Some say that economic development is the solution to poverty: others say it is the cause of poverty. What is your opinion?
Many people today have clean water, good food, comfortable houses and money to spend. Billions, however, live in terrible conditions, often without enough to eat. Why is it that, despite all our economic progress, so many people is poor? In this essay I will discuss if the growth of business and capitalism is keeping people in poverty.
It’s easy to blame economic development for many problems. First of all, huge companies exploit the natural resources of countries. Nigeria’s oil, Zimbabwe’s diamonds and the Brazilian forest are used up, but no money goes to the ordinary people. Second, much industry leads to pollution or environmental damage. Huge dam projects in India force people from their homes, and pesticide poisoning kills millions. In addition, companies don’t care about employees. Some even move overnight to different countries, leaving thousands unemployed.
But it’s impossible to turn the clock back and live without economic development. In the first place, any job is better than no job. People need money to buy food, build houses and pay for their children’s medicine. Second, business and trade mean that good governments have money to invest in better infrastructure. They can build better roads, hospitals, sanitation, and schools, thus attracting more development. Finally, large-scale production provides us with cheap clothes, food, electronic goods and other luxuries. Only free trade and open markets can give us this consumer lifestyle, for necessities as well as luxuries.
In summary, we need to balance the greed of corporations with the needs of our people. Everyone deserves a chance to live a comfortable and dignified life.
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