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Deaths of the Poor and Responsibilities of the Rich

In a shocking book of last year entitled " Late Victorian Holocausts ," Mike Davis described the British Empire's attitude to famines in India and elsewhere. When monsoons failed, millions of Indians faced imminent death. Food could have been transported by rail within British India to save many starving people, but the British believed in a hands-off, laissez faire policy. Starvation was part of nature.

Actually, British attitudes were even more shocking. British officers believed that they were being brave by not being swayed by "emotions"! They congratulated themselves on their stiff upper lips.

Unbelievable nowadays? No, for the US is doing something similar. America has idly stood by as millions of Africans die of AIDS.

Recently, the US Treasury Secretary and Health Secretary visited Africa and looked dying people in the eye. Such people are dying not because early death is inevitable, but because they cannot afford the medicines to keep themselves alive. If every American gave $10 per year to this cause, over 1 million Africans could be saved from AIDS death each year, with money left over to fight the disease.