Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Equity ≠ Equality

Fairness is synonymous with equity, not equality. A system, such as the current international economic system, can be fair without resulting in equality. The fact that states are unequally prepared for global economic competition is not a flaw that makes international economics unfair. In fact, the economic failure of a state because it enters into international transactions systematically ill-prepared represents the equity behind our current competition backed global economic system. Whether or not states begin similarly prepared for global economic competition does not negate or confirm the impartiality, or fairness, of the international economic system, rather it is a simple fact that has more to do with specific state history and past decisions than with the global system. Therefore, when analyzing the fairness of the competition based international economic structure, the transactions between states relating to the system and their outcomes are far more important. For example, if a state enters into an economic competition with a significantly more economically powerful and secure state ill-prepared or with a weak and failing economy and does not fail, then the current economic system would be considered unfair because the outcome does not match its origins. For this reason, the current competition based system neither fair nor equitable.

Personally, I agree with Robert Jackson's interpretation of the current international economic structure (71-74 of Beyond the Sovereignty Dilemma). Our current competition based economic system is combined with forms of international society based aid designed to protect weaker economic states from unequal economic competition. However, these restrictions on competition in our international economic system make the system unfair and inequitable because they are, by definition, partial to weaker economic states. I am not arguing to abolish aid to impoverished or disaster damaged populations, however I am arguing to eliminate the current “normative regulations” on the international economic system that stifle competition. By transforming states that cannot afford to maintain sovereignty into “international protectorates”, we are prolonging the existence of weak and in some cases corrupt governments and “quasi-states” that quite literally do not have the resources to provide for their populations. Therefore, by removing the current international regulations that stifle competition between states, the international economic system would become both more equitable, as well as better support the world's populations.

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