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Short Essay On Growth and Poverty

The speech offered by Vandana Shiva of India highlights the issues inherent in

measuring an economy according to the common benchmarks of Gross National Product (GNP)

and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In her speech Shiva argues that these figures do not

accurately represent a nation’s wealth because they do not take into account the primary

externality that is the destruction of life.

The global emphasis on financial growth, especially in the example of India does not

increase the quality of life. Financial growth does not necessarily mean an increase in the

production but instead can refer to the upsell of property as in the case of the poor farmers

whose land was sold at that is nearly one hundred times greater than those that were paid. This

translates to economic growth but does not take into account the unemployment and other

social costs that will likely arise. This example is not an isolated incident, instead Shiva suggests

that there are many millions in India suffering from this same exploitation despite the annual

nine percent growth of the economy.

The growth of the economy does not account for where the money is distributed.

Growth for the wealthiest individuals such as the 100 top billionaires in India bares no positive

impact on the poorer majority of India who remain in poverty. Growth comes mainly in the

form of large corporations such as Coca Cola and Monsanto who have exclusive legal access to

resources. Coca-Cola with its access to millions of gallons of water and Monsanto with its

exclusive rights over the agricultural genomes it has patented command these resources and

sell them at much higher prices. Ultimately it is the poor who must pay these prices and

subsequently remain poor.

Growth of capital comes at the cost of destruction to life. This intangible growth comes only at the cost of destruction of forests. and the quality of life for billions of people. Growth from a financial perspective only takes into account the increase in capital which as has been demonstrated by the subprime mortgage crisis can be without grounds. . waterways.