Suppose there was a shallow ornamental pond at Merced College. As you walked pass it on your way to class you notice that a small child, maybe 3 or 4 has fallen in and is in danger of drowning. Would you deny the obligation to wade in and pull the child out? Yes, this would mean getting your clothes muddy and wet. But compared to the avoidable death of a child is this insignificant?.
When I heard this comparison to poverty in my philosophy class it got my attention. I have researched the topic in the library and on the Internet finding more information to feed my interest. Today I will be discussing the need to assist poor countries. As you all agreed in my questionnaire world poverty is a problem today and since the United States economic standing is far greater than many of the rest of the worlds we should help assist the poor countries to save them from drowning.
Now, let's take a look at the problem of poverty. The World Watch Institute estimates that as many as 1 billion people live in absolute poverty which they sum up as "A condition so characterized by malnutrition, illiteracy, disease, squalid surroundings, high infant mortality, and a low life expectancy as to be beneath ant reasonable definition of human decency." Most of these cases are proven to be in countries outside of the U.S. According to the United Nations development program 180 million children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition. The food that the poverty stricken eat is very poor in quality and is further reduced by parasites such as hookworm and ringworm, which can cause disease and even death. As a country we spend money on many useless commodities. For example in this very room we have a combined total of 29 T.V. This may not seen like a lot but compared to a poor country like Burkina Faso where they have 1 T.V. for every 90 people we can start to see the difference. Some of you may now be thinking, "So what, What about the poverty in our country?" Well, in Burkina Faso the average life expectancy is 45-50 year old and in American an Americans average life expectancy is 75-80 year old.