Put Your Oxygen Mask on First
… Then Help Others
If you discovered a pill that would cure AIDS, would you share it? If you discovered a magical bean that could diminish starvation, would you plant it? What about buying one less cup of designer coffee or that pair of shoes because they are on sale? Would you be able to give up something insignificant in order to give someone the most precious gift of all, life? Peter Singer argues, we all have a moral obligation to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. In Peter Singer’s New York Times article entitled, “The Singer Solution to World Poverty” he challenges citizens of first world countries to donate any money that is not used for day to day necessities to go towards charities that help feed, clothe, and medicate people in extreme poverty. He states that money spent at an expensive dinner, for a new suit, or on vacation could and should be used instead to save lives (Singer). Singer’s argument is unreasonable for the average American. The majority of American citizens are not at a financial point in their lives where they are able to give such generous donations. The ones that are, should give. Singer argues that, “each one of us with wealth surplus to his or her essential needs should be giving most of it to help people suffering from poverty” (Singer 4), he fails to consider that over 20 million Americans are enrolled in college (NCES). These people should not be held to the same standards as those people who have careers and are working in a field of their choice, making good money. Instead of trying to force people who are not yet in a position to give their money Singer should suggest that instead of giving their money students should give their time and talents to helping others that are in need.A law student could focus on how to change government policies so that taxes that are taken out of taxpayer’s paychecks can actually go towards overseas aid agencies that are already in place. A student...
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