Should Rich People Help The Poor? Essay, Research Paper
As we enter the millennium, the gap between rich and poor has never been wider. While some people have more money than it is possible to spend in a lifetime, no matter how lavishly they might make purchases; others are not able to provide even for their most basic needs. On all the continents of the world, people starve to death for lack of food; freeze death for lack of shelter, die of diseases that could be prevented. The situation raises the issue of whether the affluent people of the world have a moral obligation to help the poor. I feel that people who are relatively well off should give a certain fair percentage of their earnings to help reduce absolute poverty on a global scale.
My claim is that those who are wealthy, have an obligation to give up a small but helpful percentage of their earnings. The money would be used to alleviate poverty. Many people argue that wealthy people should not have to help those who are needier than they, unless they choose to do so. Others argue that just because affluent people have a relatively higher income than others, it does not follow that they are morally responsible for those who do not. I believe, in contrast, that people do have a moral obligation to help the desperately poor. First, while monetary aid could bring medical supplies and food and thus increase population, it could also bring contraceptive devices and increased education about population control. Helping the poor could actually decrease the rate of population growth and, in the end, save environmental resources. Secondly, helping to reduce absolute poverty would also bring about more people who would be in a position economically, socially, and medically?to contribute to cleaning up environmental problems and helping overpopulation problems. Finally, from a conservative point, it is important to note that people are an economic resource at least as important as firewood and fertile soil, and to allow people to die of poverty is to waste resources.
The obligation to help the poor is simply a matter of human rights. We believe that our pets have a right to decent treatment-enough food to live, shelter from the cold, medical care when they are hurt or ill, affluent people in America spend large amounts of income to provide for these basic needs for animals. If animals have these rights, then surely humans have at least the same basic rights. People should be treated with more respect and consideration than animals, by being given the chance to live in better surroundings than those afforded to animals. The primary reason why the affluent have an obligation to help the poor has to do with the moral principle that killing another human being is wrong. If it is wrong to kill another person, then it is also morally wrong to allow someone to die, when you know they are going to die otherwise, and when it is within your means to save their lives at relatively little cost to yourself. By not acting to reduce the harmful, lethal effects of poverty on the world’s poor, well off people are passively violating a primary moral principle. It is a moral responsibility of the rich to help the poor.
In conclusion, affluent people should give a certain percentage of their wealth to help do away with absolute poverty in the world, because people are not only living beings who have a right to healthy lives, but because it is wrong to allow people to die when helping them live is well within your means.