, the American right-wing is correct when they perceive that America fails to reliably control the southern border or police the undocumented migrant population.
I look for universal definitions, open borders means that anyone can come and live in USA
That’s probably what would happen here: assuming that you make it to the border, then CBP will not have the power to detain you, ICE will not exist, you will be “legally protected,” you will not have a criminal record, and you will have a “pathway to citizenship.”
These seem like small impacts on the national level. My comment on this dimension of wealth taxation is simply:
“Wealth taxes would also encourage more rapid spending on luxury consumption, political contributions, and philanthropy. It’s not clear if this is generally good or bad. Of course the tax would also reduce the amount of money that is ultimately available for the rich to use on these things, although the cap on political contributions means that it probably wouldn’t make much difference there.”
Good find, adding this too
Good point. Increasing the weight by 40% until I or someone else does a better calculation.
OK, I plan to look at some of this in tandem with Deudney’s book, due to the similar themes.
Hm, I thought that ‘air pollution’ would be readily interpreted as including climate change.
I called it air pollution rather than climate change because I think it’s perceived as a more convincing and less partisan term. And it’s more correct, given that we’re also addressing other consequences besides climate change.
I don’t call it environment because we don’t have evaluations regarding ground and water pollution but I could change it, if more people feel the same way.