Comments on Why does economic development matter?
Joined: Feb 22, 2007
Total Topics: 18
Total Comments: 43
Posted 04/03/08 - 3:43 PM:
Subject: Why does economic development matter?
Why does economic development matter?
Is economic development an end-in-itself or is it a means to some other end? What is the telos (ultimate end) of economic development?
The basic needs, as developed by Maslow and probably many others, are fundamentally dependent upon the economies of the nation within which we all live. The economy is not the only affecting reality, there also is social stratification, and other fundamentals, but economic development is a very important factor.
The economic development within a society is governed by many sources; local government, national government, NGOs (nongovernmental organizations), and now a growing globalization ties the whole world together more or less.
Economists generally define the goal of economic development in terms of sustained economic growth, i.e. sustained rise in per capita gross domestic growth, i.e. GDP. Some economists define the goal in terms of equity within development, i.e. growth with equity. If all of the benefits of growth merely make the rich richer and the poor poorer we are not reaching a desirable goal.
There are negative feedback control systems such as a furnace/thermostat or our own bodies. There are positive feedback control systems such as an ordinary fire or our capitalistic economic system.
In a fire the higher the temperature the faster the fuel is burned; the faster the fuel burns the higher goes the temperature. In a business enterprise it is common practice to put a percentage of profit into advertising. More advertising creates greater sales, which mean higher profit.
A negative feedback system seeks out equilibrium; a positive feedback system has no equilibrium and is ever accelerating.
If we have a positive feedback system, such as capitalism being now abetted by Globalism, we face the horrendous situation that the greater the progress the faster the spiral of destruction when considering that the world and humans are negative feedback systems.
If we choose to continue with our present Global/capitalistic program we must find a way to dampen the positive feedback system.
Biologists, and probably other sciences, inform us that human conceit, i.e. human ego, distorts our ability to comprehend our self. Egocentricities motivate us into irrational behavior thereby imperiling our survival; the human animal is arrogant and dangerous. Mark Twain was told that “man is the noblest work of God” to which he replied “Now, who found that out?”
Bernard James, author of “The Death of Progress” argues that perhaps a new moral order might be the solution to acquiring the means to avoid self-extinction. He argues that creation is a function of life. It is inventive acts that govern the evolution and survival requirements of human and ecosystems.
I suggest that we must find a new formula for the encouragement of creativity directed at this monumental problem. This is a problem that demands quick action and it seems to me that we cannot wait several generations for this to be accomplished. Today’s adults must recognize the problem and must energetically seek a solution. I think that an invigorated self-actualization through self-learning by adults is required. I am not talking about more schooling. Schooling has left us learning-handicapped. This effort must be self-learning. Adults must begin a concentrated effort toward developing an intellectual life far beyond that which now exists.
My solution is that the general level of intellectual sophistication of the population must increase if our species is to survive. Do you have any interest in this matter?