No Excuses

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and author of The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty talks about how we have the ability to end poverty despite the economic downturn.


Peter Singer

Comments [20]

Charles from Jersey

Dan and Rafael: Wrong. Private money only increases the aid numbers from the US from 0.15% of GNP up to 0.18%. Sachs debunked this years ago in "The End of Poverty".

longstreet: See hjs's comment. Women's viewing their role as little more than producing babies contributes greatly to the poverty trap and keeps families living at subsistence level, unable to pay for their children's education, unable to reinvest in their family business, and unable to be taxed for infrastructure and public health.

Mar. 19 2009 01:21 PM
Boris Yakubchik from Old Bridge, NJ

Thank you Peter for your important work. I hope many more people recognize the amount they can contribute is great.

Next time you spend $30 in a restaurant on a pleasant meal (but certainly a temporary and necessarily expensive pleasure), realize you could have just contributed to the eradication of poverty by preventing a child's death.

Many don't realize that overpopulation (5+ births per woman) in impoverished countries is due to a justified expectation that more than 1/2 a woman's children will die before the age of 5. Reducing the number of children that die decreases birth-rates and thus provides a more sustainable situation that can slowly begin to improve to above-poverty conditions.

Mar. 17 2009 11:16 AM
longstreet from NYC area

He's some "ethicist," alright. I want no part of his ethics.

Mar. 17 2009 11:10 AM
Edith E. Newman from Brooklyn

Brian, you didn't mention at any time during Singer's visit to your show the many protests against his so-called ethics by disabled people whom he believes should be euthanized. Perhaps the poor whose lives seem intolerable should also be put out of their misery? Sure, he's allowed to promote his book, but, Brian, you should also acknowledge that many people find his views deeply offensive. It's surreal to hear charitable advice from this guy.

Mar. 17 2009 11:04 AM
severals from bridge and tunnel

Islam requires of its adherents an annual donation to the needy equivalent to 2.5% (or 3.5%, depending on school of religious interpretation) of annual earnings. If we could all give this much, we'd help so many people in countless ways.

Mar. 17 2009 10:59 AM
Mark from Brooklyn

For the past few years, we have challenged ourselves to give 3% of our after-tax income to various charities. Jewish law says you ought to give till you feel it, and believe me, we did.

Mar. 17 2009 10:59 AM
Paulo from Paterson

On the subject of American poor vs. foreign poor: While there is certainly severe poverty in America, even those worst off here have food. I volunteer at churches filled with people who have no homes or money, and yet the amount of food that gets thrown away at the end of each meal session is just staggering and disturbing.

Mar. 17 2009 10:58 AM

Individual giving is very important, but should not obscure necessary systemic changes like removing unfair trade advantages and subsidies, especially in agriculture. Systemic barriers that benefit the US and EU, are the reason why, as your recent caller said, "these people are not more self-sufficient." There is a system in place, and all the individual giving in the world won't change it, but political agitation and pressure will.

Mar. 17 2009 10:57 AM
Rafael from Queens

Index of Global Philanthropy

Mar. 17 2009 10:57 AM
Marni Fechter from NYC

I am writing from the Action Center to End World Hunger, an interactive learning center started by Mercy Corps in Battery Park City, I would like to invite Dr. Singer to visit the Action Center and explore our Action Stations, where we believe that anyone can take action, not only by giving money, but by giving their time. We have over 700 actions broken into time frames, so whether a person has one minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month, one year or one lifetime there are ways everyonoe can take action towards ending global poverty and hunger in our lifetime.

Mar. 17 2009 10:57 AM

Re: the caller

We can give to both to people in the poorest countries and within the US.

They're not mutually exclusive.

Mar. 17 2009 10:55 AM
steve from prospect heights

The thing that scares me about Mr. Singer's argument is that it is analogous to the precepts of the alleged compassionate conservatism of the last decade in which assertions that aid from 'communities' was more important than aid form governments.

Mar. 17 2009 10:55 AM
Patricia Acero from NY

I'll say please, do not give any more money to the Colombian Government. It all goes into feeding corruption.

Mar. 17 2009 10:54 AM
hjs from 11211

birth control would be a great start

Mar. 17 2009 10:52 AM
Sarah from Brooklyn

I wonder what your guest thinks about microcredit...if every american put just $25 into something like it could be an enormous help and they could get their money back if they wanted it after the loan is repaid.

Mar. 17 2009 10:50 AM
Dan Kaplan from Chelsea

Mr. Singer should also state that private american charity is by far the largest in the world, and that overall we give the most per capita to chairty of all countries in the world. Simply because we give as individuals rather than through federal gov't. doesn't make us less charitable.

Mar. 17 2009 10:50 AM
Rafael from Queens

Ask Peter how true his statement about American aid to the world is when you count private donations from individuals. The US is among the top (along with Japan) in giving if you count both federal and private individual giving.

What does that say about Americans? We -do- give the most, and by choice, not tax law like other nations.

Mar. 17 2009 10:50 AM
longstreet from NYC area

Here are some key elements the Singer anti-poverty plan:
abortion, infanticide, euthanasia.
Problem solved.

Mar. 17 2009 10:45 AM
Ed Helmrich from Larchmont, NY

This man wants to end poverty by killing all kinds of human beings. Why does the word 'Nazi' come to mind? I'm embarrassed that you're giving him a microphone.

Mar. 17 2009 10:17 AM
Jane from brooklyn, ny

i'm a vegan because of you! thanks for writing ANIMAL LIBERATION.

Mar. 17 2009 10:12 AM

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