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Are the arguments for maximising economic growth stronger or weaker than those for restricting it?

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Are the arguments for maximising economic growth stronger or weaker than those for restricting it? Economic growth is sometimes referred to as the 'Holy Grail' of economic policy. All governments want to increase growth because economic growth means higher incomes, and higher incomes mean higher living standards. Governments would like as much growth as possible, but the trouble is that too much growth causes other problems. So the Chancellor's aim is as much growth as possible without inflation and balance of payments problems. Unemployment is a big problem for the economy. Not only is it a severe personal blow to those concerned, but it is also an economic waste. Not only are the unemployed not working, and therefore not contributing to the economy, but they will also be claiming benefits and costing the government money. To maximise economic growth, the governments aim should be to keep unemployment as low as possible. ...read more.


Health care is another factor that affects the quality of people's lives. If there is better health care, people tend to live longer, this increases living standards. As there are more people around, more people will be working in the medical profession, taking care of the shortage of nurses for example, also increasing living standards. There are however, some reasons for restricting economic growth. There will be an inequality of income. Growth of the economy rarely delivers its benefits evenly to everyone. It often rewards the strong, being the more 'well off' people, but gives little to the weak, the not so 'well off'. This will widen the income distribution in the economy. The push for increased output tends to put more and more pressure on the environment and the result will often be increased pollution. This may be in the form of water, soil or air pollution, but growth also creates significantly increased noise pollution. ...read more.


3. Promoting education and training - this should make the workforce more skilled and therefore more productive. 4. Promoting research and development - spending on research and development will help find new more efficient ways to produce and should lead to better and more varied products. 5. Promoting mobility - if the economy is to be as flexible as possible, people need to retrain where necessary and they need to move to where the jobs are. The government has to help encourage this. It could be observed from this information, that maximising economic growth undoubtedly seems more of a constructive way forward. However, from an environmentalist's point of view, restricting would seem the only way to go. The government, around at the moment, or future governments, aren't going to stop the drive for growth because that isn't the way they work. They will always be trying to increase the standard of life so that they can be seen to be trying, despite the constant climb of environmental pressure. ...read more.

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