1Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
2Law and Development Research Group, Faculty of Law, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
3Department of Sociology, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
4ECOHOST, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
5School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
If global trade were fair, it is argued, then international aid would be unnecessary and inequalities inherent to the economic system would be justifiable. Here, we argue that while global trade is unfair, in part because richer countries set the rules, we believe that additional interventions must go beyond trade regulation and short-term aid to redress inequalities among countries that will persist and possibly worsen in spite of such measures. Drawing on an example of measures taken to redress the characteristics of a system that inherently increases inequality, the ability of dominant teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) to recruit the most talented players, we argue that market-based competition even in the context of fair rules will create and amplify economic inequalities. We argue that, just as the NBA created a draft to reduce the emergence of severe inequalities among teams, systems of social support within richer countries should be paralleled by a global system to counterbalance persisting inequalities among countries that are produced by market forces. We explain how such a mechanism might operate among integrated market economies, and identify the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) as an example of such an emerging form of global social support.
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