In developed countries, they live better, because they have their food, education and health needs covered, as well as access to a wide variety of satisfactores. On the other hand underdeveloped nations intend to reproduce the dominant economic model, trying to reach the level of the rich countries like Japan, the European Union and, above all, the United States, which besides having the economic prunes has the military power that It has led it to achieve global hegemony, although politically it needs allies.
Globalization is not only economic but also cultural. It preTends homogeneity in the way of thinking. Culture is a mere object of folklore curiosity. Parameters Are imposed in the way of dressing, eating, listening to music, to achieve satisfactores. Crime, organized crime, trafficking in conventional arms and nuclear weapons, gambling, prostitution, the black currency market, money laundering, tax Havens and tax evasion Are also globalized.
The Central Political task of the 21ST century is the creation of a new historical project with a humanist perspective and solidarity, putting aside the apathy and trying to recover the memory, to live and to rebuild a future obtaining the force of the reason; Moreover, by putting the technical and scientific advance at the disposal and for the benefit of all the peoples of the world.
1. Differences between the developed and the underdeveloped world
The development gap between countries is due to multiple causes, not only to the economic type. These causes have both an internal and an external origin. Not all States have the same degree of social organization, nor similar productive structures, nor similar financial resources, nor comparable livelihoods. At present, two realities contrast sharply: that of the developed countries and that of the underdeveloped or developing countries. 80% of the world’s population lives in this second group.
However, if we adopt a global view on the situation of the economies of the countries of the world we have to recognize that this process makes sense for a part of the world population, that of the more developed countries, but that many others live in a continuous Economic underdevelopment situation.
We All see on television images that illustrate the underdevelopment and we ask ourselves what the causes of this situation are, and although some countries, like China, have managed to improve their growth and the development of their cities and many of their inhabitants, each time There are more people in the world in a situation of poverty.
The causes and characteristics of underdevelopment are not the same for all countries or for all those who suffer, but the same is, without doubt, the most important aspect that the Economy should address, which, let’s not forget, tries to meet the needs Human.
2.1. Growth, development and inequality
Economic growth is one of the main objectives of Governments and the most important economic institutions. If You Remember, we understand by economic growth the increase in the value of the production of goods and services produced in one place and to measure it we used mainly the economic indicator of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The increase in the goods and services available to people can be an improvement in their living conditions, that is to say, economic development can be achieved. This development makes reference, not so much to the improvement from the quantitative point of view but to the improvement in the quality of life of all the inhabitants.
The analysis of the evolution of countries shows us how economic growth is a necessary condition for achieving development but it is not always enough. This is because it does not always achieve the improvement for all the inhabitants, especially because the growth can be spread in an uneven way.
Important: Economic growth and development are not equal concepts. While economic growth measures the situation of societies in a material way, development makes mention of the evolution of all inhabitants towards better living standards. Keep in mind that for many people their standard of living does improve thanks to economic growth, but that there are also many inhabitants (even of countries with strong economic growth) to which, however, the development does not come.
To have a fuller view of the situation of a country beyond growth we can approach its degree of human development. This concept was proposed and defined by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the year 1990. Amartya Sen, important
UNDP contributor, argued that the cause of poverty was not in the lack of sufficient resources but in its lack of accessibility.
The concept of human development is part of the satisfaction of basic necessities as a central element, but stressing that there are other dimensions besides economic ones. Development is therefore an integral concept that seeks to expand the opportunities of the human being: prolonged and healthy life, acquisition of knowledge, quality of life, etc.
Thus, development is achieved when people acquire greater capacities and not only when they can consume more. As a concrete aspect and in a primordial way Human Development is proposed to allow the access to the whole population to a minimum in food, health and education.
By measuring the wealth of nations in terms of GDP per capita, the paradox was that many underdeveloped countries, in the Fifties and sixties of the last century, had increased their national income to levels similar to those of developed countries without That this was translated into an equalization of the quality of life of the majority of the population. For this reason, UNDP proposed in 1990 the Human Development Index (HDI) as a synthesis of the sanitary, educational and economic conditions of the population of the different countries. It was about giving a much broader development measure than per capita GDP per se alone. Since Then, UNDP annually publishes the HDI of more than 170 countries by facilitating the analysis.
The paradox pointed out in the text related to the fact that the more wealth generates more poverty is derived from the great inequality that occurs in the distribution of income within countries and at the global level. This has Also been a topic discussed in previous issues,
Especially when we talked about the limitations of the market system and the need for public sector intervention in economies.
There Is A huge inequality in the distribution of income. According To World Watch Institute data, the richest 20% of the population earns 86% of global revenues, while the poorest 20% have to make up with 1.1%, implying that a quarter of the world’s population (1.5 billion people) continues to live In poverty. Of the 6.2 billion inhabitants of the Earth, 360 people (0.000005%) They have an annual wealth exceeding the income of 45% of the world’s population. With this data, it is still more shocking to see how the wealth of the first three billionaires is equal to the GDP of the 48 poorest countries.
Does this occur because there is no global resource supply enough for everyone? No: There are resources for everyone, but they are unequally distributed: the developed countries, with a quarter of the population, consume 70% of the energy available on the planet, 75% of their metals and 60% of their food.
This inequality translates into huge differences in food (we live in a world of obese and starved), access to drinking water (the difference in average water consumption between countries and another is abysmal), or education.
It is Also illustrated in what is called the technological and digital divide: compared to the enjoyment in developed countries of the latest advances in technology and telecommunications, 600 million people have not even made in their lives a call Telephone.
But the problems of inequality do not disappear in rich countries: according to the same sources more than 150 million people in these countries live below the poverty line of income. In Spain There are more than 300,000 homeless people and about 800,000 live in poverty. Meanwhile, some of the richest people such as Amancio Ortega (Inditex) or Emilio Botin (President of the BSCH) have a patrimony of more than 300 million euros.
It Is Important to note that poverty becomes a source of direct violence in many cases. Not being able to meet basic needs can contribute to the generation of violence on the part of people who see their opportunities for personal development diminished or cancelled. For Peace It is imperative that people have human security, which means feeling safe in the face of the conditions of their daily lives, providing protection against phenomena such as sickness, hunger, illiteracy and unemployment.
2.2. Characteristics of underdevelopment
We Can characterize the underdevelopment situation under which a quarter of the world’s population lives, mainly because of the shortcomings in three basic areas:
Low per capita income: in developing countries 1.3 billion people survive with less than a daily euro, which results in malnutrition, homelessness or lack of other vital necessities such as dress, hygiene, medicines, electricity, etc. .
Low life expectancy: related to the previous aspect as much blame for this low life expectancy is the incidence of diseases (including diseases already outgrown in the North such as rubella, malaria, or influenza), high infant mortality, Malnutrition and lack of drinking water. According to World Watch Institute data, about 30% of children under 5 years of age have little weight and although the number of people who have clean water has been doubled from 1980, some 1.3 billion people still lack it , and some 2.5 billion do not have access to an adequate sanitation system.
Educational Deficiencies: The UN denounces that two out of ten inhabitants of the planet are illiterate. Although in recent years the level of global literacy has improved by 10%, there are still 100 million children who do not attend school. The impact on the development of basic literacy is very important, especially when women are beneficiaries.
These deficiencies, and in general the situation of poverty, are suffered in different ways and acquire different characteristics depending on the country or region in which one is located. In General we speak of absolute poverty when people do not meet the fundamental necessities: they have no dignified house, they have no clothes more than the laying, neither shoes, nor soap, nor guaranteed the daily food. According To UNDP data, there are almost 2 billion people in this situation. This makes poverty much more than an economic condition, as the horrors of poverty extend to all aspects of personal life: helplessness in the face of disease, illiteracy, submission, total insecurity in the face of change, lack of self-esteem Et cetera.
From the economic point of view, the characteristics of underdevelopment are translated into low productivity, high rates of unemployment and underemployment, dependence on the primary sector and low development of secondary and tertiary activities. Derived from this situation, and in turn causing it, we find ourselves with deficiencies in the capital, in the financial system, in the business organization, etc.
If we analyze this economic structure following the knowledge that we have acquired during the first topics of this course we can deepen in the characteristics that present the fundamental elements of the economy:
Economic factors: the least developed countries often present a very powerful supply of natural resources, although most of the time it is the multinational companies that take the most advantage of their exploitation. As for the work factor, there is a lot of unemployment and low qualifications. Finally, the major shortcomings are the lack of savings, which impedes the accumulation of capital and the development of a banking system that channeled resources between economic agents.
On The economic agents we have already commented that there are many difficulties to start up an economic fabric that allows the development of companies, and also in the sectors of greatest potential are the foreign companies that tend to take control. Households or domestic economies have little room to carry out their economic functions of work and consumption. Finally, the public sector does not intervene in an efficient way in the economy but unfortunately is often characterized more by corruption and bad government.
It Is very important to analyze the evolution and trend of underdevelopment. Thus, we can see that some indicators have improved for some countries over the last few decades (the impact of some diseases or especially poverty levels in countries such as China and India). However, the UN denounces that the number of poor people has doubled from 1974. At the beginning of the new century since the UN, as we know, the Millennium development Goals were launched, which sought to be a way of raising countries ‘ awareness to solve the world’s major problems. Unfortunately, the prospects for the near future are not very good either, and the World Bank rules out the goal that had been raised to end poverty by 2015. You Can check their website.