The subject of the paper is to investigate and analyze the article “What should a Billionaire Give- And what should you?” by Singer. It explains Singer’s argument considering an obligation of the rich to support destitute people. In addition, it establishes why the world needs private charity and donations and why the U.S. government cannot manage it all. Moreover, the paper explains Singer’s views and misgivings on the idea that every citizen should give his or her fair share of donations (Singer 14).
According to Peter Singer, the rich have an obligation to donate people who need help. However, it would be morally wrong not to help if the rich have a possibility. It has become a question of moral standing rather than being charitable. He emphasizes that donations meant to alleviate poverty in the world should no longer be considered charity or an act of generosity. For instance, it would be a case of growing moral decadence of the rich to live a comfortable life when other humans elsewhere are dying of preventable diseases or just cannot afford a basic meal. In his opinion, Western colonization was partly responsible for the desperate situation that we have today in the third world. Besides, he argues that economic policies of the rich nations literally make it hard for the developing world to make significant economic impacts (Singer 22).
Peter Singer argues that governments should not impose huge taxes on its citizens in order to give donations. Instead, it should facilitate or convince the rich to give donations willingly. Thus, he emphasizes that private charity has a stronger moral standing than government donations. According to him, charity should be out of moral conviction rather than coercion. Thus, if the government prompts its citizens to give donations then the moral purpose behind charity is lost technically. However, the problem is rather disputable. It concerns the issues of moral and ethic. On the one hand, people are responsible for their wealth, and it is unethical to tell them what to do with it. On the other, avoiding the possibility to help people or even rescue somebody’s life is behind the boundary of moral. Essentially, the United States government will do a great disservice to its citizens, if it undertakes to give all the aid that the world needs. Although it can provide the link with the governments of the developing world, the United States government should not use people’s taxes to give all the aid. Essentially, huge taxations would make it impossible to run businesses in America successfully. It will make ineffective the principle of social capitalism (Schaler 82).
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Everyone should make efforts alleviating poverty in the world. There should not be bystanders. Peter Singer gives the analogy of a child drowning in a shallow pond. The author argues that the human benefits of saving a drowning child would be worth soiling one’s cloth in the bond. However, if fifty children drown and there are fifty adults to help them, every adult should strive to do his or her fair share. According to Singer, this is not always the case as the United States usually gives more than their fair share. For instance, he considers it exploitative that the Americans contribute 36% of international aid when other powerful economies give less than 2%. The idea of fair share, in his opinion, has been abused in allowing the United States to do almost everything. However, he cautions against preoccupation with blames as this could mean more crashes of the poor societies (Singer 34).
In conclusion, it is a moral obligation for the rich to give charity. However, private charities should be preferred to government donations as they show people’s willingness. Although the government should take an active part in the issues of charity and donations, it should not overtax its citizens. In addition, it should focus on doing its fair share as inconsiderate actions may hurt its economy.
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