What do you understand by the word ‘development’?
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In my understanding, development means being in a position to meet basic needs and to generally live a good life. For example, when people have enough food, can access health care services, and take their children to good schools, this is development. At a national level, development involves having a growing economy which makes it possible for the government to provide its citizens with essential services and develop infrastructure. Development can also be explained in terms of social and spiritual progress where social institutions are strong and people live without the oppression of any kind. This gives them a chance to interact with their friends freely and share important ideas that improve their lives. In summary, it involves socio-economic, religious, and political growth that enhances the quality of life of the people.
Identify at least three concrete examples where economic development activities raise ethical questions
The first economic development activity that can raise ethical questions is an unjustified increase in taxation on consumer goods. People can revolt against an increase in taxes because this impoverishes them. They can defend their position by referring to the production costs of goods relying on information from manufacturers.
The second example where economic development activities can raise ethical issues is the practice of unethical labor practices where people are paid low wages. People can move to organizations where they are paid higher wages. This can be defended by arguing that the low wages they earn cannot cater to their needs. The decision is made based on information from other companies on how labor is compensated. The value judgment would be that their hard work should be compensated fairly.
The third ethical issue is the termination of employment without adequate notice. Employees can take a hard position by insisting on their right to security of tenure. Their position can be defended based on existing labor laws that protect employees from exploitation, such as dismissal without adequate notice. Their value judgment would be that if their contracts are terminated prematurely, then they should be paid.
How do normative frameworks affect policy decisions and outcomes?
Normative frameworks influence policy resolutions and outcomes in different ways. For instance, they determine the nature of data collected and influence analysis. Normative frameworks are also associated with determining the importance attached to political topics and influence social movements (Deneuli & Shahani, 2009). Besides, these frameworks motivate professionals morally or ethically and determine their philosophical credibility. Policy priorities and outcomes depend on normative frameworks. For example, my decision to pursue higher education in a specific institution based on quality education forced me to pay a large amount of money than I could have paid in a different institution.
Why do you think the basic intuition that human concerns should be the ultimate goal of economic activity continues to be ignored in policy all over the world?
The basic reason why this happens is that development is assessed in economic terms, especially the annual growth of income per capita. As a result, policies do not bother about the consequences of economic growth on the quality of life of the people. Most countries do not focus on human concerns because this is not the parameter that is used to determine their economic growth. It is assumed that when the economy generally grows, then the lives of the people are improved in terms of health and education. Most policies, therefore, believe that economic development automatically reduces poverty and other problems that people might face hence there is no need to focus on them so much. It is not always the situation because economic growth does not automatically guarantee people good lives.
Deneuli, S., & Shahani, L. (2009). An Introduction to the Human Development and Capability Approach: Freedom and Agency. London: Earchscan.