To understand any topic it is always important to take note of the key words. In this case I am going to first pin point the key words. Economy in a lay man’s language is the management of finances or care in the use of resources. Others may say it is a system of producing and managing resources. This then puts everyone in light that economic growth as the increment of management and use of resources like finances, wealth and so on.
Standard of living can measured by types of living styles that is quality (living in high standards and able to afford especially the basic needs) or of no quality that is (poor quality most especially not being able to afford the basics in life and probably living below the poverty line) (Elkington J. , 1974); Economic growth is seen on both extremes by different individuals that is the best or worst and the sides of it depending on how it has affected their standards of living.
The way it affects the standards of living in the present and how it affected in the past is very different from the way it will be tomorrow. Its further expansion today has also affected different individuals differently. Others have seen it to have caused more harm than good while others see it to have caused more than more good than harm and this second group appears to be the majority hence increasing the gap between these two groups of people (The World Business Council for sustainable).
Nevertheless economic growth to a larger extent is seen as a valuable vehicle for raising standards of living in aspects like social life, political aspects and even psychological aspects. Since time immemorial, everyone valued a high standard of living and every member of the family and society worked toward achieving more and more resources so as to live a better life. Men, women and children for instance did farming and cultivated food crops for home consumption. This was in the past before the innovation of cash economy.
In that era, the three fundamental processes used in economic growth were identification, cooperation and imitation Aragon-Correa and Sharma S. , 2003 and Dunphy D, Griffiths A, and Benn S. , 2000). Today or presently it is true that further economic expansion has been seen. This is why the world today bases on the mechanism of “survival for the fittest”. This mechanism is mainly trying to see that everyone actively participates towards economic growth and hence improving their standards of living.
So people have just deliberately decided to be lazy and they are the same people complaining of economic growth as unnecessary. They have given others the opportunity to even grow richer as they (the lazy ones) become poorer. It is important to note that as the world economy grows, the standard of living also grows. It does not remain stagnant hence the capacity of manpower in the society should also increase so as to match the economic growth and avoid lagging behind. It is done in this manner, and then the difficulty of economic growth affecting the standards of living presently will not be felt (World Economic Forum).
It is seen clearly that as world’s life proceeds, very many aspects change. For instance, the population of South Africa in early 1930’s cannot match or be the same as the population today. Today’s population has definitely outgrown the one of 1930’s hence the economic growth will remain a valuable vehicle for raising and not degrading the standards of living if we check into issues like education, population control, employment especially skilled manpower in professional fields, etc. good example here is population control. In the past population was not as big and huge as today hence the issue of poor standard of living was not intensely felt. Today the population has double even tripled in specific places. This then has led to shortage of land, food, employment, schools hence giving the first priorities to the rich who can scramble. This then has led to high illiteracy, creation of slums, high crime rates.
So if population standards are controlled by example introducing and sensitizing people on the issue of using contraceptives, keeping people in schools especially women who can go up to high institutions of learning hence making them concentrate in books and by the time they think of marriage, they are old enough not to give birth to too many children as compared to when they are out of school making them marry early and bearing many children.
The issue of education, population control will improve both the economic growth and standards of living in the long run (World Economic Forum). Another very crucial thing is and that we in the world today cannot do without is the fact that of the machineries invention and innovation. This was not in the past, but today it has actually improved our majority standards of living. It is a fact that even the poor man at least can afford some kind of machinery for instance he or she may not afford a television set but may afford a small radio of about three dollars.
This is because it is extremely important to listen to and know what is going on in the world through that small radio an issue that was not there in the past though people at that time were still comfortable because these machineries were not there. This hence is seen that economic growth is vats and can accommodate everyone. This means that despite the economic growth, there are still some cheap commodities that can be afforded by the low level people so as to enjoy their lives.
The economic growth is also seen to incorporate the non professional activities for example engaging in vegetable sales, shoe shining, house helps and so on. Not everyone has a professional duty like teaching; nursing, etc yet even the non professional people must live and enjoy their lives. By doing their non-professional duties, they also actively participate in economic growth. For instance, a person doing the shoe shine job will have to buy the shoe polish hence contributing to the economic growth of the shoe polish company.
On the other side of the economic growth, which is also to a lesser extent, I see its further expansions to be unnecessary and especially when its undesirable effects are considered from a true – cost perspective rather than form a true – benefit perspective (World Economic Forum). As I have discussed in the previous paragraphs, everyone cannot be the same in terms of gifts and talents, in brain, strength, authority and understanding. There must be both low and high level people. This also applies in the standard of living which is determined by the economic growth.
For sure it is true that it affects people differently. In the real world, today, this economic growth has made the rich richer and the poor poorer. This hence has made the poor group to look at economic growth as an enemy. This is mainly because the poor have not been given a chance to enjoy the changes that come with economic growth. For instance, most of the poor people are not computer literates hence when employment opportunities come up, the first requirement is computer literacy which completely excludes them from the race even when one had the potential of doing that job.
These computer courses are mainly provided in the schools of the rich (International Chamber of Commerce, Business charter for sustainable Development, 1990). Economic growth has been accompanied by a lot of bureaucracy. The rich people have taken the top levels and the poor people the low levels. It becomes very difficult for the one at the bottom to reach the one at the top. Before one reaches to the top from the bottom he or she must have used a lot of time, some little finances so as to get favours fro above.
Those favours mainly may not be there because the ones at the top always are interested in doing things that favour and benefit them especially when it comes to finances thus rendering the poor back to or get stuck in poor living standards (World commission for Environment and development, 1987). When it comes to distribution of resources, it is clearly seen that some regions in countries are not considered or given priorities. This then instead of improving their standards of living through economic growth, they continue to deteriorate.
A good example is usually when the politicians especially the presidents in the third world countries who give priorities to their regions of origin neglecting the other regions. This is even worse when a certain region has got no representative in the government hence making them curse the economic growth (World Economic Forum). In summary, I have discussed that economic growth is for raising the living standards to a larger extent in that • It helps improve the capacity of manpower thus encouraging participation to improve the living standards Because everyone wants to olive in a good standard population will be controlled and hence more savings for more economic growth. • Education is seen as an important factor leading to both economic growth and standard of living though in the long run • Employment opportunities which leads to earnings and savings hence considering both the economic growth and living standards as valuable • Economic growth being vats that is accommodating both the rich and the poor through machinery.
An example is if one cannot afford a television then he r she can buy a radio which he or she can afford to listen to hence seen as improved his or her standards of living. • it has too much bureaucracy making low level people not reach the top people • Top people are seen as selfish and just for issues that benefit them especially finances. • Poor people not given a chance to enjoy changes that come with economic growth for example computer literacy which is mainly taught in schools for the rich.
In conclusion, economic growth is important to our living standards but can be disastrous especially when others are deprived of it. This ends up creating gaps between people hence leading to other social problems. There is a low level of economic growth rate. Economists’ researchers have maintained that in order for economy to realize good standard of living 10% increase in her economy is necessary, she must invest 10 % of her national income.
Reduce consumption, increase investments or savings at same time reduce the family size children or they end up in vicious cycle of poverty. There is a lot of pressure in terms of provision of social services in un developed world. This leads to difficulty in distributing resources equally. It is also costly because of the large numbers thus social service provision becomes inadequate. It is seen to be affecting the nature of social services for example leading to poor housing and low quality of education.