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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.
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.
Edith:He's some "ethicist," alright. I want no part of his ethics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Index of Global Philanthropyhttp://www.america.gov/st/foraid-english/2007/May/20070524165115zjsredna0.2997553.html
I am writing from the Action Center to End World Hunger, an interactive learning center started by Mercy Corps in Battery Park City, www.actioncenter.org. 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.
Re: the caller
We can give to both to people in the poorest countries and within the US.
They're not mutually exclusive.
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.
I'll say please, do not give any more money to the Colombian Government. It all goes into feeding corruption.
birth control would be a great start
I wonder what your guest thinks about microcredit...if every american put just $25 into something like Kiva.org it could be an enormous help and they could get their money back if they wanted it after the loan is repaid.
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.
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.
Here are some key elements the Singer anti-poverty plan:abortion, infanticide, euthanasia. Problem solved.
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.
i'm a vegan because of you! thanks for writing ANIMAL LIBERATION.
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