Why give – part 7

Give, because it’s morally right, part 2!

You might not want to hear this, but I think you should. Thomas Pogge, a world renowned philosopher has been writing about extreme world poverty for decades. He argues that we ought to actively try to help the world’s poorest (over a billion people that live on less than $1.25/day); one such way, of course, is charitable giving.

Pogge argues that by supporting our governments (politically and financially), we buttress a regime that imposes an international world order on the developing countries that harms the world’s poorest. Though the responsibility is diffuse, we are not absolved of the crimes the leaders we democratically elect impose against the world’s poorest. Our unequal trade barriers are preventing around $800 billion in revenue for developing nations every year; our nations are more than willing to support corrupt dictators by purchasing natural resources that presumably belong to the people and not the dictators; our nations sell arms to dictators who use them to subjugate uprisings; our banks keep safe the money these dictators stole from the people; and the list goes on.

By not actively working on helping those that are harmed by the system we helped establish and continue to help support, we are doing something seriously wrong. You might disagree, but you ought to readWorld Poverty and Human Rights before dismissing the argument. You might think Thomas Pogge is all-talk and no action academic, but he already gives at least 10% of his income to charities and is actively working to set up systems (http://www.healthimpactfund.org/) that will help the world’s poorest. Will you join him?

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