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The Large-Scale Struggle

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Christian Serrato


English 111

29 November 2016

The Large-Scale Struggle

        The issue of poverty has been persistent throughout history. Before, people who were in positions of power would make sure that there was a large gap between the rich and the poor to be certain that it was impossible for the rich to lose their position. This issue is still persistent today not only in developing countries, but also developed countries. In countries that have large amounts of people living in poverty, there is unimaginable amounts of human suffering. If we were to sum up poverty related deaths from 2006 to 2010, we would have a larger number than the victims of Mao’s Great Leap Forward, Stalin’s repression, and the Nazi Holocaust put together (Caranti). Allowing developing countries to continue to have its population live in poverty also affects all of us that are in more developed countries. Helping these other countries develop would allow for more collective learning, which would then lead to new discoveries and time to tackle other issues in our world today.           

        There is no single reason as to why world poverty still exists today; instead it is a mixture of issues within countries. There are global reasons and local reasons as to why poverty continues to exist. For example, tariffs on developing countries affects how its economy grows. Caranti states, “These tariffs discourage developing countries from creating autonomous, flourishing economies by exploiting their competitive advantages of cheap labor costs and large availability of raw materials.” A major local issue in underdeveloped countries is the corruption in their governments which works against people who are in poverty. While local issues do play a role in poverty in developing countries, they are only able to be effective because of the global issues that already exist (Caranti).

        Since there are global and local issues that are keeping poverty in today’s world, there is no single solution to solve it. Peter Singer states, “By his (Peter Unger’s) calculation, $200 in donation would help a sickly two-year-old transform into a healthy six-year-old- offering safe passage through childhood’s most dangerous years” (380). Singer believes that the way to solve poverty in the world is for people to donate enough money to charities. While charities can help solve medical issues and/or housing issues, they don’t have the power to fix corrupt governments that countries have or stop violence that adds to the corruption. Even though Lisa Cassidy agrees with the idea of charitable giving that Peter Singer talks about, she states, “Whatever the structural causes of world poverty are, charitable giving surely will not eliminate them.” The solution to world poverty is to donate money to charities, work with developing countries to fix any corruption in their government, and to help these countries begin to grow their economy.

        Some people may say that we need to fix issues within our own country before we begin to meddle with issues that are taking place within other countries. Lisa Cassidy addresses this argument by stating, “Even if such an argument could be made, it still does not address the material reality that (for the most part) people in the South need aid more than people in the North, a point in which Singer is persuasive.” If we can help other countries reach the point in which they are able to begin contributing to others in the world, then fixing world poverty becomes that much easier. Another issue that people have is with other countries and/or other people not doing enough or not doing anything at all to help with the issue. Their argument is that because nobody else is helping to solve the issue, that means that they don’t have to help either. Singer counters this by stating, “While the idea that no one need do more than his or her fair share is a powerful one, should It prevail if we know that others are not doing their fair share and that children will die preventable deaths unless we do more than our fair share?” (383). Some people may have to be the first to start contributing to the issue before many others join in. There are many people in the world who will follow others but don’t feel comfortable with being the one to be the leader.

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