Pogge’s argument is different from Singer’s in that he appeals to the human rights of the poor that are violated indirectly by the affluent societies of the western nations. Poverty has claimed more lives in the recent past than all the other calamities combined, he postulates. Singer, on the other hand, is concerned with utilitarianism sprinkled with a bit of altruism. She is convinced that the affluent persons in the developed nations can contribute to ending world poverty. They can do it with negligible cost to their standards of living. She is shocked at learning that the top most percentile of the wealthy in the world own significantly more wealth than the rest of the people. These extremely rich people, with the right approach and planning, can effectively fund the UN millennial goals with without compromising their standards of living. However, this requires the wealthy to be generous and care for the rest world population that is suffering. This is not the case, hence, untenable. There is also a difference in the apportioning of blame for the poverty related deaths. Singer blames the individuals in the affluent societies for not stepping up and helping the poor while Pogge mostly blames the leaders of the developed world and only blames the common people for tolerating such leaders.
Pogge’s strongest argument is the assertion that more lives have been claimed by poverty in 15 years than all of the wars, skirmishes and dictatorships of the twentieth century. He backs this with numbers to illustrate the suffering of the world’s poor, which is at its worst in the history of mankind. Yet, this is a truth that many people in the developed countries are unwilling to accept. The reason for that is they have not experienced poverty in their lives and most probably never will. The poor people, on the other hand, will never know a life that is free of struggles to make ends meet. Such is the reality that is revealed by Pogge. Stating the numerous deaths caused by poverty and using the deaths from the World Wars to demonstrate its severity serves to give a clear picture of the extent of the problem. It also appeals to the humane side of the reader and makes one think of how they may help lessen the burden of poverty plaguing the third world countries.
The implication of the argument made by Pogge is that members of the affluent world have a duty to help reduce world poverty and prevent unnecessary deaths of the poor. The indirect responsibility given to the members of the wealthy countries is correct. Therefore, as a member of the affluent world, I am guilty of letting the poor suffer and die while I could have done something to prevent their death. The guilt his not direct, but through the behaviors that are afforded by the wealth at the disposal of the citizens of the affluent countries. For example, people in western countries are insatiable consumers. This consumerism creates demand for products whose origins are the poor countries. The residents of the poor countries are not compensated well and tend to work in inhumane conditions. This is the case in the gold mines, diamond mines and the cloth factories. These are avenues that could be used to uplift the lives of the poor. Instead, they are used to exploit and endanger them.