Nations across the globe are plagued by poverty. Third-world countries suffer the most from it. Poverty can be resolved over time, but not immediately. Garrett Hardin's Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping the Poor has a different viewpoint from mine. Hardin explains how he views individuals and countries in poverty and why we should not help them. It is our author's opinion that wealthier nations, like the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan, should not help poorer nations, such as Africa, The Middle East, and parts of Central and South America. Also, groups of people from poorer nations should not be allowed to immigrate to wealthier nations. Hardin says the lifeboat represents wealthier nations, while the swimmers represent poorer nations trying to get on board. If we let the swimmers, the developing nations, into the lifeboat, immigrating to the wealthier nations, everyone will end up drowning at some point. According to our author, the tragedy of commons, and the economic survival of the fittest are the two biggest arguments for helping the poor. Unlike Hardin, I believe that wealthier countries should help the poor nations because we have the moral obligation to help our neighbors. Some examples that disprove his ideology is the Spaceship Earth concept and Habitat for Humanity.
In the economic sense, Hardin believes in the survival of the fittest. Due to his belief that the wealthy should not be helping the poor. Rich countries should not fund programs that fight poverty around the world in this instance. On a smaller scale, he believes a wealthy individual should not help a homeless individual because the wealthy person needs the money to help the homeless person. He also believes that natural resources are limited and becoming harder to obtain. If we, in this case, the wealthy, give people in poverty our resources, there will not be enough for our own needs. When we give the individuals in poverty some of our resources, for free, we are losing resources that the “wealthier” person can pay for. It is a completely different story when it comes to a larger population, such as a nation. The United States, a wealthy nation, has sent a few million dollars worth of resources to countries in poverty to help them become, hopefully, a developed country. We are losing valuable resources, that we could use in the states, to countries who need them more than we do. Hardin thinks if we save our resources and keep them for ourselves, then we would have an economic hold on whatever asset we want. Hardin thinks that we should not give up our economic assets for a nation that is in poverty because that means that we losing assets that we might need later, that these nations need now.
Another example compares the Spaceship Earth Concept with the Lifeboat Ethics Concept. There is a big difference between the Spaceship Earth Concept and the Lifeboat Ethics Concept in how people are treated. There is a worldwide concept called Spaceship Earth that encourages humanity to work together in unison for the greater good of the planet. In this case, the goal is to eradicate poverty. At the same time, the Lifeboat Ethics Concept is about self-preservation and dealing with challenges such as feeding the whole nation. Our author asks a moral question: Is it more important to increase the number of humans on Earth or to reduce the amount of natural resources available to us?
I think quite differently than our author does in this conversation of the Lifeboat Ethics topic. For starters, I believe that individuals in poverty should have the chance to own something to counteract the tragedy of commons. To counteract the tragedy of the commons, we have to look at the differences between public housing and Habitat For Humanity. A family or an independent person in poverty may end up ruining their living space, since they have no sense of ownership. Having said that, I believe that if individuals in poverty receive housing from the government or a private company, eventually their name should be attached to the home they live in. Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit and non-government organization that builds houses for families in poverty. Habitat for Humanity relies solely on volunteer labor to complete these building projects, but through the years, they have helped many families find their forever homes. The family that lives in these homes once they are finished building them owns them and pays the utilities, so they know that they have to take care of them. They will feel more inclined to take care of their homes when they have a sense of pride.
There are more positives than negatives to helping countries and individuals in poverty. In 2015, 10% of the world's population, or 734 million people, lived on less than $1.90 a day, according to the United Nations article Ending Poverty. Also, that one out of five children worldwide live in extreme poverty, and the adverse effects of poverty and deprivation in a child's early years can have a lifetime of ramifications. Lastly, around 4 billion people did not benefit from any social protection in 2016. The same article talks about how the global pandemic, Covid-19, did not help individuals and families in Poverty. The covid-19 pandemic could increase Poverty globally by half a billion people or close to 8% of the total human population. Around the world, Sub-Saharan Africa is the highest number of people living in extreme poverty, with 413.3 million people. In most cases, hunger and malnutrition are linked to extreme poverty and the lack of access to available and nutritious foods. We can eliminate this issue by allowing better food access to these remote places. Communities will have better access to healthier food options. These food options will allow these developing countries, nations, and communities to live healthier and longer lives. The Action Against Hunger organization has helped over 17 million people in over 45 countries with lifesaving programs..
There are hundreds of organizations within the United States and around the world that help families in Poverty. These organizations are Oxfam International, The Organization for Poverty Alleviation and Development, Concern Worldwide, End Poverty Now (EPN), Global Citizen, World Relief, Care International, Institute for Research on Poverty, Innovation for Poverty Action, Muslim Hands, BRAC, European Anti-Poverty Network, the Borgen Project, Advocated for International Development, Green Shots Foundation, InterAction, International Child Care, ONE, Engineers without Borders International, Humanitarian Organization for Poverty Eradication, World Vision, World Hope International, Village Enterprise, Trickle Up, and RESULTS.. The one thing that all these 20+ organizations have in common is that they want to help end poverty to benefit the community they supported and the nation as a whole.
Poverty can be alleviated in a number of ways. We can help the impoverished by allocating resources we don't use and teaching them how to cultivate crops independently. I believe that our author is wrong and inconsiderate of how other nations are in terms of wealth. We should allow immigrants from improvised countries to immigrate to wealthier nations to start a better life.