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My Idea Of Development Essay

1740 words - 7 pages

My Idea of Development

Development in its very basic meaning is the progression from one state of being to a more desirable state of being. Take for instance human development; maturing and becoming a contributing member of society is its goal. It is more desirable to be a mature and productive adult than to remain a child or child-like. The same goes for the development of nations and their economies and political and social systems. It is the goal for developing nations to mature and become stable contributing members of the global community and economy. In human development, part of becoming an adult is gaining the ability to be self-sufficient and having the confidence to ...view middle of the document...

This is not so because many governments of developing nations are undemocratic and corrupt and there tends not to be equity in distribution of wealth. Brazil happens to be one of those nations with positive economic growth but highly uneven distribution of wealth.(Todaro & Smith 30) Whenever there is great inequity in the distribution of a country’s wealth it results in a large portion of that population being forced to live in extreme poverty. Effectively dealing with poverty is a primary catalyst for sustained and equitable development.
People living in poverty are forced to deal with the lack of food, the lack of gainful employment, the lack of education, and the lack of health care. If you look at any of the advanced developed nations you see that there are low levels of poverty, relatively equal distribution of wealth, universal access to education, high standards of health, and gender equality. Todaro and Smith redefine development “in terms of the reduction or elimination of poverty, inequality, and unemployment within the context of a growing economy.”(15) So the question now is, how can a country achieve this new definition of development?
It is commonly accepted by the Western world that in order for a country to successfully sustain its development it must transition to a democratic government. It is also commonly accepted that democratic societies tend to be more stable. Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel write, “the strong correlation between development and democracy reflects the fact that economic development is conducive to democracy.”(9) This then seems to create a circular path. Democratic countries can achieve sustained development because the freedoms afforded to their citizens, but democracy in turn is more easily achieved in economically developed nations. In order to achieve development and have it be sustained major change needs to take place within the governments, economies, and societies of developing nations. “Development must…be conceived as a multidimensional process involving major changes in social structures, popular attitudes, and national institutions.”(Todaro & Smith 16)
Some of the very things that pull people from poverty also contribute significantly to the change of attitudes and social systems, which then drive changes in government. John Isbister explains, “What poverty really means is the inability to make choices.”(18) People living in poverty are limited in the choices they can make because for them there are no options. They lack education, health care, and adequate food. All of which end up tearing down the confidence of those in poverty. Providing additional choices to those in poverty enables them to have a stake in their own path in life. Isbister writes, “The destiny of the third world is in the hands of its people, to make of it what they will.”(27) Knowing you yourself have overcome adversity and achieved what could be seen as the impossible can instill an attitude...

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