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Critical Analysis of Singer's Arguments in His Solution to The World Poverty

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Everyday we see rich American consumers walking around with expensive cars buying new TVs, 100.000 dollar houses and other luxury items. In “the Singer’s solution to the world poverty” Peter Singer argues that there is know reason that these type of people and others can’t afford to donate to those in need. In the beginning of Singer’s article he creates a story to get people to see what it’s like to not donate to those who are in need. Singer’s first scenario illustrates a powerful picture that persuades the reader to want to donate, but singer’s argument quickly starts to strength later in the article. Do to Singer demanding that all people with extra money donate everything else they have to the homeless.

Singer’s first example is referring to a brazilian movie called ‘Central station’ in which a women name Dora, a retired school teacher, who is barely making ends meet and has the opportunity to make a fast 1,000. All that she has to do is presade a little boy over to her house so that he can be adopted to foreigners. Dora delivers the little boy and makes her 1,000 dollars, and she spends her money on a new television. Dora finds out later that the little boy wasnt adopted and was too old and is going killed for his organs. She decides that she wants the little boy back and takes to fix her mistake.

The second example that Singer uses for his argument is from a book called “living high and letting die” by Peter Unger’s. This scenario is about a man named bob who has just spent almost all his saving on a car. The cars market valuable and increases with value the older it gets so once he retires we can sell it and have a stable lifestyle. One day bob takes a walk and parks his car by the train track. He then see a train quicky processing toward a little boy, bob has a switch that could direct the train the other way which is directed toward his car. Deciding that he isn’t going to flip the switch the tran hits the little kid and the child dies and his car isn’t harmed.

In both of Singer’s scenarios he paints a picture that really exerts a strong emotions feeling from Dora saving the little boy to the switch with Bob. Singer furthers his arguments when he tells the readers “suppose Dora had told her neighbor that i is a tough world, other people have nice tv’s too, and if selling the kid is the only way she can get it, well, he was only a street kid. She would have become, in the eyes of the audience, a monster” In the example Singer draws a parallel to the two characters saying that ‘Bob’s conduct, most of us will immediately respond, was gravely wrong’. He wants the reader to think of Dora in a light that when Dora found out about what she was doing she decided to save the child and be the “good guy” and in Bobs case that he was faced with saving a child and he decided to be the “bad guy” Singer even saying ‘Unlike Dora, Bob did not have to look into the eyes of the child he was sacrificing for his own material comfort’.

These two scenarios Singer tries to relate this to Americans not donating to the poor. Singer even says ‘Bob’s situation resembles that of people able but unwilling to donate to overseas aid’. The parallel between the stories and real life is that Bob did not know or probably didn’t see the kid on the tracks and as the reader they don’t know if the child will receive the donation. Another allusion to the outside world is because bob decided to save his own car it reflects how when the average american is faced with a a that says it could “save a child” they decide to not donate and relater use their money on the luxuries they feel are more important, and that by not donating it is leading to people in need deaths and more light on children in needs deaths. In using Bob as an example and the vast about of reader believing that bob is the “bad guy” they then need to reflect on themself in their beliefs.

At the point of the examples of Singer’s argument is power and strong but as the reader continues it gets to the part where singers solution shows to have major flaws and loses its pervasiveness. Singer says ‘I can see no escape from the conclusion that each one of us with wealth surplus to his or her essential needs should be giving most of it to help people suffering from poverty so dire as to be life-threatening’. And he continues with the second quote which reads ‘again, the formula is simple: whatever money you’re spending on luxuries, not necessities, should be given away’. With these quotes you see the change in his tone, at the beginning of the reading he was asking people with an abundus of extra money to donate. SInger doesn’t just ask for maybe a few dollars from everyone but every extra cent.

In today’s era people work hard for their money and some are generous with giving back others not so much, but the idea of everyone giving up every extra dime they have shows how unrealistic Singer’s argument is. With his argument deteriorating to him demanding to requesting people giving everything they have to that readers can object to the whole argument in general. Also poverty is a complex thing and doesn’t have an easy fix, giving someone money isn’t a permanent solution. Singer does not even address the issue of what would happen if no one had any extra money. Which is something that should be brought up because even the USA today even printed a article about americans being in debt even saying in the article “The average American household carries $137,063 in debt, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest numbers.Yet the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the median household income was just $59,039 last year, suggesting that many Americans are living beyond their means”

Singer doesn’t even go as far as to provide any real reason as to why people should donate all their extra money and so left the readers wondering why they should give away all that they have worked for. If Singer is going to use such gripping examples and get the reader to see his point of view so strongly he should follow through with his entire argument, he needs to give explanations for such a strong request. WIth the world we live in today he’s going to have to address al the big contradictions that his article may arise. Supporting the needy is a complex topic in general and is going to need more to get a majority of people to give up extra of their hard earned money that they may need to be stable to start helping other, specially because readers can argue the point that you really can’t help others in financial need being that you are in financial need yourself. 

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Critical Analysis Of Singer’s Arguments In His Solution To The World Poverty. (2021, Jun 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from
“Critical Analysis Of Singer’s Arguments In His Solution To The World Poverty.” GradesFixer, 09 Jun. 2021,
Critical Analysis Of Singer’s Arguments In His Solution To The World Poverty. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Sept. 2021].
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