It is very true that most people especially the politicians confuse economic growth and development. These are two different things only that economic growth could be an indicator of development. However, it is very possible that economic growth could be realized but there would still be no development. As a matter of fact development should be all rounded. We should not define development by basing on only one indicator. As Seers puts it, most politicians would want to confuse the public by telling them on how the country's economy has grown to keep them thinking that there has been development (Seers 21). Reading this book keeps be thinking of how much the public has being lied into thinking that their societies have developed.
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Just like Seers puts it, I don't see the reason why we could say a country like the United States is more developed by Ghana by only basing on the economic growth (Seers 22). There is some economic growth that could cause negative development in the sense that the people could make more money through business and employment but there standards of living might be lowered because of lack of social amenities such as hospitals and schools. It is not therefore all about money, or economic growth, there is more do development than that.
I totally agree with the fact that some governments are obstacles to development. Good governance calls for putting the interest of the public at hand and ensuring that resources are distributed equally. Governance does not only mean that there is good relationship between those in power and more donor funds are being send to a country. It calls for democracy and investments in all sectors of development. For instance, even if a company is able to get more money or make investments in infrastructure and yet the people's democratic rights are not respected then ideally there will be no development. Imposing of ideas and issues upon the public in order for them to benefit from the countries resources is very wrong. This has been a problem especially in the third world countries where those in power insist that the government have to vote in certain members of their political parties if any resources are to be taken to their regions.
Supposing that it's true that a government represents the views of the majority, this does not still mean that it could be used as a measure of development (Seers 22). Some of the parameters that should be used to measure development include availability of basic needs like food just as stated by Seers. If people have no food, then where will they get the energy to contribute to development of the society? Lack of food also means that that people will be malnourished and therefore be of poor health. Surely there could never be development if people are suffering with poor health. Poor food and health will automatically mean that the mind will not be able to function properly. Even if you created a good school with state of the art equipment and infrastructure like libraries, and laboratories, there will be no meaningful learning processes taking place because the students need 'health and stable' minds to learn.
I also agree with the fact that poverty and unemployment are obstacles of development. However the idea that lacking enough money to buy your child a birthday cake could be considered as poverty is somewhat untrue (Seers 23). On the contrary it could be an indicator of negative development in the sense that the economic status of the family has dropped. Poverty is supposed to be measured in terms of acquisition of basic needs and not luxury goods like cakes. The best way to describe this scenario would be a fall in economic status which is different from poverty.
Equality is definitely an indicator of development (Seers 24). A country cannot claim to have developed if there are 30 millionaires and 30 million poor peoples. The resources should be evenly distributed so that the per capita income is reasonable. In the same way, development calls for equal distribution of resources such as industries, infrastructure, schools, health facilities and minerals. If in one area people can walk to school or to health facilities that are well equipped and yet in another region within the same country an entire province has to travel long for long distances to go and queue at a single hospital for medication, this could never be considered as development.
I do not however agree with the fact that only the three parameters; poverty, equality and employment should be considered as indicators of development. There are more issues like respect to human rights that should be considered in the definition of development. Empowerment of the community to depend on themselves other than on handouts from donors is also an indicator of development. Even the bible recognizes that it's better to teach a man to fish other than giving him a fish that he will only eat for that day and go back to begging. It therefore calls for teaching citizen to be self reliant.
The best way to evaluate the story would be on how different factors mentioned could contribute to development. You cannot rule out the idea that economic development contributes to development. The same applies to employment and equality in resource distribution. However, political stability is just as important as economic development. They all contribute to development in one way or the other.
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