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The pursuit of economic growth is not in people’s long-term
interest. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this
statement. Discuss .

“Economic growth is the term economist use to describe the growth in output from an
economy. Some economies achieve large increase in output over extended period of time
which, in turn, dramatically changes the economic, political and social landscape”.
Ref: Mark Rogers, A survey of Economic Growth. (16/07/2002)
Harris Manchester College Oxford.
(Accessed April 2, 2008)

Economic growth serves as the prominent standard for measuring the performance of an
economy. However, what is published as the gross domestic product (GDP) does not
represent production but reports overall spending. The calculation of economic growth is
based on the nominal gross domestic product deflated by a price index.

Pursuit of economic growth is not in people’s long-term

India and china are Asian countries with high economic growth rate. Where economist said
in future India and china could be engine of world’s economy. But along with this their
economic growth is not in interest of the people in long-term; People are getting affected
by long term issues such as;

➢ Child labour
➢ Poverty
➢ Environmental pollution
➢ Unemployment
➢ Inflation
➢ Corruption
➢ Regional imbalance

Both countries have plans to tackle these issues but still these plans are not implemented
on satisfactory level.

Both of countries are dealing with these issues affecting their population. Children in both
countries are getting affected by high rate of child slave labour. “The International Labour
Organization (ILO) has estimated that of the 250 million children between the ages of five and
fourteen work in developing countries, 61 percent are in Asia. The exact number of child labours
working in China is still unknown. China's repressive political system does not allow this information
acquired directly from China, there are no Chinese non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in
this area, and foreign NGOs do not have access”. Ref:

In India child Labor is big issue as well where poor children have to work from their teenage to
support their families. “According to the 1991 census, about 90 per cent of working children
live in rural areas”. Ref:

Where children are engaged in different type of work including which are classified as
hazardous such as matches making industry, according to ILO estimate 2 million children
work in that industry. Child labour stops children’s well grooming and leading them to
quality education and that leads to unemployment later in life.


Beside this Indian government is doing well against child labour and giving international
and internal organizations opportunity to work solving the issue as many organizations and
NGOs are working to support this. Such as “Action Aid India, Butterflies, CARE India, Child
Relief and You (CRY), Global March Against Child Labour, Save the Children (UK) in India,
CREDA (Centre for Rural Education and Development Action)”. Ref: International Labour

So the facts shown above makes us agree that both countries are doing well in economic
growth but child is being used as fuel to run their economy grow faster.

Poverty means a part of population is living without proper food and safe drinking water,
housing or shelter, and not enjoying a quality life. Both countries India and china have this
issue. “In china 21.5 million lives below official pervert line poverty line with ( $ 90 per year
income) and 35.5 million lives on poverty line ($125 per year income) ” Ref:

This shows a large percentage of population is not having even food and safe water and
shelter often in their life and rest lives with these at very low quality.
Where in India 25% of population living their lives below poverty line. Source:


But decreasing percentage of poverty show India is implementing measures to tackle with this long-
term problem of its country.

But where both countries shows them as world’s most growing economies but a large percentage of
their population is not even living standard life. So their economic growth is not in favorof their

Unemployment has very close relation with poverty. Where there is unemployment many problems
arises. India and china has very high number of unemployment rate.

According to China’s official figures, the unemployment rate in China's 3

Urban and township areas reached 4.5% in 2004. However, the actual unemployment
rate should be higher. The Economist magazine estimates that China's unemployment
rate should have exceeded 10%. China’s overall unemployment figure is likely to be
between 20% and 26% if the number of rural unemployed workforce is include.
Source: Assessing Social and Economic Risk in China,
China’s government is trying to implement sufficient measures to control unemployment rate but it’s
not fast enough.
India is becoming an active player in world with highest growth rate in south Asia after china, India
has Agricultural and allied sectors accounted for about 57% of the total workforce in 1999–
2000, down from 60% in 1993–94. While agriculture has faced stagnation in growth,
services have seen a steady growth. Of the total workforce, 8% is in the organized sector,
two-thirds of which are in the public sector. The NSSO survey estimated that in 1999–2000,
106 million, nearly 10% of the population were unemployed and the overall unemployment
rate was 7.32%, with rural areas doing marginally better (7.21%) than urban areas (7.65%).

Unemployment in India is characterised by chronic underemployment or disguised

Both of countries statics shows us that economic growth is great but still people are getting
suffered problems like unemployment.

In fact Poverty and unemployment are one of the main causes of rising crime ratio in both
countries. A number of people are so much stressed because of this that they have to finish
their lives by doing suicide.

Environmental pollution is a global issue these days and every country is showing its support to
decrease environmental pollution and global warming.

India and china both are countries with highly polluted atmosphere in world, their industries are
running day and night to make economy grow faster but affecting environment with pollution.
“China could be the only larges green house gases emitter in world by the end of 2007” Source:
CNN .com


Beside damage to environment people are also paying cost of this as polluted drinking water is
major problem in both of countries, “The drinking water for more than 2.5 million people is at
risk of contamination from heavy pollution in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou”.

This water is also affecting food as well because vegetables and corps are being grown on
this water as well and a lot of population is getting sick of because all this. China’s
government has revealed long term plan to tackle this issue by implementing restrictions of
factories and industries producing hazardous waste. Installing more plants to filter the
water and rely more on renewable energy.

In India environmental pollution is a major issue when country has outstanding

performance in economic growth. Population is paying cost by having polluted drinking
water. In new River Jumna is one of country’s largest riversbut its water is most polluted as
a large percentage of population has to rely on water of this river as its water contains raw
sewage waste and in Delhi residents have only less than one hour of clean drinking water


So this gift of polluted water is not enough what people are getting while living in a country
which is global player in economic growth. People are getting diseases those are drinking
polluted water and living in surroundings.

“Waterborne diseases spreading like epidemic after massive rain fall in Western India –
Mumbai water supply completely polluted – more than 300 die” Source:

“Water-borne diseases include cholera, typhoid, shigella, polio, meningitis, and hepatitis A
and E. Human beings and animals can act as hosts to the bacterial, viral, or protozoal
organisms that cause these diseases. Millions of people have little access to sanitary waste
disposal or to clean water for personal hygiene. An estimated 3 billion people lack a
sanitary toilet, for example. Over 1.2 billion people are at risk because they lack access to
safe freshwater”. Source: Central pollution control Board, India (

So all this situation in shows us that economic growth of these countries is not in interest of
their population in long-term.

Inflation is also somehow a cost people are paying for living in a country with great
economic growth. India’s Inflation hits 7% higher in 3 years. Which means price of goods is
increasing and along with all other problems people have to face this issue as well.

“NEW DELHI (Thomson Financial) - Indian inflation accelerated to a more than three-year
high of seven percent, data showed on Friday, fanning expectations of higher interest rates
that could slow economic growth further”. Source:
Corruption is single big problem for many countries in the world. China and India are
facing this issue as they are proceeding fast in economic growth. Corruption has been one
of the pervasive problems affecting India. According to a 2005 study by Transparency
International (TI) India found that more than half of those surveyed had firsthand
experience of paying bribe or peddling influence to get a job done in a public office. The
2006 report by Transparency International ranks India at 70th place and states that
significant improvements were made by India in reducing corruption. When there are not
plenty of jobs with better salaries people of India has to get through corrupted system to
make things work.

Corruption in China became increasingly serious Issue. The severe and widespread nature
of corruption in China is becoming a major source of social discontent and poses a threat to
the legitimacy of the country's leaders, according to experts at the Organization for
Economic Co-operation and Development.

“The economy is growing, so incidences [of corruption] are growing too,” said Janos Bertok,
one of the OECD researchers in charge of evaluating corruption in China, and one of the
authors of this month's ground-breaking report. “The social dimension is equally as
important as the economic dimension”. Source: Corruption threatens Chinese economy,

According to Transparency International (TI) China is on 70th number on corruption table of


So China’s economy is growing day by day larger, faster and stronger perhaps it does not
seems it’s in interest of its people as corruption is growing massively as well.

Regional Imbalance is another issue which India and china are facing along with economic

One of the critical problems facing India's economy is the sharp and growing regional
variations among India's different states and territories in terms of per capita income,
poverty, availability of infrastructure and socio-economic development. For instance, the
difference in growth rate between the forward and backward states was 0.3% (5.2% &
4.9%) during 1980-81 to 1990-91, but had grown to 3.3% (6.3% & 3.0%) during 1990-91 to
1997-98. Source:
The union and state governments of backward regions are trying to reduce the disparities
by offering tax holidays, cheap land, etc., and focusing more on sectors like tourism, which
although being geographically and historically determined, can become a source of growth
and is faster to develop than other sectors.

“India's economy is booming but its roads are a throwback to pre-industrial times. That is
about to change when a flood of cheap vehicles come on the market”. Source:

India has 28 States and 7 Union territories which are of different in sizes population and
their contribution towards India’s economic growth, People in all states and territories are
not enjoying same type of lives, As India’s Budget is enough to make it possible but still
people are getting suffered while country ‘s economic growth is growing fast.

Due to the speed of economic reforms and development in different provinces and
areas, China faces a severe problem in the gaps between rich and poor, east and west,
and rural and urban. The rich and poor gap has widened to such a degree that the
assets of the country's wealthiest families are 359 times greater than the assets of the
poorest group. Source: Assessing Social and Economic Risk in China,

China with 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities of Mainland China and
disputed territories is facing same issue of Regional Imbalance with in the country while
growing economically. China has world’s largest population which has their needs to live
standard life. But In many parts of china people are living miserable lives and in some
people are enjoying luxuries of life. Income of people living in rural areas is much less than
people in urban areas. While statics show country’s overall performance in economic
growth is very good.

At last we came to this conclusion that, in many countries of the world economic growth is
not in people’s long-term interest. People are suffering from hunger, poverty,
Unemployment etc they don’t have basic necessities of life but statics show that country’s
economy is doing very well. Hence its responsibility of government of those countries to
implement such measures that nation’s economy should grow along with country’s

Indian Child, (Accessed on 07 April 7, 2008)

International Labor Organization ILO

(Accessed 07 April 7, 2008)

China, CIA The world Fact book (Accessed on 03April 3, 2008)

China: Economic growth, environmental destruction, (Accessed on 07 April, 2008)

Datt, Ruddar & Sundharam, K.P.M "27", Indian Economy, 471–472

Sachs, D. Jeffrey; Bajpai, Nirupam and Ramiah, Ananthi (2002). "Understanding Regional
Economic Growth in India". Working paper 88

Kurian, N.J, Regional disparities in india.

Regional Imbalance and Income Disparity, The Asian Development Bank Institute

Assessing Social and Economic Risk in China, Mainland Affairs Council Taiwan