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Do something or nothing Essay


Resource wise, the developed countries (first world countries) boast of a vast well-managed rich economy. Therefore, the poor countries have to rely constantly on the rich countries for their survival.

However, according to Garrett Hardin, each country should learn to manage their population, resources and other vital points in the economy rather than depending on the developed countries for the supply of food, medical and other necessities.

On the contrary, according to Singer, the developed countries have the obligation to assist in alleviating poverty from the developed countries.

Relatively, both Singer and Hardin have different opinions on, which ways to eradicate poverty in the world. Personally, I agree with Garret Hardin assertion, that each country should install policies or a management system that ensures they have enough resources/funds to manage its population.

Currently, the funding of the poor countries has not only increased poverty but also has led to the adoption of poor policies, which constrain the economy and comfortably of the developed nations.

Hardin writes that the higher percentage of population growth in poor countries when compared to the rich countries is an issue that can lead to worldwide poverty if not handled wisely.

On the other hand, Singer views that the low population in developed countries can fund the increasing population in poor nations without the two regions falling at the same level.

Authentically, population difference is the major issue contributing to poverty to poverty in the world. Although the poor countries can adequately, control the rate of population, the government and policy makers overlook the issue.

For instance when compared to the poor countries, the United States population is increasing at 0.8 percent per year while in the developing countries the figure is at 3.3 percent per year.

Alluding from the ethics of the lifeboats, Hardin says, “The harsh ethics of the lifeboat become harsher when we consider the reproductive differences between rich and poor.” (par.13).

Therefore, vast population in the poor countries puts constraints to the limited resources. Furthermore, if the rich nations (have lower population increase) partners up resource wise with the developed nations, then they will end up at the same level.

Eventually, the all countries will be poor because of tremendous population increase in the developing countries. Hardin notes that “needs are determined by population size, which is determined by the rate of reproduction.”(par.16), however, the policy makers in poor countries fail to notice or to put in consideration population control mechanisms.

According, to Hardin the poor countries should learn the hard way rather than relying on the developed countries for funding. On the contrary, according to Singer, it is unethical for the developed nations to float in wealth while their counterparts in the poor nations die of hunger.

Singer claims that most Americans spend their money on unnecessary items such as entertainment, dinners in expensive restaurants and cars among other items.

In addition, he adds that it is immoral to spend money on luxuries while in rich countries children are dying of hunger, diseases and other social problems, which the society can handle adequately.

For instance, Singer writes, “If we don’t do it, then we should at least know that we are failing to live a morally decent life” (par.15). Contrarily, Hardin cites that it is impossible to share equally the world resources.

Furthermore, he contradicts Singer asserting that people who have differed in reproduction rate can never acquire wealth at the same level. Thus, developed nations do not have the obligation to fund, feed or educate the poor nations.

Hardin cites limited resources as one of the major issue, which may contribute to poverty in all nations despite of the location. However, Singer does not put the importance of natural resources into his consideration.

Singer only acknowledges food, which the society can satisfy through money as the major necessity of human beings. He alludes from his two ethical stories whereby the developed countries struggle to amass wealth in order to live luxuriously yet children from poor countries die of hunger.

He says, “There will always be another child whose life you could save for another $200” (Singer par.13).Water and air are some of the resources the world shares but the continuously increasing population in the poor countries has led to high pollution.

Furthermore, the high population is continuously putting pressure on the limited resources. Eventually, both the rich and the poor countries suffer the same consequences.

If the poor countries instill sufficient population control methods, then poverty will also decline. Therefore, the increasing population can never have all the necessities they need as per the demands of the humanitarian organizations.

Moreover, Hardin foresees that giving food to the poor not only motivates them to be poor but also motivates them continue reproducing at a high rated thus, increasing the rate of poverty in the world.

Finally, he adds that, “If we satisfy a growing population’s need for food, we necessarily decrease its per capita supply of the other resources needed by men” (Hardin par 32).

While Singer thinks that the developed countries should continuously channel funds to the poor countries, Hardin refutes his claims because the rate of immigration is high in the rich nations.

Despite of relying on the rich nations, the population in rich countries majorly originates from the poor countries. Therefore, more funds leads to increased population in the developing countries and surprisingly, these motivates emigration from the poor countries. Eventually, the rich countries spend double due to population pressure.

Due to immigration, the need of education, health care and other necessities in developed countries have gone up. Developed countries are recording both legal and illegal immigrants, which also puts pressure on their resources.

Consequently, the poor countries drag the developed countries into poverty. Therefore, the rich nations should impose strict laws to stop illegal immigration, which comes about because of population pressure in poor countries.

According to Hardin, the developed countries commonly fund the poor countries through humanitarian institutions like Oxfam and World Bank among others.

Therefore, Singer is calling upon all the Americans and other people from the developed countries to make it a habit to contribute continuously to these organizations.

Furthermore, there is a proposal whereby these organizations are pushing for the establishment of World Food Banks. Unfortunately, although resources will come from all countries more so the developed countries only the poor countries will benefit from the program.

The beneficiaries of these organizations are regional and not world wide an element that motivates them to lag behind in socio-economic development.

Thus, Hardin is calling for the abolishment of the international charity programs as one of the cruel method to motivate the poor countries to construct and implement better policies.

In contradiction, Singer claims that it is not human to see a child die of hunger yet you have more at your disposal. In his two ethical stories, he compares a man who declines to save a child from a rail accident and a person who spends his money on luxurious items as the same.

According to Singer, many children may die due to lack of food, shelter and appropriate medical care and no matter, which way a rich person contributes to the death the consequences are the same.

Therefore, “If every citizen living in the affluent nations contributed his or her share I wouldn’t have to make such a drastic sacrifice.”(Singer par.25)

In conclusion, both Hardin and Singer are discussing on, which way to alleviate poverty in the world. Hardin thinks that each country should wisely control its resources in order to end poverty.

However, Singer thinks it is the obligation of the rich countries to end poverty in poor countries. Hardin alludes from the lifeboat ethical laws whereby there should be survival for the fittest in the world.

The poor countries should learn from the mistakes and built better economies while the rich countries should refrain from funding the former. Tremendous population increase in the poor countries may lead to worldwide poverty.

In brief, Hardin shows that a combination of high population, immigration and subsequent funding from the developed countries may never alleviate poverty but rather aggravate the problem. Therefore, the poor countries should develop and implement better policies and not use the rich countries as the scapegoat.

Works Cited

Hardin, Garret. Lifeboat Ethics: the Case Against Helping the Poor. Sept. 1974. Web. <>

Singer, Peter. The singer solution to poverty. Sept.1999. Web.1 March 2012. <>

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IvyPanda. (2019, May 30). Do something or nothing. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/do-something-or-nothing/

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"Do something or nothing." IvyPanda, 30 May 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/do-something-or-nothing/.

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IvyPanda. "Do something or nothing." May 30, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/do-something-or-nothing/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Do something or nothing." May 30, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/do-something-or-nothing/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Do something or nothing'. 30 May.

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