PLCP 212 Final Review

PLCP 212 Final Review - PLCP 212 Final Review Major themes...

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PLCP 212 – Final Review Major themes covered: o Inequalities, Gender, and Ecology The Social Structure and the Problem of Social Equality Population, Women, and Development Development and Ecology o The World Economy Development or Underdevelopment? The Debt Crisis o Globalization The Concept of Globalization Globalization and Its Discontents: Terror, War, and Poverty o Alternative Paths to Development Is there an alternative? Social Change: Reform and/or Revolution? Rejecting Development? 1) Inequalities, Gender, and Ecology The Social Structure and the Problem of Social Equality Are inequalities essential to development? While we have witnessed a general increase in the standards of living, there has also been an increase in the wealth gap The income of the richest 50 million people in the world is approximately equal to that of the poorest 3 billion Questions of race, ethnicity and gender inequalities emerge Regional questions also emerge: if a regional HDI were created in countries such as Brazil, Nigeria, and South Africa, significant inequalities would be witnessed
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Inequalities pertaining to ethnicity and gender In Bolivia, for example, indigenous workers earn about 60% of what people of Spanish origin earn In Brazil, black people earn about 50% of what their Spanish counterparts make Women outnumber men by a ratio of almost 2:1 when it comes to global illiteracy rates The question thus emerges: Should we regress these inequalities, and will this be a disincentive for development? Even if equality is a good goal, it is difficult to achieve and can be counterproductive in the early stages of development Based on the historical record of industrialized nations, there seems to be a tradeoff between economic growth and equality Only when industrialization is in its advanced stages can income redistribution occur successfully Economist Simon Kuznets purports that there is a correlation between per capita income and inequality (See Kuznets’ curve) Economic growth requires incentives to prevent free-riders In terms of investment, higher risk should equal potential for higher reward Trickle-down effect: wealthy people invest in the economy, retain their savings, and reinvest their money. This causes the economy to grow, which enables people further down the chain to reap the benefits In addition to the economic justifications, British social scientist Peter Bauer provides moral justifications for inequalities. He proposes for fundamental moral principles: Inequalities are deserved because they reflect individual talents and desires Inequalities are not the result of exploitation They represent voluntary contractual obligations Even if you assume equality is a good thing, reducing inequalities leads to economic stagnation Resources are taken from productive actors and given to unproductive actors
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If you redistribute wealth, you are violating private rights, and will have to use
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This note was uploaded on 10/02/2008 for the course PLCP 212 taught by Professor Fatton during the Spring '07 term at UVA.

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PLCP 212 Final Review - PLCP 212 Final Review Major themes...

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