Stand against Poverty: An Interview with Thomas Pogge
In the following interview, Pogge focuses his attention on the situation in Brazil, a country that he says can exert its increasing influence on the design of global institutions. He anticipates the challenges coming for Brazil in combating poverty and gender disparities. He discusses the positive and negative aspects of the Bolsa Família programme, and he suggests that the government should extend its benefits to a larger proportion of the population in order to gain more support from the public. He believes the Bolsa Família programme is well-designed and that its implementation is essential to mitigating the absurd inequalities that so strongly polarize society and jeopardize democracy in Brazil. To distribute resources to the poor is not a question of charity, as it was considered in the old days, he explains. He finds no justification for affluent Brazilians to control all the country’s resources while the poor are deprived of their fair share. Pogge is also concerned that, owing to increasing capital mobility, globalization will tend to benefit Brazil’s rich, who also find it much easier to evade taxes. Therefore, in addition to the intervention of social programmes, Pogge recommends that the Brazilian government ensure that the country’s wealth is properly taxed and distributed.