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经济增长essay范文:Economic Growth

时间:2016-03-09 09:33来源:www.ukassignment.org 作者:anne 点击:
在过去的几十年中,人类的幸福是由经济增长指标上,如GDP(Brinkman和Brinkman,2011:447),这是市场的吞吐量估计,结合所有最终商品和服务的生产和交易的货币在一定时期内的价值(Costanza等人,2009:3)。因此,政府的政策往往确定了快速的经济增长率是有利于人类的幸福(生活满意度和幸福感),这与布林克曼和布林克曼一致(2011:448),他指出,经济增长似乎是必要的为了人类的发展和进步。然而,基于Li和路进行了一次调查(2009),丹麦有一个评估的幸福水平的8.20,年增长率为2.02%在上世纪90年代,但年均经济增长率为3.84%,摩尔多瓦只有4.15的整体幸福感水平在同一时期,远远落后于丹麦。可以看出,经济增长是否对人类健康所必要的话题已经引起了学术界的严重争论。因此,本文的目的是认为尽管经济增长可以带来人们物质财富的当代社会,这可能会促进人类福祉在一定程度上,但是,经济增长的负面影响,如环境恶化和农村和城市之间的不平衡发展,超过了经济增长的幸福和生活满意度。
Over the past few decades, human well-being are measuredby the economic growth indicator historically, such as GDP(Brinkman and Brinkman, 2011:447), which is an estimate of market throughput, combining together the value of all ultimate goods and services that are produced and traded for currency during a given period (Costanza et al., 2009:3). Accordingly, government policy often ascertains that rapid economic growth rate is beneficial to human well-being (life satisfaction and happiness), which is consistent with Brinkman and Brinkman (2011:448), who states that economic growth seems to be necessary to human development and progress. However, based on a survey conducted by Li and Lu (2009:2), Denmark has an assessed happiness level of 8.20 while its annual growth rate is 2.02% in the 1990s, but with an average annual economic growth rate of 3.84%, Moldova only has an overall happiness level of 4.15 during the same period, which is far behind Denmark. It can be seen that the topic of whether the economic growth is necessary to human well-being has aroused a serious debate among academics.  Therefore, the purpose of this essay is to argue that despite economic growth can bring people material wealth in contemporary society, which might promote human well-being in some extent, however, negative consequences of economic growth, such as environment deterioration and the imbalance development between rural and urban areas, outweigh the happiness and life satisfaction derived by economic increase. This essay will first demonstrate polluted environment caused by economic development will undermine the life satisfaction and happiness of human. The next section will indicate that disparity of developments caused by rapid economic growth cannot gain equal human well-being between rural and urban areas, followed by a brief argument about the inappropriateness of GDP to evaluate human well-being.Finally on the basis of the arguments discussed, the recommendations that can minimise these problems caused by economic growth will be presented briefly.
 
To start with, unsustainable economic growth would sacrifice balance of the ecosystem, and polluted environment would definitely undermine life satisfaction and happiness of people. On one hand, economic growth would lead nature resources depletion. As Costanza et al. (2009:9) indicates, GDP measurement encourages the deterioration of natural resources more rapid than the speed which they could renew themselves thus current economic growth is degrading ecosystems. Panayotou (2003:45) also states that environmental quality degradation is an inevitable consequence of economic growth, which results in a decline in human welfare, despite income rising. Therefore, decline in human welfare will compromise human well-being in some extent. On the other hand, as large quantity of energy and material inputs are required by growing economic production and consumption, large amount of waste by-products are generated simultaneously (Panayotou, 2003:45). As Xue (2010:8) suggests, water, atmosphere, and soil pollution makes our habitants less adaptable and comfortable and even lead to people’s health and survival in a risky situation. Therefore, development of economy also brings its side effects, such as exploited of nature resources and pollutants to ecosystem, which will result in decline in life satisfaction and human welfare, thus a decrease in human well-being cannot be avoided.
However, it is also argued that with the help of advanced technology, economic growth is beneficial to environment. For example, urban sanitation, air quality in major cities, and human living condition are benefits derived by technology advance to environment (Brock and Taylor, 2004:1). Moreover, in the globalisation world, free trade would accelerate the technology innovations and inventions to reduce the exploitation of nature resources (Goklany, 1995:444), which is particularly common in a rapid economic development situation. For instance, the decrease of automobile emissions in USA is because technology improvement in cleaner cars in 1970s (Goklany, 2000:73). In summary, advanced technology can assist to improve environment in some aspects: sanitation system, living condition, automobile emissions etc.
 
Nevertheless, although human are adopting advanced technologies to produce renewable resources, non-renewable resources, like fossil fuels, are in a great demand worldwide and cannot be produced by technology so far. It also worth noting that even if productivity ofresources has been improved dramatically by relevant technology, quite a lot non-renewable resources still have a maximum limit and will be out of stock in future (Xue, 2010:8). In addition, automobile emissions are quite a small amount of pollutants compared with amount of pollutants to environment. Although technology can help reduce pollutants to environment to some extent, it still cannot reverse the situation of massive pollutants to environment caused by economic growth. Actually, no practical measures have been proposed by technology advance to solve those harmful “by-products” as so far. To sum up, technology improvements cannot resolve all the environmental problems caused by economic growth, thus as a fact, polluted environment brings human beings low level of life satisfaction and happiness.
Another important concern is that human well-being gap for residents in rural and urban areas might be exacerbating as economic develop. Consequently, happiness and life satisfaction of people in rural areas would be undermined. As Mazumdar (2000:297) points outthat“economic growth does not automatically transformed into a better quality of life”. Especially in the condition that people can earn more than modest levels of income, gains in personal assets have little or no incremental advantage in terms of well-being. Economic growth is considered as aliving standard for the most citizens (Friedman, 2006:15). However, economic growth is more likely to improve the living standards of urban areas but rural areas as Angelescu et al. (2011:2187) argues that a substantial excess of urban over rural human well-being, despite severe urban problems of environmental degradation and traffic congestion resultsin large differences favouring urban over rural counterparts in aspects of salary,education, and employment opportunities. The imbalance on income, education, and occupational chances is caused by development of economy. In addition, the failure of economic growth in removing inequality between the rich and poor might result in a transform of resources from impoverished to wealthy, and growing imbalance is more likely to cause social tensions (Simms, 2003). As a consequence, human well-being cannot be guaranteed in a social-tension environment definitely. Therefore, it is indicated that in the process economic growth, people in rural and urban cannot get equal income, education, work opportunities, and amount of resources, thus well-being of majority people cannot be achieved by economic growth. 
 
However, evidence indicated that overall equality exists in certain conditions, such as advanced economy level, fiscal policy, and protection of property rights. Firstly, further investigation conducted suggests that this disparity is temporary and only exists in a relatively low level of economic development stage. At more advanced economic development levels, not only economic imbalance between these two areas would disappear, but also life satisfaction in rural areas might exceed those in urban societies (Angelescu et al., 2011:2195). In addition, survey suggests that economic growth in the developed countries can transmit extra income for developing countries. For example, approximate 12.6% of the GDP of developing countries resulted from exports in 1994 (Goklany, 1995:444). Moreover, Goklany (2000:74) confirms that global trade raise income for the wealthy and impoverished equally, which are consistent with findings from Ravallion and Chen (1997). Additional policy about property rights and fiscal discipline raises equal incomes to both rich and poor (Dollar and Kraay, 2000). Therefore, economic imbalance between rural and urban areas can be eliminated in a more advanced economy level. Apart from that, due to export, fiscal policy, and protection of property rights, developed and developing areas can compete in a relative equal environment.
 
Meanwhile, it is suggested that when all in society become wealthier, average well-being will not improve simultaneously (Gintis, 2007:455). The author also finds that human well-being can be influenced significantly by property, divorce, and unemployment, and only a small but positive relationship to income levels whether within or across countries, particularly when objective measures of well-being are applied, such as mortality, life expectancy. To sum up, in a low level of economy, economic growth would lead to inequality in rural and urban areas, thus caused imbalanced human well-being in these two areas; in a relative high level of economy, in which disparity between rural and urban areas do not exist, however, average human well-being will not increase with the economic growth. In addition, according to Goklany (2000:67), inequalities between the developed and developing countries are continuously widening and a great number of people remain terribly impoverished in the world. In the survey of UNDP (2000), still 1.2 billion people live in “absolute poverty” in the world (Goklany, 2000:67). Thus, in the process of economic growth, a large number of poor people will be ignored and the rich have improved at the expense of the impoverished in the globalisation world. As a consequent, well-being of poor people will be sacrificed in the economic growth and it seems impossible for them to reach a high level of economy situation, where all residents can get same well-being. In summary, it is evident that economic growth cannot be a necessary determinant of progress of human well-being in less developed areas.


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