Jan_Kulveit comments on Could I have some more systemic change, please, sir? - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Jan_Kulveit 30 January 2018 02:55:26PM 0 points [-]

As many others have expressed, the concern with systemic changes is you are often dealing with complex poorly understood systems.

Let's take the example of EU's Common Agricultural Policy. It is most likely evil toward world's poor, but it's not clear for example whether it works toward or against EU unity. It is plausible it is somehow important for EU unity, either because being a form of fiscal transfer or a way how to corrupt important voter block... So we should include possible political consequences in the utility calculation, and the problem becomes really tricky.

On the other hand I agree systemic interventions are worth considering, and e.g. change in drug policy seems to be an excellent candidate, as the action has been tested, we understand most of the consequecnes.