International Economic Development

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Do the wealthy nations of the world have an obligation to assist the less wealthy nations in the development Do the wealthy nations of the world (such as the United States) have an obligation to assist the less wealthy nations in the development and implementation of programs and technology to reduce pollution and take other measures to help the environment? Please defend your position.

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No country has an actual obligation to another. However, the problems of another less powerful country do affect a more powerful country. Instability can lead to bigger problems. This is one reason more powerful countries help weaker ones.
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Is there an obligation to help? No.  Would it be in everyone's best interest for wealthy nations to aid poorer nations? Absolutely. How best to aid them?  Trade.  How best to improve environmental issues?  Once again, trade.  Currently Japan is aiding China in pollution control, to the benefit of both -- Japan exports its technology, China improves its citizen's health.  The toxic toy problem a while back is another example -- Citizens in the US will not buy lead painted toys (Although to be fair, the US had lead paint on its toys for many years.  But we have since learned better, and raised the standard of children's health in doing so. )  If China wants to trade toys, it had better change its manufacturing process. Healthy trade will do more good for more people more quickly than any government incentive or program. On a more local level, the same can be said of putting your money where your mouth is regarding environmental issues by consciously purchasing the more expensive, but less polluting products. "Charity begins at home."

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Well when it comes to the most developed nations that are the ones that contribute the most to global warming, they definitely have a responsibility to help reduce carbon emissions.  Also the wealthy nations such as the United States do have an obligation to give aid to other underdeveloped nations.  We live in a "flat world", and we can all benefit from helping out the lesser developed nations so that we can eventually trade with them.

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