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Tuesday, 29 October 2013 09:39

Article Review: Peter Singer Article America’s Shame Featured

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Article Review: Peter Singer Article America’s Shame


Readers get different impressions after reading Peter Singer article America’s shame. Peter Singer has examined the current education system and its failure to solve global problems like poverty. As a reader, I have different impressions after reading the article. First, I get the impression that reducing or eliminating poverty in the world is a moral problem. This is because people have not concentrated on reducing poverty around the globe, but within their borders. This has led to increase in cases of poverty. This has in turn led to suffering among the poor (Singer, 2009). Second, from Singer’s argument, one gets the impression that the American education system has failed to equip students with proper knowledge and skills to solve poverty in the world. The American education is falling short in informing students about poverty around the world. Educators do not teach students about the consequences of poverty, poverty and methods of reducing poverty. The current American education system should be changed so as to equip students with knowledge on poverty and strategies to prevent poverty. Singer has provided solutions to redesign the current education programs so as to fight poverty around the world.

The topic on poverty should not be limited to specialized courses on international development. Poverty should be integrated in anthropology, economic, ethics, sociology and cultural studies. In political science, students and educators should determine why they pay little attention to individuals living in poverty outside the country. Psychology courses should consider factors that hinder the willingness to give strangers outside the country. Engineering courses should be modified to fight poverty around the world. Engineers should increase the class time they commit to how they can apply skills to help poor people globally. In addition, medical schools should concentrate on international burdens of diseases and how to reduce diseases. Law students should focus on developing worldwide legal regime that permits US oil companies to purchase oil from dictators. Moreover, programs should be developed to educate the public about poverty. People should not shy from modifying teaching in fields with artistic and cultural values to eliminate poverty (Singer, 2009). Third, I get the impression that poverty is rampant around the world including developing and developed nation after reading the article. Singer has provided poverty statistics from the World Bank to show the prevalence of poverty in the United States and around the world.

World Bank has defined extreme poverty to enable the reader understand poverty. Extreme poverty refers to not having adequate income to meet the basic needs like water, food, clothing, health, education etc. The World Bank showed that more than1 billion people lived on less than $1 in a day in 2008. 1.4 billion People had an income than allowed them to live on $1.25 in a day. 1.4 billion People died not have sufficient food in a year. This led to malnourishment due to lack of important nutrients. Also, they were not able to educate their children and get basic medical services. This led to the death. The high poverty rate in developing nations has reduced life expectancy. The life expectancy in developed countries is 78 and in developing countries is lower than 50.1 children out of 100 die before 5 years in developed countries. In developing countries 10 million children die every year from poverty related causes before they reach 5 years. The children die from diseases and lack of food (Singer, 2009). Fourth, I get the impression that lack of funds has hindered nongovernmental organizations and health providers from providing assistance to the need in the society.

Organizations like Unicef, Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders have focused on reducing poverty and offering clean water and healthcare services to the poor. This is to eliminate suffering and pain. However, the organizations have not managed to help many people and save lots of life due to financial constraints. This has led to increase in deaths resulting from poverty related diseases (Singer, 2009). Fifth, I get the impression that the United States is not committed to helping the poor around the globe. According to Singer, many students consider the United States generous in helping poor countries. However, Singer claims that the United States is one of the industrialized countries that offer a small amount of aid. United States was ranked at the bottom in 2007. Most of the nations gave less than 50 cents and the United States gave 16 cents for each $100 earned.

The ignorance of the US citizens regarding their national duty in aiding poor people around the word is common and has been evidenced in several surveys. A survey conducted by Gallup international association in 2005 showed that the United States did not contribute a lot to helping poor countries. 8% of the participants said that the United States gave ¼ of its national income as aid. 42% thought the country gave over 4 times (Singer, 2009). Finally, I get the impression that most people US do not deal with the topic of poverty as it may have uncomfortable conclusion from their lives. Therefore, Americans can prevent poverty globally by valuing human life even across the borders (Singer, 2009). Reference Singer, P. (2009). America’s shame. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 55(27). B6–B10


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