Larry Summers Memo

Larry Summers Memo

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Larry Summer’s Memo

     A controversy exists whether the World Bank should be encouraging migration of dirty industries to less-developed countries. Larry Summer challenges that the World Bank should persuade such a migration. Others contend that these less-developed countries, despite their economic plight, should not be coerced into harboring dirty industries, a position I support.

(A1) In his first argument Summer wants to force a sudden increase in pollution, which would cause an improvement in the economy, of lower wage countries. Summer justifies his beliefs by giving an example of circumstantial as hominem. He states, “Health impairing pollution should by done in the country with lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages.” An assumption is made by Summer, where he concludes that lowest cost countries will have the lower wages. He concludes by saying, these low wage countries should contain high pollution. The premise of Summer’s argument is assumed true, so his argument is invalid, but strong.

     (C1) Many agree with Summer on his stance of high-pollution industries in lesser-developed countries. They claim that it is economic logic to fill the countries with low wages with profitable industries. By doing this, it would cause more people to want to live in a less populated area and work for higher wages. A sudden increase in population would also increase the number of the labor force. By doing this, more workers and industries would rapidly affect the growth of the economy.

     (R1) In closing the first argument Summer commits to subjective fallacy when he states dumping toxic waste is “logical” and “impeccable”. He develops this argument by using errors in reasoning, such as these examples. Summer also makes ambiguous claims by make a personal attack on the reader. The phrase “we should face up to that” tells the readers they have been denying something. Summer uses this phrase to conclude his argument of pollution dumping.
(A2) In the second argument, Summer’s discusses his opinion of
Environmental issues. He states, “I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted.” This is clearly a subjective claim and Summer’s opinion. He vaguely assumes that a country could be “under-polluted”. The pollution of the world is not a natural occurrence; the waste of man creates it. This waste should not be pressured upon a geographical area if they do not create it. A clean and healthy environment is the only thing many lesser-developed countries have to cherish.

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     (C2) Summer also compares the low pollution of African countries and heavily polluted cities, such as Los Angles and Mexico City. He argues that trying to even out waste or pollution is the correct thing to do. He claims these less-developed countries have enormously lower pollution rates, because the lack of transportation and electrical generators. An increase in these industries would increase the countries welfare; this is Summer’s conclusion.

     (R2) Spreading the pollution around may seem like the most practical way to dispense of this toxic waste, but the cost of this would be to great for a smaller country to handle. The World Bank is willing to loan large sums of money to better develop the technology of a country. A sudden increase of technology does not guarantee the success of a country. Summer’s conclusion is not valid because his premise, spreading pollution even, is false. If money borrowed is not spent wisely, a country’s current plight could greatly worsen, which opposes Summer’s conclusion.

     (A3) Summer’s final argument tests the effects of pollution in less-developed countries. He states “the concern over an agent (pollution) that causes on in a million change in the odds of prostate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostate cancer than in a country where under-5 mortality is 200 per thousand (death rate).” This is an ambiguous claim. Summer tries to confuse the reader by calling pollution an “agent”. He also uses a puzzling statistic, “under-5mortality is 200 per thousand”. These claims are used as a smokescreen to divert the reader’s attention away from the main point of Summer’s argument.     

(C3) My opponents argue a change in industrial atmosphere discharge will not pose a direct health risk on a country and its people. These particles discharged by industries are a small price to pay for such a large increase in the welfare of a country. Summer continues to discuss the mobility of production, while the consumption of pretty air is expendable.

     (R3) People, who oppose the idea of clean air being expendable, seriously question the premise of Summer’s argument. Summer states, “These discharges may have little direct health impact”. This is a pure assumption by Summer and would conflict the opinions of many people. Summer continues by making a categorical claim, he hints that people of “low cost” countries deserve health risks. Opponents of Summer argue the priorities of the less-developed countries. We claim the profitability and income of a country is the most important thing, and sometimes it isn’t. Close attention to, by the World Bank, would ultimately lead to the best decisions making in improving the welfare of a lesser-developed country.
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