Garrett Hardin in "Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against the Poor"


Garrett Hardin writes about saving the poor in his essay "Lifeboat Ethics:
The Case Against the Poor" found in The Blair Reader. Hardin writes about how
the rich countries are in the lifeboat and the poor countries are swimming in
the ocean. He also writes about how the United States helps other countries.
Hardin feels that if the government keeps helping other countries and letting
people in then America will also drown. "We must convince them if we wish to
save at least part of the world form environmental ruin"(page 765).
Why should I help the poor countries? Why should I let the immigrants in? I
see no reason for helping someone that is not an American. These non Americans
are taking my hard-working money that they did not earn.
I am tired of the United States of America giving my money to the poor
countries. The government is giving these people my money for which I worked
hard. The government does not ask for my permission to give these people my
money. By letting these people on our lifeboat the government is drowning us all.
"If we do let an extra 10 people in our lifeboat, we will have lost our 'safety
factor,' an engineering principle of critical importance" (page 757). I cannot
take a chance in helping people if it is going to put me in risk.
Instead of giving the money to non Americans it should be used only in
America. The money used to help the poorer countries can be very useful in the
United States. The middle class people in America get no help. More of that
money can go toward the middle class families. The middle class families work
had for their money. The government helps poor families with food, housing,
education and many more things. The rich have more money than they need, but the
middle class is left struggling. The middle class people cannot move up. The
middle class cannot get ant help from the government. It makes me mad that the
poor Americans do not take advantages of some of the opportunities available for
them. The middle class people sometimes work two or three jobs to pay for their
own or their children's college education. The government should use the money
they are sending to other countries to help the taxpayers.
In my family we have just enough money to get by. I do not see the
government knocking on my door handing me food or money. Why should they give my
money to other countries? The government will not help my family because our
gross income is too high to receive any help. Well true maybe our gross income
is high, but we do not take all that money home. The government is taking money
out of my paycheck, money that I struggle for, and giving it to other countries.
I have my own dependents to take care of. I should not have to take care of
other people. It was my decision to have my children. If I wanted more
dependents, I would have them. The government also tells me that if I had gotten
a used car with cheap payments then I would have extra money left over. Why
should I have to get a used car? If I get a used car, I will only be spending
more money getting it fixed. I am tired of the government giving me excuses on
why I do not need any help. The only reason the government cannot help me is
because they do not have the money. The only reason the government does not have
the money is because they are giving it to other countries. I am tired of the
immigrants coming into this country. Hardin says "But aren't we all immigrants,
or the descendants of immigrants?"(page 764). Well yes, I am a descendant of
immigrants and I understand that. Nevertheless, what gives the immigrants the
right to come in my boat and take my money? I have no objections to those
immigrants who come here to work or bring work. What I do have a problem is with
those that come here and take advantage of our welfare system. These new
immigrants did not deposit money into the welfare system so why should they be
allowed to withdrawal. If the immigrants were not taking our tax money then
there would be more money for our people. Who is going to help me? No body is
going to help me, not even my own country. The chances of me getting social
security