December 16, 2013

What is Development?

Many of the economic observers are familiar with the term "development". Yet, do people know the inner meaning of the said term? And why do economists strived so much for high economic growth?

Development is synonymous to the word "improvement" which means "positive change". When people hear the term development, most of them associate it to better life or standard of leaving.

In tangible sense, development could mean improvement in purchasing power. For example, a person used to wear old clothes when he does not have a work; when he found a work and got his first salary, he bought
new clothes. Another example of development is, when a person is unemployed, he used to leave with his parents, when the person found a work and was able to earn substantial amount of money for decades; he
decided to build his own home and family. Thus, development is having full access to basic needs of life - food, shelter, and clothing.

Development is more than growth because it leads to new growth or new change that is more than the usual. Growth could be described as - for example, today a person is buying a canned sardines, next day, he will
buy two canned sardines. Development in tangible sense is having something that a person don't have; experiencing something that a person have not experienced; tasting something a person have not tasted, and
the likes. Development is improvement in the standard of leaving.

In non-tangible sense, development is being free. Development is holding one's own life. Development is freedom from servitude and dependence.

Development is freedom from ignorance which means everyone has equal access to knowledge.

Development is only true if it is fruit of good labor. A person might have all the goods of life, yet, if it is ill gotten, the formula of development is incomplete and hence cannot be fully enjoyed.

The true economic development can only be felt if everyone is included in the scenario - a society that is helping and supporting each member.

Economists strive for high economic growth because this could lead to faster improvement in the well-being of the society; a 7% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth can produce higher standard of leaving than 3% growth. Yet, as noted above, development is not for the few, it should be for all.

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