The author enumerates the negative effects of economic growth on the social environment, the living environment, and the human spirit, and thinks that economic growth is a path to perdition, not prosperity. Actually, I don’t agree with the author. Economic growth is a double-edged sword. There is a gradual process of awareness that in practice we are little aware of the problems of the past and improve the situation so that the technical and human conveniences that economic development brings to us can be better used as a means of solving existing problems.
Overall, people are enjoying more of the benefits of economic growth.
Since the second world war, we have made progress in many aspects, such as technology and culture, and brought benefits to us. In science and technology, space and aviation technology has been developed, the human footprint has set foot on the universe we have long dreamed of for a long time; nuclear energy and other clean energy is widely used in life and production, reducing the existing energy burden; the development of network and computer makes work and life more convenient; advances in biotechnology have made the possibility of curing serious illness greatly increased, extending the life of mankind.
Progress in the cultural field has made people more embrace different cultures and beliefs. More and more people are paying attention to equal rights and women’s rights, changing previously imperfect laws, and giving more aid to people in poor areas. Just like the use of accelerators, people have made progress in science, technology, culture, medicine, and other fields in less than a hundred years, and people’s quality of life and standards have improved significantly.
But at the same time, we must acknowledge that progress brings benefits as well as side effects.
Some new energy sources, such as nuclear energy, will endanger human health and the natural environment if used improperly, Chernobyl and Japan’s nuclear spills have caused us great harm; the rapid development of the Internet makes our privacy without protection, “big data” has almost perfectly mastered each of us; advances in biotechnology are being exploited by some people, things like surrogacy and gene-edited babies violate ethics and human rights in our world. The beautiful environment was polluted, people lived a fast-paced life, mental health was worse than before, and modern civilization broke into and revolutionized our lives. Although the benefits brought by the progress of science and technology far outweigh their disadvantages, we must also strive to reduce the side effects of the long-term and better development of mankind.
The problems that come with technological progress and economic growth are inevitable, as the author says, “The economy is a human construct. It’s not an act of God. We made it, we can change it.” We can certainly solve the problems while enjoying the benefits of economic growth.
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