Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vegan advocacy and pessimism about wild animal welfare

Summary: Human meat consumption seems to seriously reduce wild animal populations. This has previously been considered an additional bad effect of meat consumption. However, some animal advocates claim that wild animal populations' aggregate welfare is so negative as to dwarf domestic animal suffering. Some of these advocates also favor spreading veganism, which on this view would seem to have the immediate effect of greatly increasing animal suffering. This tension should be addressed by advocates in cost-effectiveness estimates and research.

Monday, July 08, 2013

How immigration could make AMF more cost-effective

Summary: charities that save the lives of the global poor have more economic impact than one might think because a portion of the very poor may emigrate to other countries and enormously increase their productivity, and this portion may greatly increase if some developed countries open their borders.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Open borders in (at least) one (developed) country

Over at the Open Borders Blog Vipul Naik and co-bloggers have discussed an enormous variety of arguments for and against a system of open borders. Immigrants from poor countries earn much more when they move to rich countries, a "place premium." If this place premium is unaffected by very high levels of immigration, then open borders could greatly increase world GDP and eliminate almost all absolute poverty. Refugees would be guaranteed a place to escape bad conditions, governments would face incentives to improve their policies to keep their population from leaving.

So immigration is very much worth a look for those interested in effective altruism. This post covers a point that seems to me to have been relatively neglected among open borders advocates (although it has been discussed more by advocates of charter cities): it seems most of the expected benefits do not require a global system of open borders, just open borders in one or a few countries with the right properties, a much easier goal.