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An Analysis Based On The Responsibility Of The Rich To The Poor

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Social Issues

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Mrs. Chuska
A large concern today is whether or not foreign aid in any form is rational or erroneous. Garrett Hardin and Peter Singer have one thing in common upon their response to this - the responsibility of the rich to the poor - it is a major obstacle of the world. Is it right for the rich people to stay afloat and watch while the poor people drown. Both Hardin and Singer share their intelligence, thoughts, and even ignorance in the discussion of their sides over this issue; however, the majority of their disagreement is based around how to solve the problem.
Hardin and Singer refer to food as the sole issue upon foreign aid. They do; however, take completely inimical paths on how to relieve this problem. Hardin uses the production of food as his base whereas Singer applies to the distribution and waste of food for his support. Hardin refers to the Food for Peace program stating that during the years between 1948 and 1970, United States taxpayers "paid an additional $50 billion for other economic-aid programs" (484). He went on to say that most of it "went for food and food-producing machinery and technology" (484). He proceeds even further when he voices his rhetorical thought about the World Food Bank - "We must ask if such a program would actually do more good than harm" (485). In much simpler terms, a lot of the United States tax dollars are going forth to produce more food for the rapidly growing population around the world when indeed it is not factual that this policy is even working. If this is so, the farmers are actually adding to poverty by helping themselves, much like a parasitic relationship. Singer knows that the starvation problem is an immense puzzle that has several missing pieces and expresses his opinion as the following:
The problem is not that the world cannot produce enough to feed and shelter its people. People in the poor countries consume, on average, 400 lbs of grain a year, while North Americans average more than 2000 lbs. The difference is caused by the fact that in the rich countries we feed most of our grain to animals, converting it to meat, milk and eggs. Because this is an inefficient process, wasting up to 95% of the food value of the animal feed, people in rich countries are responsible for the consumption of far more food than those in poor countries who eat few animal products (490).
Plain and simple, Singer directly states that the rich waste entirely too much food when it could possibly save the lives of many if distributed to Third World countries. His theory has nothing to do with solving the puzzle but to try and piece together as many parts of it as he can to benefit the "starvation problem enigma" of the world.
Another area of agreement among Hardin and Singer is that the modern plan for solving this problem is unjust, leaving Rwanda, Somalia, and other African countries scrounging for food. Despite this single agreement, their propositions for solving this problem are far altered. Hardin conservatively approaches this topic by stressing the ancient Chinese proverb: "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach him how to fish and he will eat for the rest of his days" (486). ...

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