LEDCs and MEDCs;
GDP is used to define a country’s income, wealth produced by its citizens as well as income from taxes within that country. The GDP of Norway increased by about two percent between 2009 and 2010 (according to worldbank.org). We can therefore say that Norway had a significant economic growth from 2009 to 2010. Economic development, on the other hand, is used to define how “industrial” a country is. Norway is a MEDC (More Economic Developed County), which means we use machines in farming, have big factories and so on. It is said that a MEDC provides its citizens with better living conditions than a LEDC (Less Economic Developed Country). It is important not to confuse the two.
The distribution of wealth is becoming increasingly unfair within MEDC’s. Since 1935 we have experienced a u-curve. This is something we can see clearly if we look at the income share of the top 1 %. It started at 12 % around 1955 and went down to about 6 % in the 70’s. We call this the great levelling. It needs to be understood that this affected politics in the United Kingdom (and most other countries in the western world). Politicians in the UK feared that we were becoming too communistic. They thought we needed a greater difference between the salaries for the well-educated (nobility/higher class) and the people in the middle/lower class (who might not even have graduated from college).
Due to this change in political and social attitude, the top 1 % of the UK’s population now has almost 15% of the income share, and their salaries are increasing at four times the rate of the lower 10 %. Politicians did this, because they thought they would increase the wealth of their countries, productivity and investment. Sadly this 30+ year experiment has not worked. Productivity and investment has fallen since the 1970’s. This is according to Economist Stewart Lansley. The above shows us why inequality has become one of the most important political issues of our time.
Just look at the picture of the boat, it is sinking because the lower classes do not get enough money to scrape by, while the upper class fly around in private jets. Sure the upper and upper middle-class is doing ok, above the water-line, but how will they do when the entire structure of among other things farmers (steel on boat) and truck drivers (concrete on boat) disappears under their feet? We need to wake up and realize that wages and profits are interconnected and that they rise and fall together. The only way the fat guy at the top can keep his ship afloat is if he decreases his own salary and redistributes that money to the people “working on the ground”, the middle/lower-class, and the people drowning in the picture.
Just like there is inequality within a country there is also inequality on a global scale. According to National Journal, Bill Gates is the richest person alive, with a net worth of more than 76 billion dollars. He earns 112 dollars a second if we are to believe Rock S. from Yahoo. That’s more than many people in Africa earn in a week. There are currently about 800 million people in the developing world that live on less than 1.25$ a day according to a BBC News report by Ruth Alexander.
The western world is essentially treating the developing countries’ citizens as slaves. There are of course people within these countries who have more than enough to cover their needs. One example is educated people who own the factories that exploit their workers. The reason they behave in such a manner is because a big MNC (Multi National Company) asks them to produce a product at a really low cost, so that the MNC may sell their products at a competitive price. The big MNCs are not interested in getting their hands dirty, so they get their company in the LEDCs to sign a contract that says that all of that company’s employees shall be treated responsibly and be given a fair salary. The small company owner feels pressured to sign such a contract. If he refuses the MNCs will just find another supplier. This kind of exploitation should not be happening. You can help stop this kind of exploitation by, among other things, buying Fair Trade products.
In many cases it is more economically rewarding for farmers in LEDCs to sell the little food they produce to the West, than it is to sell it locally or eat it themselves. The corn that might feed a family for weeks to come is therefore sent to a factory in Europe that produces bio-fuel so that a Western family might feel good about themselves for polluting less. This is what the picture of the fat, well-dressed man taking a corn from a poor farmer clearly illustrates.
The world population was 3 billion in 1960. Now it is more than 7 billion. The population in China has grown from 550 million in 1950, to 1.3 billion in 2010. Both the world population and the population of China are expected to rise for years to come. The only planet we currently know of that can support life is our own.
In the 1960’s there was 1 billion people living in the industrialized part of the world and 2 billion people living in the developing world, and they were separated by a great gap. In Sweden people were saving to buy a new car, while people in the developing world had to save money for a new pair of shoes. In the Western world there has been an enormous economic growth the last 60 years so that now people are not happy just getting a car, they also want to fly on holidays to remote areas, such as Orlando, Greece and China.
China is one of the world’s biggest emerging economies. As we go down the line we find other emerging economies, where 3 billion people are saving for a new bike, or a motorcycle. The poorest 2 billion people are still saving for shoes. The distance between the richest part of the world and the poorest is greater than ever, but the gap has been filled by the 4 billion people in between. According to Hans Rosling the population growth will continue, so that there will be 4 billion people living in poverty in 2050, while the entire world population is estimated at 9 billion people.
The only way to stop population growth in these countries is if they by some miracle get an education and have enough money to spend, as well as saving for a new bike. We need to increase the child survival to at least 90%. Only then will people start family planning, and therefore bear fewer children. It is only by increasing child survival that we can stop population growth, and we need to do so before it is too late. The Earth has finite resources so the 9 billion population of 2050 needs to be careful how they use those resources. Just because you get more stuff does not mean that you will become happy. Just look at the picture of the guy standing on top of washing machines, cars, airplanes, credit cards etc. What is he saying? “Shit. I’m still not happy…”
It is important that we remove economic growth as a target, and replace it with economic development. Economic development of all countries. Only through economic growth in the poorest sections of the world may we stop the population growth. We also need to invent and use environmentally friendly technologies; technologies that can help us exploit our resources in a more efficient manner. This way we can keep wild areas wild, and still have enough farms to feed the entire population. We must become more equal to each other, because the only way we can improve the life of the lower 2 billion is if we take some of the excessive wealth from the top 1 billion. As said before we have finite resources so the money given to the lower 2 billion must be taken from somewhere.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/rural_environments/changes_rural_areas_medcs_rev1.shtml (According to BBC it is supposed to be LEDC and MEDC.)
http://www.revisionworld.com/gcse-revision/geography/development/medc%E2%80%99s-and-ledc%E2%80%99s (According to this source it is supposed to be MEDC’s and LEDC’s, what is correct?)
You made it to the end of the essay, great!