Monday, July 29, 2013

The $3500 bottle of wine

I won't dispute Neil Irwin's claim here that "If you spend $41,500 on a case of wine, you just might be a moral monster."
If you are about to drink a $3,500 bottle of wine, you have to think for just a minute about this option instead: Drink a $100 bottle of wine that is about as good, but from a less renowned chateau. And deploy the other $3,400 to pay for malaria-preventing mosquito nets in Africa that, by one charity’s calculations, would be enough money to save about 1.5 human lives.
But it's hard to see why the logic doesn't extend a lot further down the expenditure chain, as Peter Singer famously argued. How much will you suffer if the $100 bottle is replaced with the $20, or for that matter the 2-buck chuck? Utilitarianism is a tough taskmaster.

Note: title fixed 7/31

1 comment:

  1. I can't read too much Singer. I usually hate myself a lot after.