The Singer Solution to World Poverty Essay

759 Words Dec 6th, 2012 4 Pages
“The Singer Solution to World Poverty”

You bought those new Jordans yet? How about the new iPad? What if I told you that you could possibly save a child’s life with that money? In his September 5, 1999 New York Times Magazine article “The Singer Solution to World Poverty,” Peter Singer goes in on American consumerism and its connection to world poverty. He also explains how donating $200 to overseas aid organizations like UNICEF and Oxfam America is enough to “help a sickly 2-year-old transform into a healthy 6-year old.” He goes on to point out that an American household only really needs to spend $30,000 a year on basic necessities. This number remains the same regardless of income so any income above this should be donated to these
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But how much is a fair share? Singer failed to convince me of a direct connection between our consumerism and world poverty. I agree that the average person could do much more to contribute to people in need, but how much is enough? At one point in his article, Singer takes a break to allow time for his readers to either call the UNICEF hotline or donate the $200 on the website. He then sarcastically asks you to have a celebratory dinner only to refer to that as more wasted money that can be used to save the lives of more children. In his eyes, we should feel ashamed for every dollar we spend. Should we not enjoy the fruits of our labor? What’s the point of working hard if all we’re working for is life itself.
Singer’s desire to strip the common person of all wealth in return for health and equality is almost the definition of communism. I decided to take a look into more of Singer’s works and writing and came across a Youtube clip of Singer discussing this article. In the clip, Singer, in classic communist fashion, admits that he only donates about 20% of his income to charity while demonizing the rest of us only keep what we need to survive on. He boastfully confesses, “I accept it. I don’t fully live up to my ideals. I acknowledge that I should go further.” He insists that if only more people were to follow his lead he could go further. While

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