July 1, 2016 § Leave a comment
May 19, 2014 § Leave a comment
The word “GDP” (gross domestic product) itself has become well-known worldwide and also been used to measure economic growth. GDP is, without a doubt, a powerful and useful tool to provide a country’s production, expenditure, and income streams, as well as the flow of goods across borders. Additionally, it has provided essential guidance to countries in the sense of helping them to track economic gains that have improved citizens’ quality of life considerably. For instance, GDP per capita is often employed to measure citizens’ well-being.
The concept of GDP sounds perfect, however, it fails to measure crucial factors. GDP fails to account for changes in a country’s stock of assets. In this regard, it is difficult for policymakers to balance economic, social, and environmental concerns. In short, policymakers need to apply other measures such as health, education, and the state of the natural environment in order to attain the long-term health of the economy.
The national income total is thus an amalgam of relatively accurate and only approximate estimates rather than a unique, highly precise measurement. In view of the approximate character of the national income figures small differences or changes should not be taken an unequivocal indications that differences actually exist or that changes have actually occurred (Kuznets, 1934, p.12).
As a result, the incapability of GDP has been widely discussed and subsequently “sustainable development” has been introduced in the mid-80s. However, most of the countries in the world still largely rely on GDP although they are aware of the need for more thorough and extensive measures for development. In order to challenge the sole dependency on GDP, it is crucial to change our education systems, political structures, and institutions.
Kuznets, S. (1934) ‘National Income, 1929-1932’, The National Bureau of Economic Research, pp.1-12
April 21, 2014 § Leave a comment
I have always been wanting to discuss the issue of growing concern over environment, which is undoubtedly a controversial issue.
To a great degree, I think a lot of so-called “environmentalists” and “eco-friendly people” are overreacting and hypocritical. I enumerate from following reasons.
Firstly, many wannabe-hippie environmentally friendly people a.k.a. fashion-environmentalists take recreational drugs and complain that human are damaging the environment and destroy the way of nature. I have nothing against being vegetarian/vegan for ethical reasons. Some people think it’s wrong and cruel to kill animals/live stocks such as cows and pigs. However, those people are ok with taking recreational drugs that is not fully metabolised in their bodies and contaminating the sea. One might argue “well, it’s not like I am taking tones of cocaine”, but you really shouldn’t underestimate the accumulation of toxic in the sea. For instance, one small fish contaminated getting eaten by a medium sized fish and this medium sized fish getting eaten by a bigger fish etc does affect the bigger fish in the sea, which get contaminated the most. You could also argue that “well, it’s not like I am eating millions of rashes of bacon”.
Secondly, most of environmental related issues are imposed by the West and consequently the developed countries. Recently, the UN has announced that Japan cannot longer hunt whales under the name of “scientific/research purposes”. To be honest, I think it was wrong for Japan to continue whaling in the name of research purposes. Japan should rather hunt whales for consumption. Alaska, which is technically a part of the USA, is allowed to kill whales because it is a part of their culture. However, Japan has been hunting whales for a long time and consuming whales is definitely a part of Japanese culture. Therefore, I do not understand why it is legitimate for Alaska to hunt whales for “cultural purposes” and it’s not for Japan. This argument also applies to less developed countries. As environmental Kuznets curve and Inglehart’s silent revolution suggest, developed countries do start caring other issues i.e. environment compared to less developed countries. New emerging issues such as environmental issues are almost a norm for developed countries as they have reached the most growing economic period. Less developed countries are still concentrating on the growth in terms of economy. Therefore, I think it is wrong that people from developed countries to say the whole world should care about the environment. It is self-righteous for countries that have already been through damaging the environment for growth to say countries aiming for growth are damaging the environment thus should stop what they are doing right now. Furthermore, if the world was working the other way round in the sense that the West was not dominating the world, probably eating dogs/whales could have been a norm and eating beef/pork could have been seen as a taboo. Some people say dolphins and whales are intelligent animals thus should not be consumed, but if the world was dominated not by the West i.e. China, might have brought a different norm.
In the light of these facts, I think a lot of eco-friendly people are actually, in fact, ego-friendly people, who want to be seen as cool, edgy and hippy. They care more about how they look in front of others rather than the environment. It makes more sense to say we accept how the nature works in the sense that human do eat other animals and big animals eat small animals. Without a doubt, it is important to think about the nature and sustainability but we humans shouldn’t really overreact too much and impose the Western culture on other indigenous/unique cultures. It may sound harsh but those fashion environmentalists are rather ego-friendly, whose ego is as big as mother earth!