Should rich nations help the poor? (4B14 & 4B20)

Title: Should Rich Nations Help the Poor?

Author: David Hulme

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons


Andrew: Good morning everyone. I have a question. Why should developed countries help the poor?

Raymond: Interesting! Today I am going to talk about a book called ‘Should rich nations help the poor’ written by David Hulme. I think that it can enlighten you to find the answer to your question. Andrew, your concern is closely tied with the pressing problem faced by the poor today. Do you know what that problem it is?

Andrew: I guess it must be global poverty. In the LS and Economics lessons, I learned that it is a complicated issue caused by different factors.

Raymond: That’s right! Some people link it with the unfair trade system while some may blame the transnational corporations for their exploitation. Others may say that poverty is the result of unequal resource allocation and the violation of human rights.

Andrew: The problem seems very complicated! We, the developed countries, need to do something. Right?

Raymond: David Hulme, the author of this book raises 2 interesting ideas about the responsibility of developed countries in helping the poor. These ideas are moral duty and common interests. Why do developed countries have to bear the responsibility?

Andrew: I think it is very much to do with their economic development. They have become affluent with the maturity of their political and economic systems particularly since the period of colonialism. That is why they ought to extend financial assistance to the poor. How about giving help out of self-interest?

Raymond: David Hulme believes that with economic aid from developed countries, the poor can maintain economic and political stability. He even says that tackling global poverty can effectively prevent terrorism and other radical movements.

Andrew: I have never thought of the relationship between terrorism and poverty. Can you tell me more about this idea?

Raymond: It is generally believed that when poverty is effectively dealt with, the people will not go radical and the attraction of terrorist groups like ISIS is reduced.

Andrew: In addition, David Hulme warns that developed countries should not take the whole venture of giving financial aids as a charity show in the international community. People, even nations, should do things out of real interest and concern.

Raymond: On top of sending financial aid, would there be other things which can help the poor?

Andrew: Yes of course! Developed countries should adopt job creation policies and engage in fair trade agreements with developing countries. Only by doing these can a favourable environment for economic development be created?

Raymond: Glad to hear that! What can ordinary citizens do to help then?

Andrew: Well….we can simply make donations to them. There is a saying in the book which I find very impressive. It says, “If we still continue on the present path—an unsustainable system of production and consumption, social and political exclusion, we will never create a liveable world.”

Raymond: I couldn’t agree more! How beautiful our world is depends on how much we contribute to its fairness and sustainability.

Andrew: If you are interested in the causes and impact of global poverty, and how different stakeholders can tackle this issue, I really recommend this book to you –“Should rich nations help the poor”. Thank you.