Richer Nations Helping Poorer Ones

Topics: Colonialism, Poverty, Maslow's hierarchy of needs Pages: 5 (1639 words) Published: October 19, 2010
n the age of globalization, the rich and poor divide has grown into a chasm. Richer and more developed countries enjoy access to technology and a higher standard of living, whereas the poorer and less developed countries are struggling with poverty, malnutrition and lack of basic amenities.

This is where one might question whether the richer nations should help the poorer ones. The rich has many reasons why they should help the poorer nations, it portrays them in a good light, it will benefit them economically and politically, out of pure altruism, or even because it has been said that the rich nations have been exploiting the poorer nations and should now give back to them. However, the richer nations should only help to an extent whereby they do not neglect their own country, cause more hindrance than solving the poorer nation's problems The richer nations can assist the poorer ones by offering financial aid, medical aid, or by giving them expertise or the technology to improve their standard of living.

To begin, richer nations should help the poorer ones based purely on altruism. Altruism is a virtue in many cultures, traditions and religions. It is the act of giving unconditionally without expecting any form of material gain. As people in richer countries receive more education, they might feel the moral obligation to offer assistance to those that are less fortunate than them. Maslow's hierarchy of needs states that human beings are being motivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower needs must be satisfied before higher needs can be. Hence, since their basic needs have already been met, they are more inclined to go on to satisfy further needs such as self-actualization of the world and doing their part to help others who are less well off than them. However, this is an idealistic way of thinking as pure altruism does not exist. Richer countries may help poorer countries because it promotes their national image among the international community, boosts their trade and ensure that the political instability in these poorer nations would not spill over to them. Also, the act of helping the poorer country may entail the "internal" benefit of a "good" or "heart-warming" feeling which is a gain or incentive to help them in the first place. Even though the internal benefits have been dismissed because it is impossible to quantify feelings, it just means that based on the current technology; there is not sufficient evidence to prove that feelings are quantifiable. However, it is apparent to most people that the intensity of a feeling varies and these feelings plays a major influencing they way we act. Hence, richer nations would not help poorer nations purely based on pure altruism.

A proponent of richer nations helping poorer ones might argue that it is obviously pay back time to the poorer nations since the richer nations have grown richer due to the "exploitation" of the poorer nations. Typical cases where the rich gets richer and the poor get poorer are colonialism and the many sweatshops in these poorer countries that companies in the richer nations use to maximize their profits. In the past, when European nations and Britain went around the world and started to colonize many parts of Asia and Africa, they took the precious resources from these colonized countries and used it for their own benefits. These led to an imbalance and made the colonized countries poorer at the expense of those that benefited from them. Also, in recent times, companies from these richer nations are exploiting labor from the poorer nations by setting up sweatshops and paying these workers a tiny sum and having them subjected to horrendous working conditions just so that these firms can maximize their profits and get richer. It is under this exploitation of the poor nations that richer nations build their wealth from and therefore the richer nations have an obligation to pay back to the poorer nations.

However, exploiting the...
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