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Discuss the view that economic growth leads to improvements in people's standards of living.

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Discuss the view that economic growth leads to improvements in people's standards of living First of all, the people's standard of living is really based on different factors. The standard of living is how well off an individual or a nation is at a point in time. There is no precise way to measure the standard of living but we can analyse statistics to build up an impression of the standard of living of a nation, give or take certain conditions. National income can be a good indicator of the standard of living but certain factors such as unrecorded work, inflation, dispersion of wealth Some economists believe that the standard of living is basically the real national income in the context of the population. Therefore, a high standard of living means that the household consumes a large number of goods and services. Another way to calculate standard of living is to calculate the percentage of people who own consumer durables like cars or televisions and an increase in ownership means an increase in the standard of living. Lastly, standard of living can be calculated by how much time it takes an average person to earn enough money to buy certain goods. ...read more.


You could also say that economic growth also leads to an increase in the availability of consumer durables and therefore coupled with the increasing national income, you could say that the standard of living increases in this aspect. Some might say that economic growth is a necessary thing as all the cars, stereos and mobile phones bring us 'enjoyment'. If you go back to the basic economic problem the wants of the human race are far greater than what industry can churn out and in order to keep up with this economic growth eases this 'craving'. On the other hand, economic growth does not always bring a greater standard of living. A typical country displaying these signs would be somewhere, like Chile. In the period 1980-92 Chile succeeded increasing its GDP by a relatively large 4.8%. Yet while this occurred, its literacy rate and daily calorie supply remained static, in contrast to other developing economics such as Mexico and Venezuela. Primary enrolment in school decreased and vast swathe of the population living in extreme poverty received little attention. In this case their national income rose quite significantly but since the spread of wealth was concentrated to the upper class of society, the effects of economic growth did not reach the people in poverty and as a result their standard of living did not increase. ...read more.


Thus a debt grows. Thus a country like Namibia and most of Africa must pay the loans back with the huge rate of interest, equal per annum to their total healthcare expenditure. This, in conjunction to the African states tendency to be ruled by dictators and buying an arsenal of guns can cripple a country. Lastly, in our fast paced world, economic growth undoubtedly means increasing this pace to keep up with the wants and thereby adding to the stress and anxiety already suffered by the workers. In order to produce these goods, leisure time, ways to relax the tension and stress, are sacrificed to accommodate the growing market. Therefore, in this case, goods that are supposed to increase our standard of living are produced but due to the nature of production, we do not have the time to enjoy them. In conclusion, I can say that economic growth does have quite a lot of negative effects. So much so, that people might ponder why they bother progressing and growing if it only creates more problems. The answer is quite simple. Basic human nature dictates that we always want more than we have and we always want to make things easier. Therefore, technological progress and economic growth must be made in order to satisfy us as a civilization. Navdeep Gill 11E Mr. Hansen ...read more.

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