Do Rich People ( Countries ) Have A Moral Obligation Help Alleviate Global Poverty?

Do Rich People ( Countries ) Have A Moral Obligation Help Alleviate Global Poverty?

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Do rich people (countries) have a moral obligation to help alleviate global poverty? This question has been the subject of many political and social debates. While the answer to such question is not yet establish, the reality is that there is a large number of people that are living in extreme poverty throughout the world. People who are dying from hunger, malnutrition and diseases that are now easily curable, while waiting for a help that does not get deliver. According to the World Bank, the number of people living in Sub-Sahara in a 1.25-a-day poverty rate was 47 percent in 2011. Furthermore, “in 2011, just over 80 percent of the extremely poor lived in South Asia (399 million) and Sub-Saharan Africa (415 million). In addition, 161 million lived in East Asia and Pacific.”
While a large number of people in the world are dying from lack of food and adequate health care; people living in rich countries have access to a tremendous quantity of food and health care. According to United Nation Environment Programme, “every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).” I will argue that rich countries have a moral obligation to help alleviate global poverty. This paper will first discuss my position that rich countries have a moral obligation to poor countries. And then, I will use the work of Garrett Hardin as an illustration of someone taking a different position and explain why I believe he is incorrect.
In “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”, Peter Singer argued that rich countries have a moral obligation to help alleviate global poverty. Singer goes as far as to suggest that rich countries should give up p...


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... it. Since 1492, rich countries have in one way or another used poor countries to satiate their hunger for wealth and power. It is fair and just that since rich countries have the ability to help alleviate poverty in poor counties, they should do it. Second, Hardin argument leads to the conclusion that letting people die is a good thing, which at least to me is morally wrong. Letting people die is not the answer to solve the problem of poverty since the one who survive are going to continue in poverty. Furthermore, I consider that Hardin’s reason for poverty, overpopulation, is not the main reason why there are millions of people dying. I believe that poverty is mainly cause not by overpopulation as Hardin suggested, but by the lack of a global economic and institutional system that gives poor countries the opportunity to bring out its people from poverty.










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